Blue Note Records
Nowadays the word “intimacy” refers more often to carnal relations, but it actually comes from the Latin word for “innermost,” with its suggestion of that which is most personal and essential.
In her notes for this latest release, veteran Brazilian jazz pianist and vocalist Tania Maria says she finds this intimacy in music.
Intimidade is also intimate in another sense, as a small, informal, close quarters and among-friends gathering, here with just piano (and a lighter touch on Fender Rhodes than Maria sometimes evinced in the past), bass (including veteran Eddie Gomez) and drums/percussion (Luiz Augusto Cavani and Mestre Carneiro from the Viva Brazil Quartet captured on 2002’s delightful Live at the Blue Note).
This consistently breezy and charming set displays Maria’s trademarks and few of her excesses: the husky and evocative voice, the wordless vocals and whistled duets that accompany her solos, the mastery of Brazilian samba, bossa and frevo effortlessly fused with jazz, and an unflagging energy and bonhomie.
Hard as well to argue with the selections. Even old warhorses like “Besame Mucho” and “Água de Beber” (with a neat “Hit the Road Jack” arrangement twist) sound fresh.
In her notes to the CD, Maria says, “Above all, intimacy is synonymous with love…many people are afraid of this kind of intimacy, since they are not at peace with themselves.” Maria clearly is, and has given us an intimate encounter to savor.