Trombonist & Singer-Songwriter Natalie Cressman and Composer/Guitarist & Vocalist Ian Faquini Announce the Release of New Collaborative Album,
Setting Rays of Summer
Out April 5, 2019
Family-owned label, Cressman Music is proud to announce the April 5th release of Setting Rays of Summer – the new duo project from trombonist and singer-songwriter Natalie Cressman and Brazilian composer, guitarist and vocalist Ian Faquini. Drawing from impressionism, jazz, and the great Brazilian songwriting tradition, Setting Rays of Summer is a ten-track collection of original material featuring compositions in three different languages: Portuguese, English and French. With the warm instrumentation of acoustic guitar and trombone alongside two-part vocal harmonies hugging the Brazilian-accented Portuguese, Cressman & Faquini weave their musical voices together to create a fully orchestrated sound befitting a much larger ensemble. The pair will celebrate this release with an extensive tour throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and New York in April 2019.
Cressman’s fifth album as a leader and Faquini’s third, Setting Rays of Summer is a uniquely intimate debut collaboration. Incorporating various rhythms from Brazil, including baião, samba, and ijexá, the album encompasses a vast spectrum of musical ground. The duo’s global take on music is largely expressed through the distinct compositional voice of Faquini, with occasional lyrics penned by Cressman. The album opens with “Terê” – a tune which takes its title from a woman of the same name. The song is a social outcry about the epidemic of violence against women, especially the economically disadvantaged women of the Brazilian communities known as favelas. Though the subject matter depicts strife and hardship, the rhythm is upbeat – a duality often present in the samba tradition.
While “L’aube” teams Faquini’s musicality with lyrics penned by Cressman in French, “Debandada” is an ijexá – a traditional Brazilian rhythm of African origin. Although rooted in Brazilian folkloric tradition the composition explores new harmonic and melodic paths. While the portuguese term, “debandada” usually refers to the migration of a flock of birds, here it represents animal’s need for escape from their rainforest habitat, due to man’s destruction of their home. The title track is the first collaboration between the pair. The tune’s simple beauty reflects the influence of composers from Debussy to The Beatles. The lyrics follow the cadences of the melody with a pure narrative of two souls growing close as the seasons change.
Cressman and Faquini put this music forth with the hope that its honesty and intimacy resonates emotionally with their audiences. Exposing listeners to new stories and new styles of Brazilian music, Setting Rays of Summer is delivered with endearing simplicity which displays a fresh, individualistic sonic vision.
Possessing a voice as cool and crystalline, Natalie Cressman draws inspiration from a vast array of deep and powerful musical currents. While “her trombone is world-class”, according to Dave Good at the San Diego Reader, “her voice is an empathic entity that channels the ages”. Based in New York City, the trombonist and vocalist has spent the past eight years touring the jam band circuit as a horn player and singer with Phish’s Trey Anastasio, while also performing with jazz greats Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, Anat Cohen, and Peter Apfelbaum. Deeply versed in Latin jazz, post-bop, pop, and Brazilian music, she has released 3 albums under her own name as well 2016’s Etchings in Amber – a gorgeous duo album with guitarist Mike Bono. When she’s not performing her own music, Cressman can be found collaborating with some of the most revered figures in rock, funk, jazz and beyond which have included Carlos Santana, Aaron Neville, Dave Matthews, Phish, Big Gigantic, Escort, The Motet, and Umphrey’s McGee.
As described by writer Andy Gilbert in SF Classical Voice, “Faquini writes astonishingly sophisticated Brazilian pop music in the omnivorous tradition known as MPB (música popular brasileira), which often draws heavily on jazz.” Born in Brasília and raised in Berkeley, Ian Faquini is a protégé of Guinga, the illustrious Brazilian guitarist and composer. Faquini was a member of the renowned Berkeley High School Jazz Program before going on to study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and, immediately after graduating, joined the faculty there. He has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Brazil and the United States, and has shared the stage and recording studio with such names as Guinga, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Spok, Lee Konitz, Fleurine, among many others. Paul de Barros at the Seattle Times exudes, “Faquini is an uncannily masterful composer”.