Critically Acclaimed flutist Andrea Brachfeld Announces her Debut Release for Origin Records, Brazilian Whispers, out on January 17th.
“… Her marvelous tone and technique are astonishing… She is definitely among those who deserves recognition not only among her peers, but the public in general.” – Hubert Laws
“One of the most important voices in the history of the contemporary flute” – Raul da Gama, Latinjazznet
Consummate flutist Andrea Brachfeld pays tribute to legendary Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim on Brazilian Whispers, Brachfeld’s debut release for Origin Records out on January 17. This gleaming new release, Brachfeld’s ninth release as a bandleader, was inspired by the Brazilian music scene in New York City where the artist has resided for five decades. The date features Brachfeld’s working band Insight, with the flutist’s long time colleague, pianist Bill O’Connell who, along with Brachfeld, co-wrote several songs on the album. The rest of the ensemble is made up of bassist Harvie S and drummer Jason Tiemann. Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, percussionist Chembo Corniel and drummer Portinho and bassist Lincoln Goines are guest artists on the CD. Half of this release is augmented by the stellar rhythm section of electric bassist Lincoln Goines, and Portinho, arguably the most important drummer in contemporary Brazilian music. Roni Ben-Hur and Chembo Corniel play on compositions throughout the CD with both rhythm sections.
Brachfeld has already made her mark on the realms of jazz and Afro-Cuban music over the course of her 40+ year career as a staple in Wallace Roney’s Universe Orchestra, the Slide Hampton Big Band and Charanga ’76. On her foray into Brazilian jazz, Brazilian Whispers, the bandleader decided to go straight to the source and honor the ‘father of bossa nova’, Antonio Carlos Jobim. “My main concept was choosing songs that I love and that just felt right to me. Basically I listened to a lot of Jobim songs and the ones that I really liked are the ones that we recorded” exclaimed Brachfeld. This incendiary release solidifies Brachfeld’s place in the modern jazz pantheon. She puts her spin on Jobim classics “Waters of March“, “Girl From Ipanema” and “Ligia“, among others, and demonstrates her compositional prowess on three Brazilian-spirited original songs that were co-written with frequent collaborator Bill O’Connell: “Espaço Aberto“, “Sonhos e Cores” and “Triste e Solitaria“.
The release begins with Jobim’s waltz “Double Rainbow”. The group provides a laid-back, ethereal soundscape over which Brachfeld’s melodies float with ease and grace, followed by earthy guitar and Fender Rhodes solos before returning to the theme for a soft landing. The cohesiveness of this ensemble is unparalleled. “We’ve been playing together for almost three years now”, notes Brachfeld, “and I feel like there’s been real progress towards us deepening musically as a quartet and becoming more of a unit. There’s also been a kind of spiritual growth which is reflected in the music and I’m really happy about that.”
The flutist credits “O’Connell’s genius” for coming up with the idea to play “Waters Of March” (Aguas De Marco), over Harvie S’s walking bass and Jason Tiemann’s shuffle rhythm that provides a pulsating underpinning for soulfully swinging flute and piano solos. “The samba medley,” Brachfeld reflects, “I kind of pulled together in the studio. I was thinking of recording a lot of different traditional rhythms so I did extensive research. Then the night before the recording these three tunes came together as a medley and it was perfect. Roni really helped with that because he had some of the music and I didn’t have to explain much of the concept when we recorded it with Roni playing perfectly on the guitar and Portinho playing the amazing accompaniment on the drums. It was just what I wanted.”
Brachfeld noted that she recorded ‘Never Let Me Go’ as an homage to the great Roy Hargrove, the world-renowned young trumpeter who passed away in 2018. “I heard a recording of him playing it and I thought it was so gorgeous, I just loved it” the flutist indicated. She switches to alto flute for this wistful, contemplative track dedicated to a man who left the planet far too soon.
The album concludes with two compositions by Brachfeld and O’Connell. The first, “Triste e Solitaria”, (Sad and Lonely), features O’Connell on Fender Rhodes in a moving excursion that lives up to its title. Brazilian Whispers ends with “Espaço Aberto” (Open Space) a bright tempoed samba highlighting the ensemble’s stunning instrumental facility.
More About the Artist:
Flutist, composer, arranger, producer, educator, business owner, Andrea Brachfeld, is a graduate of the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music.
She has recorded nine CDs as a leader with music spanning from Latin Jazz to Charanga Jazz, to Jazz and devotional music. Some of the guest artists who have recorded on her CDs include Wallace Roney, Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Mike Longo, Paul West, Winard Harper, Bill O’ Connell, Oscar Hernandez, Steve Turre, Pedrito Martinez, and Hilton Ruiz among others.
In June 2017, Andrea was awarded a grant from the prestigious organization, Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to compose a new jazz work. Her newest jazz CD, “If Not Now, When? ” was released on Jazzheads in May of 2018. Andrea currently tours with her own group, Andrea Brachfeld and Insight featuring Bill O’ Connell, Harvie S and Jason Tiemann and Bill O’ Connell and ACE- the Afro-Caribbean Ensemble.
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