We begin our new releases potpourri show with Brazilian vocalist Diana Purim and her band Eyedentity—a name inspired by an earlier album by her famous parents, percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. Her website bio whimsically says, “Diana Purim began her musical career in 1972, touring with Chick Corea’s Return to Forever group in the belly of her mother.” Many Bodies One Mind is her debut album as a solo artist.
We hear from another Brazilian musician, drummer Duduka da Fonseca, who serves up “Antes Da Chuva” (Before the Rain), from his new album Plays Dom Salvador. Dom Salvador (b. 1938) is a pianist known for his work with Rio 65 Trio and singer Sylvia Telles. Fonseca was born in Rio de Janeiro but moved to New York City in 1975, playing in many Brazilian groups such as Brazilian All Stars, Brazilian Express, and the New York Samba Band. He currently is 1/3 of the Trio da Paz, which also features guitarist Romero Lubambo and bassist Nilson Matta.
Yet another Brazilian artist, this time the legendary multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal, is guest artist on the next track from alto saxophonist Sean Khan. Milton Nascimento and lyricist LôBorges wrote the song “Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser” (All That You Can Be) long ago, going back to the late 1960’s in Milton’s home state of Minas Gerais. Pascoal is the featured guest artist on this new album, but the band includes many top Brazilian players. The CD title, Palmares Fantasy, refers to a 17th-century commune where escaped Brazilian slaves evaded their Portuguese captors.
Malian singer/songwriter, actress and activist Fatoumata Diawara moved to Paris against her parents’s wishes and joined a street theater troupe. Now a star on the international world music stage, Diawara has worked with Oumou Sangare, John Paul Jones, Tony Allen and fellow Malian, kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate. We listen to “Kanou Dan Ye,” a sad love song about caste differences between a married couple that forces them to divorce, from Diawara’s new album Fenfo (Something to Say).
The Colombian pianist and bandleader Juan Andrés Ospina graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2007. His auspicious debut album Tramontana features great arrangements for a big band with musicians from all over the world, including Cuban alto saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and Colombian vocalist Lucia Pulido. This ambitious big band album took more than ten years to make.
We feature two female vocalists next, starting with New Orleans native Sasha Masakowski. Born into a family of musicians, Maskakowski has performed professionally since 2009 with traditional New Orleans bands like Sidewalk Strutters as well as contemporary jazz and world music bands like Musical Playground. On her new Ropeadope CD, Art Market, Masakowski creatively combines the New Orleans classic song “Jockamo / Candy” with riffs from another classic bayou song, “Iko Iko.” Vanity Fair magazine just listed Masakowski as one of the top jazz musicians in the world. She also was named by down beat magazine in 2015 as one of the most notable new musicians emerging from the New Orleans music scene.
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, surrounded by a family of music lovers who turned her onto soul, funk, and jazz, Tiffany Austin found early inspiration to chart a course in jazz music. Her singing has been influenced by jazz titans like Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, and Betty Carter. We hear a nice vocal version of the Ornette Coleman classic “The Blessing” to which Austin added lyrics, from a new album Unbroken, produced by veteran Richard Seidel. Austin recently appeared on NPR’s show Fresh Air.
New York-based upright bass player Adi Meyerson follows with her song “Little Firefly,” where she both plays bass and sings lyrics that she penned. Her debut album is called Where We Stand. Meyerson was born in San Francisco to American parents, but moved at the age of two with her family to Jerusalem, where she grew up. After studying contrabass in Israel for many years, she moved to New York in 2012 to continue her studies with giants like Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, and Bob Cranshaw.
Another bassist, Matt Penman, was born in New Zealand and moved to New York City in 1994 to attend the Berklee College of Music. He has worked with Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and many others who make up the crème de la crème of jazz on the Big Apple jazz scene.
We wrap it up with a gentle song from French-born guitarist Jean Chaumont, featuring vocals from veteran singer Tierney Sutton. Proceeds from the sale of his new album The Beauty of Differences will benefit the non-profit Villages in Partnership organization dedicated to providing clean and accessible water to the people of Malawi’s Sakata region in Southeastern Africa.
Here’s a bit more info about Sasha Masakowski’s new project, Art Market:
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 5/24/18
- Diana Purim & Eyedentity / “Tombo in 7 / 4” / Many Bodies One Mind / Eyedentitymusic
- Duduka Da Fonseca Trio / “Antes da chuva” / Plays Dom Salvador / Sunnyside
- Sean Khan and Hermeto Pascoal/ “Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser” (feat. Sabrina Malheiros) / Palmares Fantasy / Far Out Recordings
- Fatoumata Diawara / “Kanou Dan Yen” / Fenfo / Shanachie
- Juan Andrés Ospina Big Band / “Tramontana” / Tramontana / Juan Andrés Ospina
- Sasha Masakowski / “Jockamo “Iko Iko”/Candy” / Art Market / Ropeadope
- Tiffany Austin / “The Blessing” / Unbroken / Con Alma Music
- Adi Meyerson / “Little Firefly” / Where We Stand / A:M Records
- Matt Penman / “Small Famous” / Good Question / Sunnyside
- Jean Chaumont / “Prayer for Creation” feat. Tierney Sutton / The Beauty of Differences / Misfitme Music & Re:Jazz
Banner image of Fatoumata Diawara by Aida Muluneh
(Fatoumata Diawara carousel image: Thesupermat)