The popularity of world music in the USA has a long history, and tends to run in cycles. There was a period in the early 20th Century when jazz musicians came to adopt Latin rhythms. And there were occasional musical forays into styles from seemingly exotic places, sometimes because of movies that were set in such locations, or sometimes because of something just happening to catch on. Latin American and Cuban music had a wave of popularity in the 1950s with the mambo. The Girl from Ipanema started a whole wave of Brazilian bossa nova and samba music finding audiences in the US, and were adopted by a lot of jazz musicians. And since then, there has been a steady stream of world music reaching American audiences, and indeed the world music category has been rather firmly established in the Grammy Awards. With the globalization of communication, there has been a real proliferation of cross-cultural mixtures, some with fascinating results.
Here we have another interesting and enjoyable example of groove-inducing world music – “Dança do Amor” taken from the “+AMOR” album by talented jazz singer and trombonist Josiel Konrad.
Konrad’s melodic ideas are inventive and immaculately executed – his articulations are fast and definitive, his intonation assured and his tone equally capable of a burnished glow and a flashy brilliance. Josiel could light up a room with a percussive, brassy edge whenever he chooses, yet he always stays within his limits, managing to blend beautifully with the rest of the band.
“Dança do Amor” (or Dance of Love) is a thorough winner because of Konrad’s superior vocal and playing performance. It’s a thing of inexhaustible melodic beauty, the epitome of rhythmic bliss at the behest of pure emotive soul and groove. Josiel belongs in the select circle who make the trombone sound fluid and inviting rather than awkward.
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and this song tells us why. Combining a fluent technique shaped, his own deep melodicism, a knowledge of music arrangement and an embrace of harmonic initiatives, Konrad fashions an enduring Música Popular Brasileira jewel. He is assisted by a superb band, and stunning duet partner Nina Miranda in the remix version.
“Dança do Amor” is a frivolous theme, sure to engender a smile from just about anyone who hears it. Intricate under the surface; a total of suave vocals, languorous jazzy keys, interspersed with clever, ascending and descending trombone lines. Josiel Konrad is a relatively outgoing player and performer who delights in edgy little bursts of pleasure as he sings and plays.
Listening to this single, and the entire length of the album “+AMOR”, in particular, Konrad swings with energy and integrity while his horn has the most natural tone without sounding smoothed over or softened to compensate for the kind of edge that digital sources can bring. Just brilliant, a complete home run.
The album “+AMOR” is tied together by a common theme which is described as “bringing together 7 types of love – Love Eros, Love Mania, Love Philia, Love Ludus, Love Agape, Love Pragma, and Love Philautia.”
All throughout Josiel Konrad’s vocals are soft and airy, with an almost folk-music gentleness bathed in a slinky mixture of Brazilian swing and contemporary jazz that stays light enough not to overwhelm Josiel’s voice, but also makes the trickiest harmonies sound easy. Overall Konrad’s singing affect is cool; his instrumental talent is smart and his music if hiply killing.
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