Friday, April 09, 2010

Tamara Maria: Dutch Lady of Bossa Nova

Tamara Maria: Zwoele Zomerse Muziek ( Nederlands) Tamara Maria: Dutch Lady of Bossa Nova ( English)

Hot tropical sounds!
Hans Koert

As a kid she listened to Nat King Cole's music in her father's record collection and she loved to listen to the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie. She became fascinated by the Bossa-Nova music when whe first heard the famous tune Desafinado played by João Gilberto and Stan Getz.

Tamara Maria released a few years ago her first album simple entitled Tamara Maria ( PRCD 200778 ) dedicated to the Brazilian musical legacy - an album which surprised me, not only because the pleasant warm and professional voice of Tamara Maria but also because of the arrangements and accompanists. It's her first album released under her own name, but she is to be heard on numerous previous albums by bands like Combo Moderna, La Luna Azura, Solo Moderna and Jazz Juice.

Tamara Maria's debut album.

As a kid Tamara Maria, her Christian names became her artist name, dreamed to become a dancer like her mother. Her first appearance was as a 4-years old child and later she became a solo-dancer at several dance ensembles. But in fact she loved to sing and of course she loved to share her fascination for the Brazilian music. After she finished the Conservatorium, she studied at the famous Centro Musical Adolfo in Rio de Janeiro.

Her first album contains, of course, standards like Bim Bom composed by João Gilberto, Jobim's Garota de Ipanema, better known as The Girl from Ipanema and the rather unknown tune Gingele composed and recorded by Astrud Gilberto in 1972. The tune, which made it all happen, Desafinado, is also to be found on her debut album, arranged by Maarten Van Der Grinten who plays the guitar. Maarten van der Grinten has accompanied more Dutch vocalists in the past like Greetje Kauffeld, Laura Fygi, Matilde Santing, Francien van Tuinen and Fay Claassen, but is also a sought after soloist in bands like Dig'n Diz; personally I like his duets with colleague Jesse Van Ruller.
Cor Bakker, known piano player to the general public, thanks to his performances in the prime time Dutch TV shows of show master Paul De Leeuw, met her in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and invited her in his TV-program “Cor Op Reis”. He accompanied her in four tracks, including a great duet with Tamara Maria, titled Comecar de Novo ( = a new beginning), dedicated to Louis (Wiet) Poetiray, a Dutch musician, active in the so-called Indo-Rock scene, who passed away in September 2007 during the preparations for the album. De Wiet has played an important role in her life and that's why she dedicated this reord to him ..... Next fragment gives a good idea how Tamara Maria sounds on this record. She sings Madalena, accompanied by Frans Van Keep. On the record Maarten van der Grinten plays the guitar. Enjoy these tropical sounds

The Bossa Nova became popular in the 1960s thanks to musicians like João and Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. In fact the Bossa Nova, a mix of Brazilian music and jazz, was first created with the tune Chega de Saudade ( also known by its English title No More Blues), recorded by Elizete Moreira Cardoso, the famous Brazilian singer and actress, discovered in the 1930s by Jacob do Bandolim, icon of Choro music. I wrote about that in a contribution about Eliane Elias, who dedicated a few years ago an album to the Bossa Nova and its 50th birthday.
Tamara Maria

A lot of people like this style of music, especially to relax, but Tamara Maria didn't make a traditional album copying the great standards from the 1960s, but invited young jazz musicians who gave some tunes a rather modern groovy base, with funky bass lines and rhythm patterns. On several tracks, like Jobim's Fotografia and Garota de Ipanema, Madalena, Pela Praia ( a Tamara Maria composition) and A Rã, she is accompanied by Alain Eskinasi, who made the arrangements and used electronic percussion instruments and bass synthesizer. I was fascinated to hear these 1960s Bossa Novas in new arrangements - I'm sure these tracks make it to a must have for a lot of (young) people, who won't be identified and labelled as "jazz-fans". On one tracks, a double tune, Detour to Soho, written by Maarten Van Der Grinten and Samba do Soho, Tamara Maria is joined by the Dutch leading "crooner" Wouter Hamel - one of the most popular young jazz vocalists in the Netherlands now a days. She told me that she has plans to sing Choro in the period to come: a great idea for a new album I hope! I'm convinced that this debut album by Tamara Maria will please a lot of serious music lovers - an album that should be in your record collection.

The record Tamara Maria is to obtain at her website.

Hans Koert

Tamara Maria, whose roots are in Indonesia, Holland, the Molucca Islands and Portugal, released a great debut album dedicated to the Brazilian music - the Bossa Nova, born 50 years ago as a mix of Brazilian music and jazz elements. She didn't copy the old standards, but gave it her own modern fresh rhythmic groove .... The Keep Swinging blog loves to inform you about that. Don't miss it.


The Keep Swinging blog reached a milestone. Started as a daily publication, 15 month ago, it is now published twice a week in Dutch and English. In 2006 a thousand visitors each week opened the blog: now more then 10,000 people world wide visit it and this number is still growing. I learned that most of the visitors like the mix of old / traditional and young / modern jazz and jazz-related subjects. Once a week a news letter is publish for those who love to be informed what blogs have been posted. Thanks for all your nice words and commends. Up to the 1500th blog !!

Hans Koert

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