Album Review

Laura Dreyer: Vida. Arte. Amor.

By , Reviews Editor | The Jazz Line

Mayimba Jazz (2014)

Our Rating: The Jazz Line Rating – 4 Stars 4 Stars

Available From: Amazon MP3 | iTunes
Key Personnel: Laura Dreyer (saxes, flutes), Itamar Assiere (piano); Davy Mooney & Bernardo Bososio (guitar), Jefferson Lescowich (bass), Marcio Amaro (drums), Mila Schiavo (percussion), Aldivas Ayres (trombone), Debora Watts, Karen Rodriguez, & Teri Koide (vocals).

The mutual chemistry between Brazilian music and jazz goes back many years, and one its most popular genres is bossa nova; which is a fusion of samba and jazz. For decades jazz artists have fused these genres together to create strong, invigorating music, and  saxophonist Laura Dreyer, has continued the path started by Bossa nova greats Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim by incorporating Brazilian rhythms in her music.

Dreyer, a native of San Francisco, has been making a name for herself on the New York jazz scene for quite a while, and as a founding member and arranger for the all female big-band DIVA, she has worked with Dave Brubeck, Rosemary Clooney, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry and Brazilian pianist Dom Salvador, among others. In addition to recording and performing with top name musicians, she is also an educator and is currently on the faculty of Church St. School for Music and Art in Tribeca, where she teaches piano and woodwinds.

On her new recording, Vida. Arte. Amor, she truly captures the essence of authentic Brazilian music styles such as samba, bossa nova, maracatu, baião, samba-funk, and boleros, fusing them with a smooth jazz touch.  Released September 23 on Mayimba Music, the album features Dreyer on sax and flute,  Itamar Assiere on piano, Jefferson Lescowich on bass, Mila Schiavo on percussion and Karen Rodriguez on vocals.

To truly encapsulate her experience with Brazilian culture, Dreyer recorded the album in Rio de Janeiro’s historic neighborhood of Santa Teresa with engineer Carlos Fuchs. Vida. Arte. Amor, which translates to “life, art, love,” is compiled with original compositions written by Dreyer, some of which are up-beat, dance tunes such as the saxophone, trombone led tune “Caminhos Novos” or the funk-driven “Beijo de Sol” which features a great sax solo by Dreyer.

There are also some standards, like Dreyer’s soft, elegant rendition “Beauty & The Beast.” Dreyer also showcases her multi-instrumental skills on “Spring Street” by taking the lead on the flute.

Vida. Arte. Amor is a refreshing addition to the Brazilian-jazz legacy and Dreyer fully accomplishes her goal of fusing authentic Latin melodies with jazz.

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