By Ernest Barteldes
On a recent post I mentioned that many independent West Coast musicians have often reached out to me for reviews on Music Whatever. I am not sure why this is happening, but I am not one to complain, since this gives me a new path of discovery that takes me out of my New York-centric environment.
On her third EP release, Los Angeles-based Mineira singer-songwriter Fabiana Pessoni comes up with a five-track album that includes original songs mostly songs in English. All have a bossa nova feel without trying to be pretentious. Unlike most discs of the genre, the guitar is not at the forefront of the instruments – instead, the bass and percussion stand out, framing each tune to the singer’s voice.
The first that stood out for me was the Portuguese-language “Pele Ao Abraçar,” an up-tempo tune that features some great saxophone accents and solos. “Mouvance” is a more traditional bossa with a Jobim-influenced piano base (the intro is reminiscing of “Tinha Que Ser Com Voce,” recorded by Elis Regina and Jobim on the legendary Elis & Tom). Pessoni sings in English and Portuguese, giving more intensity to the vocals on the former and giving more of a bossa feel to the latter.
There is also a cover of Spandau Ballet’s 1983 hit “True,” a tune that has become bit of a staple in Brazilian oldies stations. Pessoni’s delivery does not have any of the drama from the original recording, instead giving it a more subtle direction.
It is odd that this is the first time I hear her music, considering how attuned I have always been to the work of expat Brazilian musicians (and also those in Brazil). After listening to Inner Bossa, I am sure to keep my eyes and ears opened to her work – and now I am becoming more and more convinced to personally check out the music scene in the other side of the coast.
Check her out at http://fabianapassoni.com