Andrea Motis - Do Outro Lado Do Azul
Andrea Motis - Do Outro Lado Do Azul
Veröffentlichung: 01. März 2019
If the little world of jazz wasn't exactly slow to pick up on the outstanding talent of Andrea Motis — the great Quincy Jones in person told us all about her in 2012 when she was 17 (he'd invited her on stage at the Barcelona Festival) — there's no question that the 2017 release of Emotional Dance, her first real album as a leader on the prestigious Impulse! label, suddenly took the career of this young Catalan singer-trumpeter into another dimension altogether.
A whole new audience, much larger than the "happy few" of the early days, realized how much of a phenomenon she really was: she was playing the trumpet at seven; her teacher, the bassist Joan Chamorro, spotted her in the big band at music class in Sant Andreu; and by the age of fourteen she was in the spotlight, thanks to the release of Juan Chamarro presents Andrea Motis, her first recording and a charm-filled outing complete with a freshness and musicality that were stunning. That fertile collaboration gave rise to five more albums in just a few years, among them Feeling Good (2012), and then Emotional Dance gave Andrea the opportunity to show, with great brio, a much more personal universe that formed a synthesis of her years of apprenticeship while opening up new perspectives.
Still surrounded by Joan Chamorro and the same loyal musicians — pianist Ignasi Terraza, drummer Esteve Pi, guitarist Josep Traver — Andrea Motis allowed the public a glimpse of her new face: she brought American musicians into her band (players of the calibre of Warren Wolf, Gil Goldstein, Scott Robinson or Joel Frahm), but most of all she refined and enhanced the richness of her customary repertoire of great jazz standards, adding a handful of original compositions in order to explore territory — both imaginary and everyday — that for the first time alluded directly to her Mediterranean roots.
And it is precisely that tropism that Andrea Motis pursues and cultivates today with this new Do Outro Lado Do Azul, unquestionably the most accomplished, most ambitious and personal offering of her young career. Continuing to mature outside of the path taken by traditional jazz, the young musician innovates here not only in orchestration — principally guitar-based, with Mathieu “Tétéu” Guillemant, although open to other instruments, with the clarinet (Gabriel Amargant) and violin (Christoph Mallinger) bringing new folk colours to the ensemble — but also in the material, with rhythms and scents that mark a definite break with the Great American Songbook, venturing principally into Brazil, whose music is a major reference that lends unity and consistency to the whole album.
Showing immense taste, Motis draws on the vast production of an extremely rich heritage — sublime Brazilian songs penned by such giants of the samba as Ismael Silva (Antonico), Roque Ferreira (Filho De Oxum) or Paulinho da Viola (Dança Da Sildao), plus pieces by more confidential singer-songwriters, Moacyr Luz and Luiz Tatit, even contemporary names like Rodrigo Maranhao and Roberta Sa. Motis avoids all facility — she could have gone back to the legendary bossa nova titles — in proposing a reading of this material that is all her own and reveals her deep affinity with the rhythms, language and culture of a vast continent.
Decorating her record with beautifully sensitive original compositions — Brisa, a mischievous little samba, or again Sensa Pressa, a sumptuous and lazy sun-filled ballad — in addition to a masterful new interpretation of Mediterraneo, the anthem by the great Catalan singer Joan Manuel Serrat, Andrea succeeds in making Do Outro Lado Do Azul an eminently personal opus that can be seen as an expression of authentic creative emancipation, presented here in the form of an aesthetic manifesto.
Because while Joan Chamarro and his companions once again constitute the heart of this group — they provide a certain continuity with previous recordings anchored in jazz, and at times an expression through arrangements that subliminally conjure up the jam sessions of New Orleans —, here Andrea Motis (and you can feel this constantly) asserts a new-found authority, in both her artistic choices and her own musicianship. Her singing, also, has unarguably gained in depth and emotion, and her voice, confronting Portuguese, Catalan and Spanish lyrics, preserves all the youthful freshness and spontaneity of her phrasing while losing none of the extremely precise rhythms.
Motis, whether playing trumpet, bugle, or the soprano saxophone for two titles, makes an immense impression here thanks to her innate sense of melody and the sparing use of her minimalistic, subtly effortless style. Do Outro Lado Do Azul marks a turning point: the emerging young prodigy has definitively given way to great artist…