Title - Clarão
Artist - Kristen Mather de Andrade
How the principal clarinetist and soloist from West Point’s Army Special Band decided to make her debut recording an authentic Brazilian album on which she plays and sings in Portuguese in jazz big band settings is a story centered on love more than a decade in the making.
There is also an Olympic connection to the release of Kristen Mather de Andrade’s global music offering Clarão, which drops July 23rd, 2021, the same day as the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics.
Mather de Andrade was enamored by Brazilian music at a young age, and her affinity rose to the next level when she met and married a Brazilian man in 2011.
Desiring to immerse herself in the culture, the classically trained clarinetist and saxophonist began learning songs in Portuguese in order to learn the language.
She started playing choros, classic instrumental Brazilian pop music dating back a century ago, finding that the style suits the clarinet. To celebrate the 2016 Rio Olympic athletes, Mather de Andrade performed a handful of tunes live on the West Point Band Facebook page.
The enthusiastic response even garnered coverage from the Brazilian media. The seeds were planted and teaming with producer Sergio Krakowski the passion project blossomed into Clarão - which means flash of light.
1. Um Chorinho Diferente
2. Côco Tara Tá Tá
3. Guelê Guelê
4. Chorinho Pra Ele
5. Doce Melodia
9. Santo Forte
10. Clarinete Gostoso
Opening on the simply gorgeous, vibrantly airy Um Chorinho Diferente and the slightly more forthright Côco Tara Tá Tá, they are in turn backed by the gentle acoustic guitar work within Guelê Guelê, the smoothly orchestrated ambiance of Chorinho Pra Ele and then we get the late night, tender dancefloor swirl of Doce Melodia.
Next up is the Accordion and Bass-led wonderment of Sagrado and the rousing, climbing ebb and flow of the ballad Bendito, which are in turn followed by fun and perky Modulando, the album rounding out on the beautiful ballad Santo Forte, closing on the cheerfully sanguine Clarinete Gostoso.
Preceding the album release, an animated video for the song Guelê Guelê created by the record’s bassist, Belo, will be released on June 25th.
The tune is one of the originals composed by Ferriera. Mather de Andrade said, Roque Ferreira is a major composer from the North East of Brazil in the style of Bahian Samba. His style is very evocative and creates vivid imagery, which lent itself to an animated video treatment.
Guelê Guelê by Roque Ferreira | Kristen Mather de Andrade | Animations by Eduardo Belo
The recording process began two summers ago with Mather de Andrade recording live with the horns and rhythm section. She recorded her vocals just prior to the coronavirus quarantine, which delayed the project’s completion and forced some additional accordion and pandeiro tracks to be added remotely. Mather de Andrade describes Clarão as a multicultural offering.
What I like about the album is the uniquely New York experience: the horns are all American, the rhythm section is all Brazilian, and the arrangers are American and Brazilian. We had a French guitarist - the studio owner was Italian - there were a ton of languages flying around the sessions.
It was a great combination of talents to create a sound that I have come away thinking is just as much New York as it is Brazilian, said Mather de Andrade of the global music record quilted together from swatches of Brazilian music, jazz and classical.
Official Purchase Link
Kristen Mather de Andrade @ Facebook
Kristen Mather de Andrade @ Instagram
Kristen Mather de Andrade @ YouTube
Kristen Mather de Andrade @ SoundCloud