For many years I have been fascinated by Brazilian music, and more specifically by Bossa nova and samba. Antonio Carlos Jobim is among my absolute favorites in this regard. The American singer Anne Walsh from Long Beach, California has now released a tribute to another icon from that genre, Astrud Gilberto.

The roots of this project are on Anne Walsh's previous album, "Brand New," from 2016. On it, Anne wrote a biographical text about Astrud Gilberto's wordless scat on 'Nao Bate O Coracao' and titled it 'The Writing's on the Wall'. She also did the same with Gilberto's scat on "Beach Samba," which led to the recording of an entire album dedicated to her, in a production by Grammy Award nominated arranger Tom Zink.

"Looking over Astrud's life and career in researching that song ('Nao Bate O Coracao') was the beginning of a deeper dive into the songs that inspired this collection. I've always found a kindred spirit in the vocal approach that Astrud took. Her light, straight tone is what really makes the music she sang shine. There is little doubt that Astrud's approach set the stylistic vibe for the bossa nova movement of the 1960s." said Anne. Along with Zink, she said Gilberto acted as a kind of poster child for innocence and the untouched musical beauty that summed up the early bossa nova movement.

This album contains well-known as well as lesser-known of her songs, and the 11 tracks are sometimes sung in English and sometimes in Portuguese. "Learning the Portuguese lyrics is so important to understanding how the music should swing. In Brazil, you can find yourself listening to a conversation and faintly hear the cadences of the various percussion instruments. That is such a huge part of getting the music under your skin as a singer; really internalizing the percussive feel of the language. I sing most of 'The Girl From Ipanema' in Portuguese because it's impossible to get that same rhythmic feel from the English lyrics." she added.

Anne is joined by Zink on piano, Mitchell Long (guitar, cavaquinho), Kevin Winard (drums, percussion), Chris Wabich (drums), Mike Vacarro (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet), Gary Meek (flute), Tony Guerrero (trumpet, stirrup), Andy Martin (trombone), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Tom Lea (viola) and Irina Chirkova (cello).

'On My Mind' is the opener, once co-composed by the famous Eumir Deodato, followed by the hip-swaying, poppy song 'Call Me. 'Crickets Sing for Anamaria' is a bossa nova song by Marcos Valle, followed by '(Take Me to) Aruanda'. Jobim's 'Dindi' is the next track, and his trademark 'The Girl From Ipanema' could not be missed of course.

Then we head to the beach to the tones of the tasty 'Beach Samba', followed by 'Canto de Ossanha' by Baden Powell & Vincius de Moraes. Jobim returns with the tranquil and atmospheric 'Fotografia', after which the uplifting 'VocÚ E Eu' blares from the speakers.

Anne closes with a track from the Great American Songbook, namely 'Once Upon a Summertime' by Michel LeGrand & Johnny Mercer, albeit in a light bossa nova sauce. Zink & Anne wanted to retain the sunny innocence of the original, but transform it into a contemporary sound. And they succeeded wonderfully well!

A silky voice in the midst of talented musicians that does full justice to this Brazilian jazz!



Anne Walsh


1. On My Mind
2. Call Me
3. Crickets Sing for Anamaria
4. Aruanda
5. Dindi
6. The Girl From Ipanema
7. Beach Samba
8. Canto de Ossanha
9. Fotographia
10. Voce ╔ Eu
11. Once Upon a Summertime