L.A. JAZZ SCENE Review April 2008
WAXING POETIC REVIEWS by Jim Santella
Irene and Her Latin Jazz Band interpret 14 familiar songs though this project, capturing the essence of Rio de Janeiro in happy times. Their's is a lightweight treatment that lets singer and band stroll effortlessly around seasonal flower beds and through leisure-time celebrations. When it's summer in Rio, a part of the world is freezing; however, Irene ensures that tensions relax and attitudes lighten up.
She interprets "Summer Samba" with Scott Martin, on tenor oozing honey from the horn, while she stays the course. Irene prefers the straight and narrow; her interpretations follow what we remember from these classic songs. "Besame Mucho" comes with Spanish lyrics that color passionately while guitarist Marco Tulio decorates the room. For the most part, Irene keeps her guitarist, pianist, double bassist (actually electric bass), drummer and conguero by her side in complete agreement. Together, they fashion a session of treasured memories.
"One Note Samba" features Martin's flute in a light parade, while "Samba Saravah" pairs his flute with Alex Varden's keyboards in a light fantasy which serves as the session's high point. Here, Irene sings in Portuguese (actually it's French) and adds wordless portions that place a spell on you. "Little Boat" features flutist Brice Martin in an easy-going affair that sizzles. Additional songs, such as "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance" allow Irene more room to place these treasured memories on a Brazilian pedestal for all to enjoy.
"Summer Samba" review by George Harris
All About Jazz - Los Angeles/San Francisco/Chicago Edition
December 2007/Vol. 5 No. 11
If your idea of heaven is Brazilian music of he bossa nova vein, you've just passed through Saint Peter's gates with Summer Samba. Sweet-voiced Irene Nachreiner sways through a cornucopia of '60s samba with a slick, light and glossy band.
Songs like Jobim's "One Note Samba" and "Waters of March" evoke images of Brazil, with Irene's infectious pop treatment of these tunes from the great South American songbook. Songs that we've grown accustomed to that have even a hint of samba flavor like "Whatever Lola Wants" are treated with a twinkle in the eye with the extra groove kicking in.
What catches ones ear with a raised eyebrow are her wonderful Brazilian additions to songs like "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance."
Just as Count Basie and Benny Goodman could swing anything that would come their way, Irene transforms these Tin Pan Alley tunes into snappy and infectious salsas.
Cheerful, bright and optimistic, Irene can't help but cheer you up if you're down in the dumps or feeling the blues. Summer Samba is a great recording to start and if you've ever wondered what drove the music world mad in the '60s besides the Beatles pick up a copy of your own for a taste of summer in the winter.
REVIEW FROM Borderland, UK
Irene & Her Latin Jazz Band - Summer Samba [VRC 8201]
There are few review CDs that I receive which are so good that I play them twice in a row - but this is most definitely one of them. With winter looming here over the UK and only long gloomy days ahead to look forward to, the dazzling sunshine of this album of sambas and Latin jazz
is a most welcome attraction.
Irene Nachreiner is an established jazz singer who has been drawn to Latin music in recent years and this, her debut album, is the result of meeting a small group of musicians from Brazil and Argentina who also match her enthusiasm for the samba. Think the classic Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz recordings, but sung much more warmly and with great humour.
The fourteen tracks mix original sambas along with 'Great American Songbook' tunes such as My Heart Belongs To Daddy, Let's Face The Music And Dance and Whatever Lola Wants, all given the samba treatment.
Irene's vocals dance over the Latin rhythms, adding a warm sensuality that draws the listener in, inviting them onto that golden beach and relaxing with long cold drinks. If there was ever an album full of good vibes then this is it, great for parties and for relaxing to. Easily one of my albums of the year and a winter warmer!
SMOOTH JAZZ BLOG http://smooth-jazz.de/WordPress/
Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band - Summer Samba
November 9th, 2007 by hbh
Summer Samba Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band are the perfect combination of modern smooth jazz and traditional Latin music. On their debut album, Summer Samba Irene sings most of the material in English, but also one tune each in Spanish, Portuguese and French. Irene is a Los Angeles native, but the core members of her band are from Brazil and Argentina - bassist Daniel Groisman, acoustic guitarist Marco Tulio and percussionist Cristiano Novelli (plus a few special guests appear on piano, saxophone and flute).
Irene chose some of her favorite Latin tunes that she has heard over the years, and then did extensive research to not only get accurate lyrics, but occasionally uncover seldom-sung verses that are virtually unknown today. She chose three compositions by the Brazilian legend Antonio Carlos Jobim, music penned by Sergio Mendes (an early influence) and numbers written by Latin masters such as Roberto Menescal and Pablo Beltran Ruiz. Irene also has the ability to shape jazz and pop standards into Latin showcases as she demonstrates with a Cole Porter composition (My Heart Belongs to Daddy), an Irving Berlin number (Let’s Face the Music and Dance), and a humorous film tune (Whatever Lola Wants). In addition, she shows how she can take a Latin standard (Besame Mucho) and bring new warmth and feeling to it.
This is what people are saying about this CD on My Space:
Your CD is a masterpiece. - Mauro, Italy
Can I just say, hot stuff! I love it. Being a latin musician myself, I know good latin music when I hear it.
you're awesome. - Adrian, New York
As I'm typing this I'm listening to the CD. The only word I have to describe it is AWESOME!! Thank You so very much for sending it. Keep up the GREAT work. - Ron, Ohio
THANK YOU!!!! I got your CD today and I'm listening to it right now!! I L0VE IT and I LOVE YOU... I really love the cover photo, you look Fabulous!!! Muah!!! - Joey, New York
WOW!! I GOT YOUR CD TODAY!!! IT'S ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!! I LOVE IT!!! Magnificant!! Very mellow and I just listen to it over and over and over again. I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you very very much!!! You are a star!!! - Luke, Florida
IRENE...THE QUEEN OF SAMBA!!!!!!!!!
the cd rocks gal...knew it would. wanna know something funny? we had 3 different generations on my boat, we all loved it!!!one of the people is bringin one back to their town, and wants to let a guy hear it, that works at their radio station..for that town...i'll keep ya posted. thank you gal....you are the epitomy of the word, entertainer!!!!!!!!! - Jay, British Columbia
I love the CD. Every song on there is great. Keep the music coming...Luv you, Joe, New York
eJAZZ NEWS AND REVIEWS:
5 STARS *****
John Gilbert, reviewer
This is Latin music to sooth your soul played by the best band around. Have a listen and be transported to a land of balmy breezes and moonlit nights.
Irene is a fast rising jazz singing star, now with her own band. Her abilities as a singer were first recognized and rewarded in October of 2003 when she performed in a guest talent show at the Club Med in Bora Bora and was offered a three week gig on the spot singing at the resort. She accepted the challenge and has been returning there to sing several times a year ever since.
She was born to a musical family and was on her first stages by age three. A lifetime of music study, classical piano, Drama (B.A. cum laude at UC Irvine), voice and acting have helped form her style and ease in front of an audience and microphone. Irene sings in English, French, Spanish and Portugese. She was chosen as a “Fabulous Find” by the listeners at radio station KLAC 690 in Los Angeles. Irene is joined by a group of top notch musicians on this release.
Scott Martin (saxophone and flute) has performed all over the world with many artists but is best known for his successful tenure with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band for over thirteen years, winning a Grammy with the band. He is a well rounded versatile performer and had played with artist such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Francisco Aguabella, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, and Eddie Palmierei to name a few.
Marco Túlio (acoustic guitar) was the 1997 “Virtuosi Award” from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil. As a member of the band Klezmer Juice he recorded a song for the soundtrack of the hit film “The Wedding Crashers” starring Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn. Of Marco, Flora Purim the legendary Brazilian Jazz singer said, “Marco Túlio is one of the most promising musicians of the new generation of Brazilians that landed in the U.S. recently. His music is precise and gentle, and at the same time it commands attention and imagination.”
Cristiano Novelli (percussion) is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has toured throughout Europe, Brazil, the U.S. and the Caribbean. He performed at the 6th Annual Latin Grammy Awards with Diego Torres, Olga Tañon and Alexandre Pires. He has also appeared with Milton Nascimento, the great Antonio Adolfo, Kiko Furtado, Katia Moraes, Dominican singer Anais, Mexican singer Jimena and many others.
Daniel Groisman (bass) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An accomplished bass player he has worked in both recording studios and live performances with a variety of arits, bands, television shows and stage productions. He has performed with artists such as Apllonia, Enrique Iglesias, Alejandro Sanz, and Joan Sebastian.
Alex Varden (keyboards) is a native of Latvia (USSR) and since the age of four has had his musical talent honed throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S. He worked as a musical director at the State University of Latvia. In the U.S. since 1982 he is not only an accomplished musician but has composed and arranged music for commercials, videos and musicals.
Brice Martin (flute) is an active Los Angeles studio musician and plays for film, TV and commercials soundtracks. He has worked with John Tesh, David Benoit, and played “Picard’s Flute Theme” for the Star Trek series. He is a graduate of the Julliard School and U.S.C.
Ron Snyder (piano) is an award winning accompanist and musical director. He is well known is the jazz and cabaret world and performs regularly at The Vermont, The Gardenia, Catalina Bar & Grill, Vibrato and other jazz clubs in Los Angeles and around the world. Ron has been the musical director for Rain Pryor, Rita McKenzie, Jim Bailey and has won two LA Weekly awards for Musical Director of the Year and Musical of the Year.
This is what John Gilbert of eJazzReviews had to say about this album:
Irene Nachreiner has recently returned form a long tour of Club Med resorts to record this...album.
Nachreiner has an educated vocal style with clear articulation and a proper interpretation of Latin jazz.
Always an intriguing song, "Whatever Lola Wants" is given the smoky ambiance it so richly deserves.
" My Heart Belongs To Daddy" is a perfect fit for Irene Nachreiner as she parlays this tune to new heights. A nice arrangement adds much to the overall effect.
There are 14 tunes on this recording and each has been selected with care and performed with style and elegance.
5 STARS *****
John Gilbert - eJazzReviews.com
THE JAZZ CORNER: Chip Boaz Blog - Review of Summer Samba
Jazz vocalists stand between contrasting aesthetics when they extensively incorporate Latin Jazz into their repertoire. Latin music relies strongly upon vocalists, both in dance music and Latin jazz. These vocals are generally sung in Spanish or Portuguese, and the lyrical flow alters significantly when translated into English. Even when a composer writes an original song in English over Latin rhythms, the language’s vocal emphasis sounds slightly askew to the rhythms. In addition, the traditional vocal phrasing established by legendary jazz singers distinctly contrasts the rhythmic language of Latin music. When jazz vocalists force traditional phrasing against Latin rhythms, the result often sounds corny and cliché. When singers try to adjust their rhythmic style without knowledge of clave, the result is often simply awkward phrasing. West Coast vocalist Irene skillfully tackles these issues on her release Summer Samba, by carefully treading between Latin Jazz and vocal traditions.
Extensive use of Brazilian Rhythms
Irene’s song choice displays a distinct affinity for Brazilian rhythms and composers. Jobim’s “One Note Samba” finds a genre-blending groove with a Cuban montuno over a Samba rhythm. Irene locks into the rhythm comfortably, subtly extending notes to add color. Saxophonist Scott Martin recalls Stan Getz’s tone and phrasing on “Summer Samba (So Nice),” filling the spaces between Irene’s interpretations. Irene enthusiastically sings through Jobim’s “Waters of March,”... “Sway” leans strongly towards a lounge setting, remaining anchored in Latin Jazz largely through the band’s swinging Bossa Nova. The band continues with a strong Samba feel on “The Constant Rain (Chove Chuva),” laying the foundation for Irene’s tricky rhythmic articulation on the melody. The group’s extensive use of Bossa Nova and Samba, and Irene’s vocal approaches in those styles, establishes a major quality in the album’s overall character
Strong Vocal Jazz on Latinized Standards
Several songs reflect Irene’s strong ability to shape jazz and pop standards into Latin showcases. Irene smoothly floats the melody to Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face The Music and Dance” over a gentle Bossa Nova foundation. Her subdued vocal approach works well over this melody, inspiring several dynamic changes. Marco Tulio provides solid guitar support throughout the song, while Martin’s saxophone matches Irene’s melodic development. “Little Boat” references a smooth jazz feel at first, eventually falling into a more traditional Bossa Nova. Irene sings strong and confidently here, using a rhythmic approach and emphasizing phrases with the band. Irene presents a more commanding presence on “Pretty World,” altering the popular melody to fit firmly into the Brazilian feel. The uplifting harmony on “So Many Stars” supports Irene’s hopeful vocal sound. Pianist Ron Snyder provides a melodic improvisation before Irene walks through the melody. These songs feature Irene perfectly, bringing out the many strong points of her vocal jazz background.
Firmly Traveling Between Traditions
Despite a few dips into the treacherous raven between the vocal jazz and Latin Jazz history, Irene pays respect to both traditions with a well-constructed repertoire on Summer Samba. She maintains her personal vocal style throughout the album, presenting a musical identity strongly informed by Frank Sinatra and Diana Krall. Her song choice reveals a more conscious study of jazz standards than Latin music, but the application of flexible formats such as Bossa Nova and Bolero give her the space to phrase freely. In a sense, the use of these styles allow for the use of English throughout the album, with little rhythmic or melodic manipulation. Her band builds the bridge into the Brazilian and Cuban rhythmic traditions included on each track, providing studied, yet subdued, interpretations of each style. The combination of the Irene’s distinct vocal approach and her band’s knowledgeable support results in an enjoyable album that walks firmly between dual traditions.
This review is just in from Hungary. Good luck reading it, but they do love the CD.
Irene and Her Latin Jazz Band – Summer Samba CD
A szép és fiatal jazz énekesnő saját zenekarával készített első lemez dél-amerikai ritmusok a szamba, bossa nova és a bolero vidám keveréke. Irene zenész családból származott, és 3 éves kora óta foglalkozik énekléssel. 2003 óta énekel nyilvános fellépéseken nagy sikerrel. A lemezen ismert szerzők: Jorge Ben, Sergio Mendez, Cole Porter és Irving Berlin szerzeményei hallhatók kiváló előadásban. A zenekar tagjai kivétel nélkül ismert zenészek: Daniel Groisman (bass), Marco Tulio (guitar), Cristiano Novelli (percussion), Ron Snyder (piano), Scott Martin (saxophone and flute), Rich Wenzel (piano), Brice Martin (flute).
A lemez sikerét jellemzi, hogy az első szám a Sway, már jelölést kapott a Los Angeles Music Awards díjra, a Latin, Female Vocal kategóriában.