Paulinho Garcia – guitar, vocals; Heitor Garcia – percussion; Geraldo de Oliveira – percussion; Brett Benteler – double bass; Grazyna Auguscik – vocals; Steve Eisen – saxophone, flute; Julie Koidin – flute; Michael Allemana – electric guitar; Ernie Denov – electric guitar; Don Stiernberg – mandolin.
Recorded 11/9, 11/12 and 11/18/2008.
Produced and engineered by Nick Eipers.
“Singer-guitarist Garcia always caresses the ear, but this disc offers an impressive collection of original compositions steeped in Brazilian musical culture. Each is a revelation.”
- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“‘My Very Life’ is a stunning, beautiful jazz journey through the sounds of Brazil, featuring the original compositions of Paulinho Garcia, and his memorable performances. This collection of songs will delight the fans of Paulinho Garcia, and those who love the jazz sounds of fine Brazilian music... his music is among the finest available in contemporary jazz music... His stylings are highly original and unique.”
- Lee Prosser, JazzReview.com
“Singer, composer and guitarist Paulinho Garcia’s latest release, ‘My Very Life’, offers a tour of Brazilian musical styles… the musicality and creativity of Paulinho Garcia is on full display. Whether delivering a gentle melody or scatting a notey solo, gently comping or energetically improvising on the acoustic guitar, Garcia provides constant evidence of his mastery of the art of the Brazilian song. Endlessly inventive with styles, Garcia is an innovative composer with a firmly rooted tradition.”
- David Miele, Jazz Improv NY Magazine
“With over a dozen albums released in the U.S., ‘My Very Life’ marks a new beginning for Paulinho. The album is his first CD with all original songs. ‘My Very Life’ is a Brazilian musical map done with style and meticulous care… courageously diverse and yet very homogeneous when it comes to its classy performances… Together the ensemble carries on Paulinho’s musical vision with impeccable finesse… an excellent and original album.”
- Egídio Leitão, Música Brasileira
“Garcia's singing and guitar work on the album is exceptional. Drawing from his Brazilian background, he is able to weave in and out of different grooves with the greatest of ease… His solo on “Cintura Fina” bridges the gap between the soft timbres of the human voice and the acrobatic melodic lines of a saxophone, providing the perfect link between the opening and closing melodic sections of the tune. While Garcia is the leader of this recording the band he has chosen is made up of highly-gifted musicians that bring with them a wealth of experience… My Very Life is an exceptional album written and performed by exceptional musicians.”
- Matthew Warnock, AllAboutJazz.com
“… the strongest recording Garcia has delivered to date… because of the textures and excitement a bigger band can provide, especially one that’s this sparkling… this recording stands out for the quality and versatility of the songs, the excellence of their production, and the honest emotionality of Garcia’s singing, which is tender and passionate without ever being soppy.”
- Dr. Judith Schlesinger, AllAboutJazz.com
“…a beguiling eduction. Garcia and Auguscik have seductive, quiet vocal styles, and the leader’s acoustic guitar is caressing… Eisen’s saxophone work is seductive, with the peaceful charm that Getz brought to the form in its first American recordings. The veteran Chicagoan mandolinist Steirnberg adds much to the overall sound. This CD offers varied, entertaining music.”
- Michael Steinman, Cadence Magazine
“He intelligently taps into the heart of each style, crafting structures that reflect the distinct characteristics of the musical setting while holding onto his artistic personality... His vocals soar with beauty, bounce with rhythmic momentum, and hold an authentic authority over the music… his presence overflows with a natural connection to Brazilian music that grabs your attention and won’t let go.”
-Chip Boaz, Latin Jazz Corner
“…a rich resonant voice, as well as an encyclopedic mastery of Brazilian styles on the guitar… this truly is a presentation of Garcia’s musical life – and one in which the listener feels honored to be invited to visit.”
-Brad Walseth, JazzChicago.net
“Brazilian guitarist-vocalist Paulinho Garcia showcases some of the lesser-known rhythms of his native country on this appealing disc.”
- Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine
“Most of his projects over the years have revolved around bossa nova, but his new album, ‘My Very Life’, shows off his knowledge of and facility with many other styles from his homeland, from choro to baiao… the 11 original tunes provide lovely testimony to his sensitivity and depth of understanding.”
- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
“...suave, arresting and completely guileless... Excellent delivery of an addictive style of music.”
- George W. Harris, JazzWeekly.com
“Alone with his guitar, his voice conjures a romantic figure balancing serenity and saudade (the Brazilian word for “that happy sadness” which has no easy equivalency in English) – a soundtrack for the famous Picasso portrait “The Old Guitarist.” And working with a broad range of Chicago musicians – reflecting relationships forged over 30 years in America – Paulinho’s voice becomes the sunlit jewel at the center of the various small ensembles heard here… The real surprise of this album lies in the fact that so fine a modern exponent of bossa nova as Paulinho Garcia emerges as so effective an interpreter, and so accomplished a composer, of the bossa’s many cousins.”
- Neil Tesser (from the liner notes)
Born in Belo Horizonte, Paulinho composed, arranged, produced, and performed in Brazil until his arrival in the U.S. in 1979, where he joined and made two recordings with the band Made in Brazil. In 1991, he founded his own band, Jazzmineiro, whose eponymous 1996 CD received excellent reviews in the Chicago Tribune, Jazziz Magazine, the Brazilian Music Review and many others. Paulinho was the recipient of the 2001 Best Jazz Entertainer Award at the Chicago Music Awards. He tours the world extensively and has a musical partnership with some of Chicago's best musicians including saxophonist Greg Fishman (Two for Brazil), flutist Julie Koidin (Dois no Choro) and singer Grazyna Auguscik.
Paulinho has performed at some of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world such as The North Sea Jazz Festival of Nederland, Singapore Jazz Festival, the Elite and Concord Fazz Festivals of Japan, and the Jazz nadOdra Festival of Poland. His appearance on July 24, 2008 at Millennium Park in Chicago drew 11,000 people, the largest audience for a jazz concert at that venue. With 15 CDs of his own recorded, and extensive participation in other musicians’ projects, Paulinho has established himself as a master of Brazilian jazz.