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Nilson Matta Reimagines “Black Orpheus” With New Album

Like many Brazilians, bassist Nilson Matta became entranced by the music from the play Orfeu da Conceição when he was just a boy.

Nilson Matta's Black OrpheusMatta’s interest grew even deeper when the film adaptation, entitled Black Orpheus, was released. The music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and lyrics by de Moraes stuck with him all his life, and he’s now paying homage to his musical inspiration with a new album. Matta’s Black Orpheus re-imagines the songs from both the play and film.

“I had always planned on doing my own version of Black Orpheus,” Matta said. “I have been working on this project in my head for over two decades. When I teamed up with [record label] Motéma, everything began to fall into place, and our views on the project were so in sync that everything worked perfectly.”

The bassist reached out to some of the best jazz musicians and the album includes contributions from Leny Andrade, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, and Gretchen Parlato, as well as key Brazilian musicians to nail the rhythms. “In thinking about recording this music, I had to first consider the Brazilian rhythms that are so important to the movie’s Carnaval setting, “ explains Matta. “The first musicians I brought on board were the percussionists, all of who are from Brazil: Alex Kautz, Fernando Saci, Jorjão Silva, Erivelton Silva, and Reinaldo Silva. I also chose to bring on the Brazilian guitarist Guilherme Monteiro (Kurt Elling, Bebel Gilberto, Jesse Harris.)”

Black Orpheus is out now on CD and digital formats (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

Preview and download Black Orpheus:

Black Orpheus Track List:

  1. Overture
  2. Repinique Interlude
  3. Samba de Orfeu
  4. A Felicidade
  5. Cuica Interlude
  6. O Nosso Amor
  7. Manhã de Carnaval
  8. Batucada I
  9. Eu E O Meu Amor/Lamento No Morro
  10. Frevo de Orfeu
  11. Valsa de Eurídice
  12. Ascend, My Love
  13. Um Nome de Mulher
  14. Batucada II
  15. Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Você
  16. Violão Interlude
  17. Hugs And Kisses

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