Clara Moreno's new release features a stellar line-up of Brazilian musicians, including Clara's mother, the legendary Brazilian singer and songwriter Joyce, and the celebrated songwriter and guitarist Celso Fonseca.
Meu Samba Torto features two new co...more
Clara Moreno is the daughter of the famous Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist Joyce and composer Nelson Angelo. Born in Brazil in 1971 Moreno recalls her early musical experiences with great fondness: “Every night my mother would rehearse and we use to go to all her concerts - I grew up listening to music from an early age.”
Moreno’s career began soon after she learned to talk, performing backing vocals in children’s choirs for artists such as Milton Nascimento, Egberto Gismonti, Joyce, Originais do Samba and Trem da Alegria amongst others. In 1989, aged 18, Moreno went to study music in France and it was in Paris where she both recorded her first single and first performed solo. She performed regularly at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club beneath the Le Méridien Etoile hotel - one of the city’s most distinguished jazz venues. In 1991 at Paris’ Théâtre de La Ville, she appeared onstage alongside her mother. Moreno fondly remembers her time in Paris and on her new album, she pays tribute to Edith Piaf, “the French singer who thrilled me most”, with a wonderful cover of “Mon Manege A Moi”.
When she was 23, Moreno returned to Brazil in 1994 and launched straight into a music career, guesting on the track "Minha Gata Rita Lee" on Joyce’s CD Revendo Amigos. This followed guest appearances alongside other artists such as Nelson Ângelo and Robertinho Silva. Her first solo show in Brazil was in 1995 at the Au Bar in Rio in a tribute to the famous Brazilian singer Rita Lee. In 1996, Moreno opened for Paulinho Moska at the Garota de Ipanema park in Rio and recorded her eponymous debut CD.
In 1997, Moreno went to Japan where she appeared in the Gets Bossa Nova show in Tokyo, Japan. That same year she contributed a recording of "Só Danço Samba" for the tribute to Bossa Nova CD 40 Anos de Bossa Nova which solidified her standing as a Brazilian singer in her own right. Her third album Mutante was recorded in 1999, and picked up for worldwide distribution by UK based Timewarp Distribution. At this point, her name was brought to the attention of Brazilian music fans the world over.
2002 saw the release of Morena Bossa Nova – her fourth CD where she experimented with electronic music to create an album with a contemporary take on bossa nova. It was recorded while Moreno was pregnant with the child of producer Rodolfo Stroeter (the producer of Joyce’s most recent CDs Just a Little Bit Crazy and Rio Bahia). Morena Bossa Nova features the Norwegian keyboard player Bugge Weseltoff as well Teco Cardoso, Robertinho Silva & Nailor Proveta – all regular contributors to Joyce’s recent albums.
With Meu Samba Torto, Moreno felt the urge to strip things down and pay tribute to the musical heritage of the city she is from: “Bossa nova has always played a very important role in my life, and I decided to go for it with this CD and really search for the feeling of what it’s like to be a "carioca". Having listened to this music all my life I had no trouble of thinking of songs to cover and my mother Joyce, suggested some nice songs, as did Celso. I feel that the album has a 60’s bossa nova feeling, which is great, but at the same time, the music that we have done is up to date and reflects a modern view through the roots of Brazilian music.”
Meu Samba Torto features a stellar line-up of Brazilian musicians including Moreno’s mother, the legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Joyce, and the celebrated songwriter and guitarist Celso Fonseca. It’s Moreno’s most personal album yet and this is something she’s proud of: “The album has a certain level of spontaneity that I don’t think is very common these days. With the exception of the songs arranged by Joyce, the arrangements were all decided once we all arrived in the studio. Everything was recorded live and I was lucky to be blessed with the involvement of Celso Fonseca, Joyce, Tutty Moreno, Rodolfo Stroeter, Diego Figueiredo and Ricardo Mosca - all of them very creative and stylish musicians who helped create an end result of modern music yet steeped in tradition. The album was simply constructed around guitar/bass/drums and the idea was to bring a certain degree of intimacy between myself and the listener“.
Meu Samba Torto features two new compositions written especially for Moreno by Joyce (“Sabe Quem”) and Celso Fonseca (“Litorânea”). In fact with it’s "live" sound, Joyce’s influence runs through Meu Samba Torto. This was a challenge for Moreno: “I had never recorded a “live” album before yet as we began recording, I started to gain more and more self-confidence.” According to Moreno though, there are other amazing musicians besides Joyce who are influential artists on Meu Samba Torto: “João Gilberto is the greatest influence on this album - he is the main root of the cd. I have been listening to him all my life, but during the process of creating this album, I dived deeply into his mood and I recorded many of the songs using João Gilberto’s light - his inspiration was a gift to me".
Vanguard of the new bossa nova movement, Celso Fonseca plays guitar and sings on three songs on the new album, and the blend of his and Moreno’s voice create some of the albums highlights. There are interpretations of classic bossa nova tracks such as “Moça Flor”, originally recorded by the Tamba Trio, “Vem Morena Vem”, from Jorge Ben’s debut album, and “Morena Boca de Ouro”, made famous by the one and only João Gilberto.