“Sorte!” the new album by composer John Finbury and singer Thalma de Freitas is set for release May 31, 2019. The album represents a development of sorts for each of the musician’s careers.
The album is a brief one of just six songs, but the rich rhythms and delicate vocal delights will make most listeners want to keep listening for far longer.
About John Finbury and Thalma de Freitas
Finbury was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award when he was relatively new to the genre in 2016. The nomination was for Song of the Year for which his song “A Charma Verde” was among the potential winners. “A Charma Verde” is from his album “Imáginario.” The album features vocals by Marcella Carmargo and some of Boston’s finest musicians to bring the soundscape to life. Finbury employed the same ensemble to work on his follow-up album, “Pitanga,” in 2017.
Before he made his startling entry into Latin music, Finbury attended Longy School of Music and Boston University. He has been writing songs for more than 40 years.
Singer de Freitas is a popular actress and household name in her native Brazil. An award-winning actress, de Freitas has appeared in mainstream movies, television and theatre. In 1996, she became a soloist and as such has released three albums. A fourth was done with the big band Orquestra Imperial.
In addition to her work as a singer, de Freitas is also a songwriter who has collaborated with such artists as Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, João Donato, Céu, Kamasi Washington and others. Since 2012, de Freitas has been a part of the vibrant Los Angeles jazz scene, but keeps close ties with Brazil.
“Sorte!” by John Finbury and Thalma de Freitas
While at first it might seem that the lyrics of “Sorte!” would pose a language barrier to those who do not speak Portuguese, the words are translated in the recording’s liner notes. The language is only part of the richness that is found on the album. There is a feeling of sumptuous expression that permeates the work. Between the Latin rhythms and de Freitas’ voice, “Sorte!” takes on a bit of a world music feel. The music might be complex, but the ideas illustrated on each song are less complex, and executed with exuberance.
“Sorte!” is translated to “Luck!” and the lyrics are poetry. For example the first stanza is “When serendipity/ blesses the seeker/in a redeeming stroke of luck/revealing providence in its splendor.”
The stanza mixes references to the sacred and the simple and secular (“luck”). The music is a lush press of bass, organ and percussion, pulsating a bossa nova-type rhythm as de Freitas’ agile voice spins out the lyrics. “Sorte!” like the other songs on the album evinces a kind of beauty that invites repeated listens.
The album needs to be heard to be appreciated. The collaboration between de Freitas and Finbury is effective and brought to life by the players that create the soundscape.
Finbury and de Freitas are joined on “Sorte!” by Vitor Gonçalves on piano, Rhodes and accordion; Chico Pinheiro on guitar; Duduka Da Fonseca on drums; Rogerio Boccato and Airto Moreira on percussion.