Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jazz Vocals: Joyce Moreno (aka Joyce)

Joyce (vocals, guitar; b. 1948)

Joyce Moreno hails from Rio de Janeiro and has been performing since the early 60s with at least 25 albums to her credit. She has preformed with such greats as Nana Vasconcelos (percussion), Mulgrew Miller (piano), Joe Lovano (sax) among others.

Originally her bossa nova sound could be coupled with that of fellow Brazilian, Astrud Gilberto but in the last 10-15 years she has transformed her mixture of folk and jazz with that of the mid tempo beats of the British Acid Jazz scene and catapulted herself to wider international acclaim. This transformation is in part due to recent collaborations with Norwegian pianist, Bugge Wesseltoft and husband/drummer, Tutty Moreno whom continue to add an element of inventiveness to each session. Joyce's lyrical style is reminiscent of Elle Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day or even a young Joni Mitchell.

Her recent recordings for Far Out Recordings are definitely the place to start. I would especially recommend Just A Little Bit Crazy (Far Out Recordings, 2003) because of the contributions of both Wesseltoft and Moreno. If you can find the mid '90s album The Essential Joyce 1970 - 1996 (Mr. Bongo), this is a great compilation that does fill the gap from the '70s to the '90s.

Sultry, power, evocative and always enchanting, Joyce continues to capture the ears of new fans with every album. If you are lover of Brazilian music and enjoy a great hybrid of bossa and lush European grooves, due yourself a favour and check out the one of the greatest underrated singers in jazz--Joyce.

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