Monday, 10 February 2014

Review: Flora Purim - Stories To Tell

One of Flora Purim’s most famous and loved recordings, ‘Stories To Tell’ sits at the highest point of the peak of her career, containing excellent song choices, standout turns from some superb musicians, and most of all that distinctively haunting yet gorgeous voice of the singer herself.

As with her best work, husband Airto Moreira leads a group taking in legends as diverse as jazz bass stars Ron Carter and Miroslav Vitous, keyboardist George Duke, trombone man Raul De Souza, and three incredible and very different guitarists in the most welcome form of Earl Klugh, Oscar Castro-Neves and Carlos Santana.

Plowing the same uniquely heady brew as her striking debut, Purim sings beautifully in English and her native Portuguese, as well as wordlessly adding colour, and here and there putting in her woops and yelps of celebration all over the music. And what music it is too; from the sublime ballads, including one cracking Tom Jobim song, to the uptempo party of some very funky jazz.

An album that holds together with no weak moments blotting it, everyone is a standout and every track is pristine, with ‘Silver Sword’ being a particularly great moment of freaky keyboard and guitar interplay, and the closing number ‘O Cantador/I Just Want To Be Here’ offering first a strong ending song and then slowly turning into a steamily energetic free-for-all jam for Purim and her band – and it works a treat.

An album taking in and blending elements from the worlds of jazz, blues, samba, bossa, fusion and many others, it’s Flora Purim at her very, very best in her own comfortable genre of her seemingly sole creation. Alternately funky, beautiful, melodic and rhythmic, it is repeatedly euphoric and hugely memorable, with ‘Stories To Tell’ arguably being the singers greatest album, certainly sitting up there with ‘Butterfly Dreams’, her incredible and perhaps more famous debut record, and it comes with the very highest of recommendations.


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