A bossa renovada de Paula Morelenbaum

Um novo sopro na MPB. Quando se acreditava que nada mais seria possível criar em cima da bossa nova, surgem pequenas invenções, delicadas, divertidas, conduzidas pela voz cristalina de Paula Morelembaum, desta vez acompanhada pelo piano inventivo e minimalista de Ralf Schmid e o trompetista Joo Kraus, que surpreende não só no intimismo que injeta em seu instrumento mas também em acompanhamentos com percussão e assobio melódico.  Os três fazem uma turnée pela Alemanha, divulgando o novo álbum Samba Prelúdio.

Foto: Christian Gaul

Aqui, Samba de Verão, renovada bossa reinventada, composição original de Marcos Valle e Paulo Sérgio do Valle.



Antonio Carlos Jobim used to say that his group, Nova Banda, was made up of five beautiful girls, five handsome guys and a dirty old man. Paula Morelenbaum was one of these girls and her husband, Jaques, one of the boys. In the period 1984-1994, Paula toured around the world with Jobim – Brazil, Japan, Europe, Canada, U.S – performing at prestigious venues such as the Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, being also featured in the following albums by Jobim: Passarim, Antonio Brasileiro, Tom Jobim – Inédito and Tom canta Vinicius.

It all started four years earlier (1980) as a member of vocal ensemble Céu da Boca, whose lineup was Paula Morelenbaum, Maucha Adnet, Verônica Sabino, Marcia Ruiz, Rosa Lobo, Lidia Sacharny, Ronald Valle, Dalmo Medeiros, Chico Adnet, Paulo Malaguti and Paulo Brandão. The group released the albums Céu da Boca (1981) and Baratotal (1982), having performed extensively in Brazil for five years.

In 1989, besides touring and performing with Antonio Carlos Jobim, she is also featured as singer/actress in the musical production Lamartine para inglêz ver, directed by Antonio de Bonis, in the company of singers/actors Vera Holtz, Guida Vianna, Fábio Junqueira and Paulo Andrade.

In 1991, the Rio-born singer Paula Morelenbaum is featured in the album Amazonas / Família Jobim as a member of Nova Banda. She performs in American jazz clubs, including the famous Birdland, in NYC.

The year 1992 marked the release of her first solo album, Paula Morelenbaum (Camerati), produced by Jaques Morelenbaum, also featured as musician and arranger. Paula is accompanied by Daniel Jobim (keyboards), Felipe Poli (acoustic/electric guitars), Igor Eça (bass), Domenico Lancellotti (drums), Luiz Jakka (percussion). The album contains songs written by Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Rita Lee, Arrigo Barnabé, Paulo Jobim, José Miguel Wisnik, George Gershwin, Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, who sings and plays in one of the tracks. The album obtained the 1994 Sharp Brazilian Music Award in the category ‘Pop-Rock Revelation’.

In 1993, she is featured in Songbook Vinicius de Moraes and Songbook Dorival Caymmi, producer Almir Chediak.

In 1994, Paula Morelenbaum toured Brazil presenting a musical show titled Chica-chica-boom-chic – contemporary re-readings of Carmen Miranda’s songs in arrangements created by Paula.

In the late ’90s, she integrated the critically acclaimed Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum together with her husband Jaques, Jobim’s son, Paulo, and his son, Daniel – a vocal/instrumental chamber music quartet whose repertoire and arrangements are based on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s musical legacy.

In 1995, Paula Morelenbaum is featured in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s album Smoochy, in Almir Chediak’s Songbook Chico Buarque and in Antonio Pinto’s movie soundtrack Menino Maluquinho, director Helvécio Raton.

The year 1996 marks the birth of her daughter Dora, but Paula happily manages to combine motherly cares with artistic activities.

In 1999, the group recorded a self-titled album, Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum (Velas/Sony Music). Once again, Paula was gracing concert and festival stages in Brazil, Europe, Asia and the U.S.

In the new century, she provided the vocals for the highly acclaimed trio

Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto, teaming her and Jaques with Japanese composer/keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto. The group’s 2001 debut Casa (Kab/Warner Music Japan/Sony Classical/Universal Music) earned them plaudits from music critics throughout the world, followed by another album, Live in Tokyo 2001 (Warner Music Japan), recorded at the Akasaka Act Theater, in Japan.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, Paula e Jaques Morelenbaum.

In 2002, Paula is back in Tokyo for the concert Get’s bossa-nova that also counted with special guests Roberto Menescal, Marcos Valle, Bossacucanova, Paulinho Moska, and Leny Andrade. In this same year, she tours with Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto, promoting the critically acclaimed album Casa in Europe and in the U.S.

This was followed up in 2003 by the release of A Day in New York (Kab/Sony Classical/Universal Music/Warner Music Japan), recorded in NYC in one single day, after the trio’s first world tour. The CD earned them the 2004 Tim Brazilian Music Award in the category ‘Best Brazilian Music Group’.

The DVD 3 years (Warner Japan) 2003, illustrates the 3-year career of trio Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto with snapshots and excerpts from rehearsals, recordings, performances and casual, off-the-record moments captured around the world in studios, stages and on the road.

In the same year, Paula is featured as a special guest appearance in the albums Nossa Bossa (BMG), produced by Celso Fonseca, and Conversations (Noon Productions), recorded in Amsterdam by Dutch group Vander Feen.

In 2004, Paula Morelenbaum released her second solo album, Berimbaum, (Mirante/Universal Music/Columbia), a tribute to the ‘poet of bossa nova’, Vinicius de Moraes. Framed within a modern, electro-acoustic concept, it has garnered warm acceptance both from the public and critics. The album was produced by Paula Morelenbaum in collaboration with Antonio Pinto, Leo Gandelman, Celso Fonseca, Bossacucanova and Beto Villares. For the live performances, Paula invited musicians Dudu Trentin (keyboards/samples), Fernando Caneca (acoustic guitar) and Alex Fonseca (drums/samples). The group has toured in Brazil and in Europe reaping wide acclaim and amassing excellent reviews for the concerts and the CD (released in Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, U.S., Argentina and Chile by Universal Music, in Portugal by Farol Música, and in Japan by Columbia Japan).

Now the time is ripe for Paula to step out on her own and earn her rightful place as one of the premiere interpreters of Brazilian popular music.

The opening track, Tomara, was the main musical theme of TV Globo’s prime-time soap opera Começar de novo, aired in 2004-05.

In May 2005, Paula Morelenbaum promotes the release of Berimbaum in New York City with two concerts at Joe’s Pub that deserved an enthusiastic review penned by New York Times’ critic Jon Pareles. She also presented a concert at the New York Museum of Natural History – an homage to Brazil and to composer Antonio Carlos Jobim – produced by non-governmental organization The Nature Conservancy. In July, Paula is in Italy to promote her latest album, with performances booked in Rome and Palermo. By the end of the month, Paula is performing in a series of eight concerts at the Tokyo Blue Note, this time with Jaques Morelenbaum’s special guest. participation.

In the same year, Paula is featured as a special guest appearance in the album ‘Vagabond’ (Virgin/EMI) by George Moustaki and in Jaques Morelenbaum’s movie soundtrack ‘Paid’, director Laurence Lamers. Among her most relevant concerts we can emphasize the one produced by the fundraising organization WCF, World Childhood Foundation, in São Paulo, with the presence of Queen Silvia of Sweden that founded it.

The end of this year was crowned by another European tour where Paula could visit other cities, thus expanding the promotion of her album ‘Berimbaum’, that was released in Portugal by Farol Música, in Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, United States, Argentina and Chile by Universal Music, in Japan by Columbia Japan, and more recently in German, Austria, Scandinavian and England by Edel Records.

In 2006 her most relevant performances were at Festival de Mexico en el Centro Histórico besides her husband, the cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, featuring the Jaques & Paula Morelenbaum Quinteto; the ‘Berimbaum’ Concert, with the special guest Chico Pinheiro at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in São Paulo and at Helsinki Festival, Helsinki, Finland; and her performance in the project ‘Obra Viva – Baden Powell’ at Sesc, in São Paulo.

In the beginning of 2008, Paula finishes her new álbum ‘Telecoteco’, resulted by a profound research of her on the ‘Brazilian Popular Music’ of the 40s and 50s – the Pre-Bossa Nova period – and presents many musical styles that had a rich, talent-studded and renovating musical segment, just as Bossa-Nova itself would eventually become, like the old carnival samba, the samba songs pre-bossa-nova, then called samba-canção, including an American pop/jazz standard – other source acted in a decisive way – that have exerted wide influence in the generation of Bossa Nova musicians, re-created now within a modern concept framework integrating acoustic and electronic sounds.

For ‘Telecoteco’, Paula has assembled a stellar list of musical partners and collaborators such as Japanese composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto; Antonio Pinto, one of the most in demand soundtrack composers in Hollywood these days having recently scored the theme from “Love In Times Of Cholera” and “Central Station” between others; Beto Villares his musical partner and a superb producer as well; Leo Gandelman, Brazil’s premier saxophonist/producer; composer/arranger/producer and cello virtuoso Jaques Morelenbaum; Marcelinho Da Lua and Alexandre Moreira both from the new electronic Bossa group Bossacucanova; soundtrack maestro Gustavo Santaolalla (“Babel” between others) and his musical partner Juan Compodónico, both founding members of the electronic Tango group Bajofondo; and finally two iconic figures of Bossa Nova, pianist João Donato and composer Marcos Valle, who are two pillars in keeping Bossa-Nova so alive fresh and up to date.

The first live concerts for the cd release – that also was released in Brazil and Portugal – was in Tokyo, Japan in the Billboard Live season with her trio: Pedro Millman, acoustic piano and keyboards; Marcos Cunha, bass and acoustic guitar; Rick De La Torre, drums; and the special guest João Donato.

After these concerts, they also performed in Rio and São Paulo. The opening track, Manha de Carnaval, was part of the soundtrack of TV Globo’s prime-time soap opera Ciranda de Pedra, aired in this same year.

Also in 2008 Paula meets José Miguel Wisnik and Arthur Nestrovsky for the workshop-concert season “Vinicius: Palavra e Musica”, in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Natal (RN).

This year was the Paula’s debut like soloist in a Symphonic Orchestra. It was in Hannover, with the regency of Jaques Morelenbaum and the NDR Pops Orchestra in a concert entitled Brazil!.

The end of 2008 was crowded with a good news. The album ‘Telecoteco’ that was released in Japan, Portugal and Brazil, was considered by the O GLOBO (RJ) newspaper’s like one of the 10 best of the year.

In 2009 the album ‘Telecoteco’ is nominated for the ‘Brazilian Music Award 2009′ in the category ‘MPB – Best Album’, and also for the ‘Latin Grammy’ in the category ‘Production – Best Engineering Album’.

In parallel with this record shows, Paula continues with the workshop-concert “Vinicius: Palavra e Música” besides Zé Miguel Wisnik and Arthur Nestrovisky in a Portugal series concerts, and with her husband Jaques Morelenbaum, presents the ‘Jaques & Paula Morelenbaum Quartet’ highlighting the Festivals “Felijcja Blumental International Music Festival” in Tel Aviv, Israel, the “III Momento Bossa Jazz Corumbau”, Bahia and the concert for the IOC, International Olympic Committee, at Morro da Urca, RJ.

A year full of collaborations at diferent albums: The first, titled ‘Nego’ (Biscoito Fino), produced by Jaques Morelenbaum, Carlos Rennó and Moogie Canazio, arranged by Jaques, Paula sings the title track, ‘Nego’; the second, ‘Beatles’69 Abbey Road Revisited Vol 3’ (Microservice), produced by Marcelo Froes she sings along to João Donato the track ‘Mean Mr. Mustard’, the third cd, ‘L’amore che vienne’ (Egea) by the Italian singer / songwriter Andrea Sisti, where she shares with him the title track ‘L’amore che vienne’ and also the track “Un bacio rubato” written by Andrea Sisti and Donovan, and the fourth, the new cd of Bungaro (Egea), Italian singer / songwriter, where she shares with him the track ‘Art’.

Also that year Paula recording a new album, “Bossarenova” (Skip Records). This album, with the SWR Big Band of Stuttgart, Germany, has arrangements and production by the German Ralf Schmid. The title “Bossarenova” already describes the approach taken by Ralf Schmid, restoring with the help of Paula Morelenbaum and SWR Big Band, works of the period of Bossa Nova, preserving their structures. Paula Morelenbaum interprets timeless pieces such as “Waters of March” and “Chovendo na Roseira” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, “Mas Que Nada” and “Vem Morena” by Jorge Ben, “Tarde em Itapuã” by Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes , and rescues the beautiful “Tempo de amor” by Baden Powell and Vinicius.

In addition to these Bossa-Nova’s masterpieces, they make a reinterpretation of classical compositions by Robert Schumann, Heitor Villa-Lobos or even Lennon & McCartney on “Blackbird.” Paula Morelenbaum is supported by sixteen terrific musicians of the SWR Big Band, by trumpeter Joo Kraus, a renowned German jazz soloist, the pianist and arranger Ralf Schmid and the Brazilian special guests Filo Machado, Lula Galvão and Portinho.

For the release of the ‘Bossarenova’ in Germany, Paula makes a series of concerts with the SWR Big Band conducted by Ralf Schmid with Joo Kraus as special guest, highlighting the concerts in Munich at Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Baden-Baden at Mr. M’s Jazzclub and Heilbronn at the Audi Forum Festival.

Paula Morelenbaum com Ralf Schmid Joo Kraus

Paula Morelenbaum Official Website here.