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  • Jonathan Widran

Douyé, Quatro (Bossa Nova Deluxe)

Nigerian born, Los Angeles based vocal jazz virtuoso Douyé,- whose professional moniker is as singular, unique and coolly exotic as her ever-evolving artistry – is one of those rare artists who can reveal her inner truths and vibrant history via her interpretations of classics penned by others.

True to its provocative subtitle, the singer’s lush, highly adorned, all at once exquisitely intimate and percussively exhilarating vehicle of choice on her latest epic collection Quatro (Bossa Nova Deluxe) is the sensually seductive, eternally inspirational music of Brazil – particularly, fresh re-imaginings exploring the emotional subtleties of Antonio Carlos Jobim classics like “Girl From Ipanema,” “How Insensitive,” “Triste,” “One Note Samba” and “Dindi.”

Yet as much as her sultry, dusky, voice seems divinely made for a bossa nova cover album, the last thing Douyé wanted to do was take a typical approach. So, energized by a visit to Bahia where she saw countless people who looked like her, she envisioned a work fusing her lifelong passion for cool, melodic and sexy Brazilian vibes with the fiery, polyrhythmic passions and energies of African culture. Fronting ensembles packed with legendary musicians (Otmaro Ruiz, Justo Almario, Duduka Da Fonseca, Manolo Badren) and alternately led by drummer Zack O’Farrill and guitarist Angelo Metz, Douyé goes to town stylizing the Jobim tunes we’ve heard so often but never like this as irresistible “BrazAfrican” fusion expressions.

Several of the arrangements allow her to infuse spirited scatting - most notably the boisterous, horn-fired “One Note Samba,” in which she and her cohorts create an off the charts vocal percussion repartee. Others, like “Corcovado,” play it more dreamily, creating a perfectly balanced showcase of her vocal range and prowess. Beyond the Jobim and other bossa classics, Douyé adds extra autobiographical detail via a jaunty Latin-tinged strut through Horace Silver’s timeless “Song for My Father,” an emotionally impactful extension of the homage she paid to her dad on her 2017 album Daddy Said So.

Growing up, the singer credits her dad for cultivating her love for all kinds of music, including jazz and bossa nova. All these years later, it’s wonderful to see her bring all those moments of inspiration to such grand and heartfelt fruition on Quatro.


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