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Mafalda Minnozzi - Natural Impression
(Musica Popolare Italiana, 2023)
An artist to whom singer Mafalda Minnozzi can most reasonably be compared is Claudia Villela, whose recent Carta Ao Vento (Taina Music, 2023). Both women are intelligent, polylingual, and possess voices that are instruments equally capable of interpreting lyrics and acting as a wordless vehicle of tones. Minnozzi has an edge in the polyglot arena, singing on the present Natural Impression in English, Portuguese, Italian, and French.
Minnozzi’s voice is tenderly technical. Her breath control and performance are impressive. She shares arranging duties with her long-time musical partner, guitarist, arranger, and producer Paul Ricci. Together, the pair situate 15 performances of music composed by the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ivan Lins, Luiz Bonfá, Jacques Brel, Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, João Bosco, Lucio Battisti, and Roberto Menescal into a humid bacchanal of sonic pleasure.
The singer is playful on Jobim’s “Águas De Março” and Martins/Lins’ “Começar De Novo.” Minnozzi commands the Bossa Nova of “Samba De Verão” and the Francophonic delight of Jaques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” in which clarinetist Don Byron bestows an old-world charm. Vibraphonist Joe Locke joins the singer on an English-performed “Carnival (Manhã de Carnaval).” Minnozzi is most liquid and languid, singing as if floating in an exotic clime, entertaining only herself.
The singer is joined by keyboardist Michael Wolff and bassist John Patitucci on the dark and breezy “Coração Vagabundo.” Minnozzi’s core band of guitarist Ricci, pianist Helio Alves, bassist Eduardo Belo, and drummer Rogerio Boccato is a monolith of solid, but understated, power serving only to compliment the vocal charms of Minnozzi, who does not cease to amaze as a seasoned and experienced artist already well established and well thought of.