Flora Purim: If You Will review – a happy 80th birthday return | Jazz


The first lady of Brazilian music (there’s a long queue) celebrates her 80th birthday with her first album in 15 years. With her family and favoured musicians in support, it’s a celebratory affair, mixing new material and old favourites. The title track, for example, is a 1992 collaboration with the late US pianist George Duke, a piece of jazz-funk given a more Brazilian flavour this time around, with trademark vocals that shift from lyrics to wordless exaltation – Purim’s daughter Diana is on hand to carry on the torch in convincing style.

From further back, when Purim first crossed from Brazilian to international fame, is 500 Miles High, originally recorded with Chick Corea’s group in 1974 and here presented pretty much intact. A greater transformation is worked on This Is Me, an intricate workout penned by percussionist (and husband) Airto Moreira, its lyrics re-worked by Diana. She has made waves of her own in recent years, and nabs a couple more writing credits – let’s keep it in the family – but the other standouts are Zahuroo by Claudia Villela, a supercharged samba, and Dois + Dois = Tres, an unexpectedly bluesy outing on which guitarist José Neto shines. A well-polished gem – welcome back.

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