Home News Leny Andrade, Brazilian signer who fused bossa nova and jazz, dies at 80

Leny Andrade, Brazilian signer who fused bossa nova and jazz, dies at 80

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Leny Andrade, Brazilian signer who fused bossa nova and jazz, dies at 80

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Leny Andrade, a Brazilian singer who helped craft a brand new style by fusing the nation’s mellow bossa nova sound with jazz influences, together with scat improvisations that drew comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald, died July 24 at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro. She was 80.

Ms. Andrade died of pneumonia, mentioned a press release by a retirement house for artists in Rio the place she had lived. She had undergone therapy for Lewy physique dementia.

Ms. Andrade (pronounced ahn-DRA-jay) toured the world, collaborated with musicians in Mexico and Europe and appeared at hallowed jazz venues such because the Blue Observe and Birdland in New York, a metropolis the place she took up part-time residence starting within the early Nineties. Her artistic moorings, nonetheless, remained firmly in Brazil throughout a six-decade profession of performing and recording greater than 30 albums.

She sang virtually completely in Portuguese and labored with a few of the nation’s prime musicians, akin to pianist and composer César Camargo Mariano and arranger Francis Hime. She by no means strayed too removed from the foundations of Brazil’s ultra-suave bossa nova and percussive rhythms of samba in interpretations of songs akin to “O Cantador” and “Carinhoso” — and the worldwide hit “The Woman From Ipanema” that catapulted singer Astrud Gilberto to fame within the Nineteen Sixties.

Ms. Andrade’s particular contact got here by introducing jazz-influenced vocal phrasing — stops, scales and scat riffs — that had been impressed by innovators akin to Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae.

“It’s possible you’ll assume ‘The Woman From Ipanema,’” wrote New York Occasions music reviewer Stephen Holden in 2008 after a efficiency at Birdland by Ms. Andrade.

“You haven’t actually absorbed it till you’ve heard Ms. Andrade sing it in Portuguese; disgorge is likely to be a greater phrase than sing,” he continued, “since, like every thing else she performs, it appears to effectively up from the middle of the earth.”

Ms. Andrade possessed a voice that appeared to hold the soul of smoky golf equipment and late-night jam periods, a husky mezzo-soprano that might pivot from world-weary to sultry. She additionally appeared to assume many years of smoking gave an added taste.

“If she didn’t smoke, she couldn’t sing,” Brazilian songwriter and jazz musician Ivan Lins advised NPR.

He recalled a 2002 recording session wherein Ms. Andrade was advised she couldn’t smoke within the studio. Her first songs got here out like “a strangled croak,” he mentioned. “She went exterior and smoked two cigarettes.”

“She returned,” he added, “and he or she sang like a hen.” (She gave up smoking years later.)

Ms. Andrade was typically referred to as “the primary woman of Brazilian jazz.” Tony Bennett as soon as celebrated her as “one of many biggest improvisers on this planet.” Ms. Andrade appeared content material to stay within the musical world she created. “I don’t make music for the lots,” she advised the Brazilian music website Esquina Musical in 2013.

On the 2008 gig at Birdland, Ms. Andrade shifted into English for a private tackle her artwork.

“I can sing the solar. I can sing the ocean, and the issues of artwork and romance,” she mentioned. “With out romance, there’s nothing to do on this life.”

Leny de Andrade Lima was born on Jan. 26, 1943, in Rio and raised by her mom and stepfather in a neighborhood that was a hub for samba.

Ms. Andrade studied piano and singing as a younger lady and obtained a scholarship to the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. She turned away from classical compositions, nonetheless, after turning into enamored by bossa nova star Dolores Durán.

Ms. Andrade started performing as a youngster at golf equipment on Copacabana, a middle for the rising bossa nova sound. Ms. Andrade later obtained her introduction to jazz as a part of the Sérgio Mendes Trio earlier than he fashioned the internationally fashionable band Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66.

Ms. Andrade mentioned Mendes refused to play samba. She didn’t like jazz on the time. They ended up “mixing the 2,” she mentioned.

Ms. Andrade’s first album, “A Sensação,” (1961) drew from samba traditions. In 1963, her signature mix of jazz and bossa nova started to take form with the album, “A Arte Maior de Leny Andrade,” as a part of a trio that included famend bossa nova drummer, Milton Banana.

She joined a preferred crooner, Pery Ribeiro, to type the group Gemini V in 1965. She later moved to Mexico, the place she spent seven years and took a deep curiosity within the music of affection and longing often known as bolero. The ballads turned a staple of her stage repertoire.

She made her New York debut on the Blue Observe in 1983 and later, within the Nineties, caught the eye of U.S. music critics and luminaries akin to Bennett and Liza Minnelli, each of whom attended a few of her exhibits. Ms. Andrade went on to play main venues together with Jazz at Lincoln Middle in New York and the Hollywood Bowl.

In 2007, Ms. Andrade received a Latin Grammy Award for “Ao Vivo,” a reside album with the pianist Mariano. Paquito D’Rivera, a Cuban American saxophonist, clarinetist and composer, provided a tribute to Ms. Andrade with a 1987 composition, “For Leny.”

“She by no means pressured something, or insisted on a sure association,” wrote one in all her longtime collaborators, jazz guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, in an essay for the general public radio station WBGO. “‘Let’s see what occurs’ was her modus operandi. With out worry, and doubts.”

Ms. Andrade had no youngsters. Full data on survivors was not instantly out there.

In a single her final performances onstage, Ms. Andrade sang joined with pianist Gilson Peranzzetta in 2019. She sat in a leather-based chair, too weak from her declining well being and the lingering results of falls in earlier years.

“Once I sing,” she mentioned six yr earlier, “I embark on a magic carpet out of right here. I journey to Mars.”

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