Sandy Cressman with the Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto: A musical tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

from The Seattle Times:

The insinuating rhythms and alluring melodies of Brazil have seduced many a jazz musician, but few have fallen as deeply as vocalist Sandy Cressman.

Born in the Bronx but raised from childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, she spent years working as a jazz singer before fully succumbing to the ravishing charms of musica popular brasileira, or MPB. These days Cressman’s repertoire features a treasure trove of tunes by Brazil’s best contemporary composers, from Milton Nascimento and Djavan to Gilberto Gil and Ivan Lins.

“Sandy has really studied Brazilian music and created something unique, a sound that’s not like other Brazilian singers or American singers,” said the Seattle-based pianist and composer Jovino Santos Neto, who accompanies Cressman at Bake’s Place on Saturday with bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer Jeff Busch.

“There are a lot of singers out there who approach Brazilian music as a variation of jazz or pop music,” Santos Neto continued. “I’m not saying that’s bad. You can get good results. But very few can look at it as its own language and understand the basics and essence. It’s not just singing in Portuguese, which Sandy does beautifully — it’s really knowing the music inside and out.”

For Cressman, the transition from straight-ahead jazz to the Brazilian songbook didn’t entail just a change of styles, it meant an entirely different approach to the music. “The art of jazz singing is about turning a song inside out,” Cressman said from her home in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband, Jeff Cressman, a sound engineer and trombonist with Santana, and their two teenage daughters. “These compositions are so rich in their original nature. Why change a beautiful melody by Ivan Lins?”

Seattle Jazz