Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recording So Many Stars (written by Sergio Mendes, Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman)

Photo: Benny Golson & Débora Watts

The first time I heard the song So Many Stars, written by the Brazilian composer Sergio Mendes, was when I received an album of Sarah Vaughan from my vocal teacher, Datevik Hovanesian as a gift. I just could not believe Sarah's interpretation. It took me a long time to have the courage to record the song myself. But little did I know what fate had in store... I had the good fortune to record the song with the amazing jazz legend Benny Golson.

Recording Atrás da Porta (writen by Chico Buarque & Francis Hime)

This song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and I think John's arrangements brought this song to an even deeper level. The cello performance really cracked my heart open.

Recording Arrastão (writen Edu Lobo & Vinicius de Moraes)

Photo: Itaiguara Brandão & Marco Vigio

John would always hear Arrastão in his mind as soul music. So between John's imagination and Marco Vigio's ability to improvise on his guitar I think we got a very hip interpretation of this song.

Recording Água de Beber (writen by Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes)

If you must know one thing about me and one thing only please know that I do not like repetition. I do my best to learn everything at once so I do not have to repeat it over and over again... And as much as I like the song Agua de Beber and Girl From Ipanema, I cannot put my heart in it if I have to sing it every single time we perform live (at the fans request). So John and I worked on the arrangement so that it would sound like it came from inside us - a bluesy samba!

Recording That's So Much (Written by John Watts)

Photo: John Watts & Kaïsa Doumbe

A few weeks after I met my husband to be, John Watts, he gave me a call and played a new song on his guitar over the phone and told me that he had written it for me. Being very rational and skeptical back then (don't forget: I was pharmacist!) I assumed that he had that song under his sleeve and probably sang it to every girl he met trying to impress her, so I kindly thanked him and did not say much about it... Shortly after that John presented me with a tape of his songs as a gift (that's right, remember when we used to listen to music on tapes!). So when I was alone I listened to his music and I was mesmerized with the quality of his craft. I cried when I perceived the intensity of his sensitivity and I understood that he truly wrote the song That's So Much about our moment. I became open to this song and many others he had written since.

During the process of recording this song, we discovered Kaïssa Doubé. Her voice is smooth, crystal clear and full of feeling. She gave the final touch to this tune that is steeped in African pop.

Recording Estate (Written by Bruno Martino & Bruno Brighetti)

Photo: Gustavo Saiani & Helio Schiavo

One day, I was jamming with one of the best guitar players I've ever known, Gustavo Saiani, and I asked him me to help me write the song Estate in my key. He suggested that I should record it. I remember telling him that I sounded too young and he just said "that's exactly why it is good!" So, since John and I had a recording session scheduled within a few weeks we decided to add an extra ballad. We absolutely loved the result. Gustavo sang along and John's touch on the piano was just perfect.

Recording Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (written by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)by

Photo: John Watts & Marco Morganelli

Once I was driving in midtown Manhattan with my husband and we heard a beautiful interpretation of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered on the radio. The song was done with a beautiful bossa nova feel. So when we got home we tried to play the song as a bossa, but later when the band came together, our brilliant drummer, Helio Schiavo, helped bring the song back to its ballad roots. In the end, the only Brazilian thing left was my accent!...