by Sean McKenize
HOLLYWOOD (Perfect Music Today) 11/28/20/–Kaylene Peoples Romantic Bossa-Nova is a piece of Brazilian heaven. With the classic “Telephone Song” made famous by Astrud Gilberto as it’s opening, the mood is set for a swinging time, taking you from upbeat to mid-tempo to beloved ballads. Kaylene Peoples is an arranger, and this is evident with her unique versions of her “Great American Songbook” selections. “Corcovado” (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) takes us on a journey. The song has already received many positive reviews as an iconic arrangement with Bunny Brunel soloing on bass in the opening and closing. Kaylene solos on flute on this track. That combined with her silky vocals is a great pairing. Her Portuguese is perfection as she also shares equal time in English.
A big treat on this CD is the debut “duet” with Bunny Brunel and Kaylene Peoples on “Waters of March” (Aguas de Marços). Who knew? The 2-time Grammy-nominated bassist is also a talented vocalist, with his rendition reminding us of the late Jaö Gilberto. Brunel not only plays upright bass, fretless bass, and rhythm guitar on the entire project, he also wows with a fresh approach on his welcomed vocal reveal in Brazilian Portuguese, nonetheless! The song itself is another one-of-a-kind arrangement very much like Brasil ‘66, with creative background vocals and just enough unique changes to make “Waters of March” stand apart, breathing new life into this beloved classic.
“Dindi.” How can you go wrong with this song? Talk about taking us far far away to audio stimuli? Close your eyes and see it all in Technicolor. If you’re not a believer in romance, you will be after listening to the full arrangement and the even more intriguing alternative mix at the end of this CD. “Night & Day” opens with a jazz fusiony background vocal and scat! Kaylene’s voice shines throughout the entire album—this singer has a 5-octave range, and she hypnotizes while making herself comfortable in a purring alto and 2nd soprano. And “Night & Day,” in particular, has some interesting melodic additions. Bésame Mucho shows off Kaylene’s French, making a sexy song even sexier. Pianist Mahesh Balasooriya adds to the “dramatic” with his solo, while taking us back to a 1960s Paris nightclub! And “Berimbau,” sung in Portuguese, really grooves. Finally, the reason for Romantic Bossa-Nova is the original “Dave Pell Just for Fun,” a song inspired by Chase Masterson (Leeta of Star Trek: DS9) and composed by Kaylene Peoples and Bunny Brunel. The song pays tribute to Dave Pell, the legendary founder of West Coast Jazz.
Everything about Romantic Bossa-Nova is dreamy, showcasing Kaylene’s consistently high production values. This co-production is the first CD collaboration by Kaylene and Bunny with memorable performances and bigger than life vocals. Following her own trend, Kaylene Peoples continues to reinvent herself with each new offering. Romantic Bossa-Nova is Peoples’s sixth album, released August 2020. Romantic Bossa-Nova is on Boogsey Music label with proceeds going to Bella Composers.
1. Telephone Song (Gimbel)
2. Corcovado/Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Jobim)
3. Agua de Beber (Jobim, Moraes)
4. Waters of March/Aguas de Marços (Jobim)
5. Dindi (Oliveira, Jobim)
6. Watch What Happens (Gimbel)
7. Night & Day (Porter)
8. Bésame Mucho (Sevran, Lebrail)
9. Berimbau (Moraes)
10. Dave Pell Just for Fun (Peoples, Brunel)
11. Dindi Alt Mix (Oliveira, Jobim)
Credits: Kaylene Peoples (Producer/Arranger/Vocals/