Music Review by C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
Listening to vocalist CAROL BACH-Y-RITA sing, it comes as no surprise that she’s also a dancer. Her singing has a supple fluidity that suggests a body in motion. On her newest CD, MINHA CASA / my house, she performs re-imagined standards and original songs that celebrate both well- and lesser-known Brazilian rhythms.
Polyglot exotic Carol Bach-y-Rita released her conspicuous debut, What Love Is in 2009. Since then, she has kept busy performing, taking her sweet time in developing her new project, the self-produced Minha Casa / My House. Her selected repertoire bursts with originality and invention, manifesting in orchestration, arrangement, and composition. Regarding orchestration, Bach-y-Rita mixes and matches instruments with a carefree whim that never fails to please. Whether the multi-textured "Morning Coffee," a full-bodied romp composed by pianist Bill Cantos or the Samba-infusion of "Night in Tunisia," the singer mixes well with her capable and understated support. Bach-y-Rita sings "Nature Boy" with only percussion to considerable effect. Guitarist Larry Koonse arranges "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to" as a 6/8 meditation of the standard that transforms the piece into a beautifully strange ballad, like transplanting Don Ameche and Janet Blair into a Tim Burton film. Bach-y-Rita reveals her wicked sense-of-humor with her original, "Gardening with No Pants," where she has paired herself in another voice/percussion duet with percussionist Dudu Fuentes. It is a breezy island sway that is beautifully dry in a humid place.