| In My Garden | www.melissaoliveira.com
Singer Melissa Oliveira was born in Australia, and lived in Portugal and the Netherlands before Boston, where she recorded this album with mainly American musicians. Out of all that emerges Brazilian-flavoured jazz, with her voice floating or riding more forcefully atop buoyant rhythmical updrafts. She has had a hand in penning most of the material, as well as setting convincing lyrics to standards by Wayne Shorter and Clifford Brown. She evades the mannered improvising that afflicts so many singers, and there is more substance than mere prettiness at work. The players are expert at making the music breezy and open (a quality further aided by the fact pianist Alexei Tsiganov also plays vibraphone), and none other than Greg Osby is guest saxophonist on two tracks. Fans of Flora Purim should have a listen.
John Shand [www.johnshand.com.au]