Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Kristen Mather de Andrade | "Evergreen"

From the summery sounds of Brazil to the wintry sounds of the holiday season, clarinetist and vocalist Kristen Mather de Andrade’s prolific year continues with the release of her second recording project, “Evergreen,” due November 26. Mather de Andrade produced the five-song EP consisting of four “less obvious” Christmas carols and one original composition, each masterfully performed in a chamber music trio setting.

“Evergreen” arrives months after the summer release of Mather de Andrade’s critically hailed debut album, “Clarão,” an authentic multicultural outing fusing exotic Latin jazz rhythms and instrumentation, classical overtones and big band arrangements inspired by the artist’s ardor for Brazilian music. Mather de Andrade does a complete about-face stylistically on the warm and intimate seasonal EP, playing and singing holiday music in the company of pianist Yalin Chi and cellist Jules Biber.

“I have always loved holiday music - even more so now that I have lived away from my family for some time. This year seemed like the right time to get into the studio and record some of the carols that I love but are a little more off the beaten path,” said Mather de Andrade, a native of Youngstown, Ohio now based near New York City. 

The roots of “Evergreen” are a pair of selections arranged by Noah Taylor, a composer-arranger with whom Mather de Andrade worked a few years ago. He plied his skillful touch to “Riu Riu Chiu” and “Bring A Torch,” and Mather de Andrade built the rest of the set list around the opening tracks.

“I loved the arrangements so much that I thought they would be perfect to anchor this EP. Because I have always had my ear out for holiday arrangements that I found interesting, I knew that the versions of ‘The Holly and The Ivy’ and ‘Pat-A-Pan’ that we recorded would be nice additions to Noah's beautiful music,” said Mather de Andrade.

“Union Square” is an original tune written by Annie Pasqua who lends her voice to the exquisite song on “Evergreen.” It’s not exactly a holiday classic (yet), but to Mather de Andrade, it fits the EP’s nuanced theme aurally.

“‘Union Square’ is obviously an outlier in the mix, but the imagery that it conjured up for me and the style of the song seemed to me that it would fit well on the EP. I met Annie a few years ago and performed her song live after she submitted it to a call for scores for our chamber music group, Vent Nouveau (Mather de Andrade co-founded and serves as the group’s artistic director). We had the opportunity to showcase music by living composers that identify as female and Annie's song was selected for the performance. I have kept it in my mind since then, looking for the right opportunity to record it and work with her again,” said Mather de Andrade.

Mather de Andrade has been collaborating with Chi for almost fifteen years; both musicians are principal members and soloists in West Point’s Army Special Band.

“She's an amazingly expressive pianist, and I have been wanting to record something properly with her for years. Let's hope this is the first of many projects,” said Mather de Andrade, who in addition to her recording and performing career is an educator who has taught master classes and professional clinics at universities and conservatories, and presently serves on staff at Manhattanville College.

Mather de Andrade has already begun recording music for her second full-length album even as she continues to promote “Clarão.” She will perform music from the disc at the Jazz Forum in Tarrytown, NY on January 23. Also in the Latin jazz world, Mather de Andrade will be playing "Latin American Chronicles," a jazz clarinet concerto by Daniel Freiberg, in mid-February. Early next year, she will release a music video for a piece that she commissioned for clarinet and percussion by composer David Reeves titled “As Bright As The Skies Are Blue.” But first, Mather de Andrade hopes her holiday offering will be celebrated this year as well as for many Christmases to come. In fact, that desire inspired the EP title.

“I wanted to name it something that would match the music that I featured; something that would sound timeless.”

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...