Ella and the Bossa Beat, In the Moment Review
by Stamish Malcuss
Ella and the Bossa Beat is a father-daughter of Ella and Magrus Borges. Together they lead an ensemble that performs a Brazilian jazz/pop style of music combining Bossa Nova grooves with a soulful jazz influence. In 2020, they released their first album together, My Remedy, and now they are releasing their second album, In the Moment. The album’s program is a soulful and classy set of Brazilian jazz originals sung in English and Portuguese by the Borges. The ensemble is Ella Borges: vocals, piano/keyboard, bass; Magrus Borges: drums, percussion; Rodrigo Sha (Roe-dree-go Shaw): saxophone; Jonathan Dills: cello; Kim Freitas: acoustic guitar; Alain Bradette: saxophone; Greg Little: trumpet; Ruvit Bracho: violin; and Larry Williams: trumpet.
“Speak from the Heart” has a smooth Latin jazz beat mixed with R&B that features the warm and sensual sounds of Ella’s singing. The chorus has added vocal backgrounds that fill out the mix. Ella’s vocal style shows her wide range and ability to embellish a melodic phrase with R&B sounds. Her piano solo is elegant as she also adds vocal fills. The groove keeps growing to an excellent vocal counterpoint section and a beautiful ending. The music is a gorgeous blend of Latin jazz and R&B.
The high quality of the compositions continues with a beautiful composition featuring English and Portuguese lyrics called “O Tempo Traz.” Ella’s angelic voice floats over a smooth Latin-inspired groove as she sings the lyrics. The use of vocal backgrounds adds richness and fascination with their textures. Bradette plays soft saxophone fills. Ella sings a stirring vocals solo; her tone, rhythm, and note choices are all excellent.
In the Moment is an explorative collection of compositions that feature the beautiful singing of Ella Borges. The father-daughter team has composed songs that combine Latin jazz with R&B, spreading sonic qualities that blur the lines of the two genres to create something magical. Ella’s thoughtful vocal ideas convince you of how flowing this sound is throughout In the Moment.