It’s the dead of winter. It’s really freaking cold out. The North Pole is apparently outsourcing all of its bitter, frigid misery-inducing air to the United States. I can honestly say even thinking about it just made me feel down in the dumps, and I know thinking about it isn’t doing much for anyone else.
The perfect way to warm your body is, of course, a cup of hot chocolate (or tea) while settled down by a roaring fireplace, but what about warming the soul? Hot chocolate’s good, but it can only go so far (unless you found a hot chocolate for your soul, in which case I’d like some details e-mailed to me ASAP). What you need is some high-quality music to warm you through these arctic blasts. What you need to fend off those herds of homicidal polar bears, who I’m told want to turn you all into people-suits for no real reason, is a copy of Meu Coração Brasileiro. Naturally, you don’t have to take my word for it. Let the album notes speak for themselves (which I copied verbatim from CDBaby).
These orignal compositions by veteran jazz educator, composer, and pianist Jeff Kunkel were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 and 2012. The music demonstrates the composer’s affinity and admiration for the unique musical culture of Brasil, and reflects his love of Bossa Nova, Samba, and MPB. Many were written while Jeff was traveling in Brasil, and are strongly influenced by the places, people, and music encountered there. Featured on the recording along with Jeff are some of the finest musicians on the Rio scene, including the legendary Mauro Senise (flute, saxophone), Vika Barcellos (vocals), Alex Rocha (bass), co-producer Haroldo Mauro Jr. (drums), José Arimatéa (trumpet), Mariana Bernardes (vocals), and Fernando Corona (background vocals). Two of the songs feature the Portuguese lyrics of Ms. Barcellos and Mr. Corona, and two others feature the English lyrics of Jeff’s American colleague Holli Ross.
Jeff Kunkel is an entirely remarkable person, and an extremely talented musician. Not only is his CD, Meu Coração Brasileiro, loaded with fantastic, reasonably-priced music, but it can also lend to the illusion you have some culture. No one believes you’ve read that dusty copy of War and Peace sitting on your desk.
Meu Coração Brasileiro is available through CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes, and by buying a copy you are supporting independent artists doing what they love. When you support independent artists in doing what they love, they can keep producing art which can make you happier, reduce your stress, and generally do good things for your day (reduced stress is probably connected to a lower likelihood of murdering someone). Warm your soul through this awful weather with some good music. You won’t regret it.