by Constance Tucker
Moscow-born/San Francisco resident vocalist Masha Campagne’s debut release Caminhos Cruzados was met with critical acclaim, so one would naturally wonder what her follow up release will offer the listener. A disciple of the genre, Campagne continues her longtime association with piano master Weber Iago—a guiding influence with her first effort and co-producer of this offering, Campagne and Iago have created a beautiful and artistic brush stroke in the canvas of Brazilian jazz.
While delivering outstanding arrangements of classics such as “It Could Happen To You,” Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Outra Vez” and Bronislaw Kaper, aka Bronsilau Kaper’s, “Invitation,” Campagne also has crafted several original compositions for a well-balanced and respectful blend of old and new material. Campagne has assembled a cavalcade of stars employing San Francisco reed man Harvey Wainapel, who lends his alto saxophone to “Se E Tarde Me Perdoa,” in addition to contributing bass clarinet to “No Fundo Do Rio.”
Hendrik Meurkens also makes an appearance on several pieces lending his harmonica and vibraphone skills, the textural uniqueness of both of these instruments take this Brazilian portrait and put it in focus for just the right pizazz and sizzle. Brazilian guitarist Guinga who can be heard on “Exasperada,” creates an introspective and tender duet in which the two shine with the organic nakedness only a duo can offer. Rounding out the sound, percussionist Luis Carlos Guello contributes his inimitable talent to Guinga’s “No Fondo Do Rio.”
The album closes with a gentle duet; on Iago’s “I Can See You Now,” Campaign opens her emotive vocal style to deliver a passionate reading, supported by a stunning piano underpinning. Campagne expresses a command of what makes all aspects of Brazilian music so appealing. Like Water, Like Air, is a befitting next step in the outstanding discography of Brazilian chanteuse Masha Campagne, destined to leave a lasting lineage in the Latin genre.