Sisters in Song: Jabu and Aline Morales

Aline Morales Live at Lula Lounge, November 26, 2015
** UPDATE: Unfortunately, Jabu Morales was not able to come for this performance, but Aline Morales and her band will still perform.**

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Aline Morales' days as Toronto's best-kept musical secret may be over, but the Brazilian singer, percussionist and bandleader has a special treat in store this month. On Thursday, November 26th, Aline welcomes her equally captivating sister, Barcelona-based Jabu Morales, for the Toronto CD release of Jabu Morales' second album, Malungo.

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While Jabu's music is unique, her musical path and Aline's tread similar territory. On both their recordings and in their live shows, listeners are treated to a high level of musicianship, with intricate but unobtrusive percussion, impassioned lyrics sung beautifully in Portuguese and English, and genuine feelings of saudade, that rich, nearly untranslatable Portuguese word for longing.
Malungo, the new album by Jabu Morales, departs significantly from its predecessor, 2010's Jabu, which was recorded not long after her 2008 arrival in Barcelona. Malungo bears the influences of her new home city and its global mix, with Spanish-style guitars and even West African sensibilities reflecting the shifts in Jabu's music over the last six years. This is Brazilian music transformed and informed by Mediterranean living in a local-global Spanish-speaking metropolis.
Here's a video of Seu Lua from Malungo,  performed live in Barcelona by Jabu Morales and her band, with special participation from Aline Morales.

And here's one more tune, from Jabu's first (self-titled) album.


On the trail of Jerus Nazdaq

Somewhere near Boipeba Island, Bahia, Brazil.We had just sat down at a beachfront restaurant. It was actually more of a simply built wooden 'A' frame structure. The area behind it was a campground and in the front there was a covered kitchen and a few tables with benches looking out towards the ocean. The vibe was very traveler summer backpacker styles. Very remote, no cell phone signals, no internet anywhere close.She walked right by me and went up to the counter to order. "Jerusa!"She didn't even notice. She was focused on her mission to place an order with the very relaxed and nonchalant restaurant/campground owner. I came up close and put my hand on her arm. "Jé! Tudo bom?" The Jerusa smile and wide eyes, a huge hug. "I can't believe you are here!We had talked fleetingly a few times over email. She had said she would be traveling in Bahia, south of Salvador. This encounter was chance.For those of you who don’t know, Jerusa Leão, also known as Jerus Nazdaq, is a musician and DJ that gained a certain underground notoriety in Toronto. She is an electronic DJ and track selector, with varying styles ranging from dubstep, techno, reggae, and complete mash-ups often tinged with a certain tropical flavour. She often produces her own tracks taking elements from just about anywhere. She has played diverse parties such as Om Re:union, Promise, Cherry Bomb, the Brazil Film Fest opening and of course Uma Nota. As a singer and instrumentalist she was the Maria in Maria Bonita & The Band, a rootsy forró band that created some waves for those in the know. She was an active agitator in the Fedora Upside Down Collective alongside the likes of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party. She also regularly moonlighted singing and playing with Maracatu Mar Aberto. All of this and as a solo guitar and voice act, she fluttered lotsa hearts around town.Well, a few months ago she kinda disappeared from the scene. Feeling the call of her native Bahia, she left Toronto to travel a bit.And here she was, right in front of me, a few hours after our random meeting, guitar in hand, playing and singing samba and forró songs.Even here, in a remote fishing community spread out over a few kilometers of beach, occupied by several hundred travellers, many of them musicians, she had gained a certain notoriety.

After a few days Jerusa was off to Itácaré down the coast to play in the numerous surfer bars. From there she is going to play the Ressonar festival in Chapada Diamantina.She also has plans to come back to Canada in the not too distant future but for now she is focusing at this very moment in making things happen in her Brazil.