A live recording with Maria Mendes joined by the Grammy award winning Metropole Orkest conducted by John Beasley.
"Fado music is undeniable for the Portuguese people and for all of those who seek for nostalgic love in the past and present. And so is saudade a Portuguese word that doesn't translate to any other language in the world. Fado and saudade are forever bond. They both express the melancholic longing for the past and the hopes it becomes present once again. They also express the belief in destiny as a fortunate and fatalistic power that you cannot escape from. Surprisingly, I find these comparable with love, as love can strike at any moment leaving us powerless, colouring our lives with grey as well as bright rainbow colours. When I first listened to Fado, I felt an indescribable connection with how words and melody were delivered so intensively. That experience stayed with me over the years until I could no longer escape from the desire to combine my love for Jazz with my affection for Portugal.
A project was taking shape. And magical things started to happen. Advised by my dear friend, my bassist Jasper Somsen, I've reached out to John Beasley for a collaboration on arranging and producing these Portuguese folk songs. Alongside, I have written originals and was gifted a song by Hermeto Pascoal. The Metropole Orkest joined us opening up new musical possibilities. My third album Close To Me (2019) is the result of this enriching collaboration that gracefully wasn't doomed to be over then.
This album you are holding in your hands is a result of a long-awaited dream. A live recorded album represents the truthful and thrilling opportunity to expand the music in ways you cannot when recording in a studio. New songs and new orchestrations were specially written for this material, premiered and recorded in Amsterdam, at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in May 2022. On stage: an exceptional team of thirty musicians my band and the Metropole Orkest conducted by John Beasley. With us in the venue was the audience who kept ignited the joy of why live music is irreplaceable. Wittgenstein said "the limits of my language mean the limits of my world". I believe in music as an unlimited language that can defy stylistic boundaries and can trigger (in us musicians, and you, the listener) surprise and enchantment. This music is about how I feel Fado and how I love it, free of definitions, free of limitations. This is no Fado album. This is no traditional Jazz music. This is an adventure that is real and can be felt by everyone. As love is." Maria Mendes