The lovely Nigerian songbird we know as Douyé has decided to take an off-ramp from the highway of smooth/contemporary jazz and lend her delicious vocals to the world of bossa nova/samba with a touch of straight-ahead jazz leanings. Following the path that a few other c-jazz artists have taken (Patti Austin comes to mind), the songstress, through this latest album Quatro (Bossa Nova Deluxe), demonstrates that she is by no means boxed in by any genre and wishes to spread her wings and soar to new horizons.
While some may be a bit disappointed that Douyé is not seducing us with her silky smooth jazz/R&B grooves with this release, they should find that the material here warrants a listen. If you allow yourself to mentally go to Rio or some sun-kissed island while listening to this project, you’ll find its lure quite apropos and soothing.
The all-present, polished, sauntering vibe that dances between a lazy cadence and one with bounce holds the promise of being able to wash over you and offer a much-appreciated release.
Offering tracks like “Blue Bossa,” “Triste,” “How Insensitive,” the more up-tempo “Agua De Beber,” her glistening cover of the classic “Girl From Ipanema,” and others clearly demonstrate Douyé’s penchant for eclecticism and her ability to grasp and relate to the various flavors of jazz and other exotic music.
All in all, this transition is a pleasant one and, while it doesn’t come without some surprise for those expecting the smooth jazz/R&B Douyé, it does come with the elegance and class we’ve come to know as a signature trademark of the songtress’ projects. Her seductive voice alone is always such a persuasive factor. Well done. — Ronald Jackson