Doug Richards Orchestra – Through a Somic Prism

World Jazz
Doug Richards Orchestra – Through a Somic Prism

It was during the pandemic that Doug Richards delved into the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim, an impressive catalog of compositions. All that was left was to make choices. Richards, being one of the most important jazz musicians in Virginia, a composer and educator, the project would have started taking root in 2020. It was at this precise moment that Doug Richards began transcribing Jobim’s works for his big band. It’s here that the idea of collaborating with Laura Ann Singh, a great specialist in Brazilian singing, arose.
Now that the foundations were laid, all that was left was to choose fourteen Jobim titles to create this album, which matured between 2020 and 2022. This was followed by long rehearsals because, in addition to the precision demanded by this kind of work, one must know how to go beyond technique to make the work come alive.
Through a Sonic Prism is the group that plays on this album, comprising the finest musicians from Richmond. The result is truly impressive, thanks to Doug Richards’ arrangements that skillfully adapted Jobim’s work into a Big Band format while bringing out the ambiance and silences without altering the spirit of these compositions. A true balancing act, highlighting all the talent of the vocalist Laura Ann Singh, as in the original work, her beautiful voice is an instrument just like the guitar or saxophone.
One even forgets the Big Band aspect, as the composer’s work exudes an audacious elegance. We are literally pierced by the interpretation of “Insensatez,” which I have never heard in this manner before, with Laura Ann Singh infusing her impressive interpretation into it.
As some of you may know, we adore Jobim’s work, and with these 14 tracks, one can imagine the excellent concerts that lie ahead. The further we progress into this album, the more fascinated we become. Since these are not new compositions, we consider this album a “Coup de Cœur” for this season, warmly recommending it to you. The album’s cold cover doesn’t at all reflect the warmth that this CD provides.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, August 29th 2023


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