Verão! (ft Helen Abbey)
"This is Helen Abbey at her very best. She has never sounded better and has found herself a cracking band.
It's bright, it's breezy and 'Verão!' have the wow factor!"
Stephen Foster. Senior Broadcast Journalist/Music Manager.
With two albums and hundreds of gigs behind her, East Anglian
jazz singer-songwriter Helen Abbey wanted to look to different influences
and styles for her third album. In early 2011 she started working
with guitarist Dave Burrluck and, exploring numerous sources, the
duo found a common ground with the timeless classic songs of bossa
nova pioneer Tom Jobim together with more contemporary, groove-based
Latin styles and retro-pop. As the new material and song demos evolved,
the pair realized very quickly that not only did they have enough
songs for an album but also, they wanted to involve other musicians
to colour their sketches. Two top musicians from the area were invited
onboard: keyboard player Matthew Keane and drummer/percussionist
Alex Best. Verão! was formed.
The band's debut live performance was headlining the Mersea Island Food, Drink and Leisure Festival in May 2011. Although unknown as a band,
they were booked on the strength of their individual reputations as jazz players in the area. Many more gigs followed. Verão! booked
studio-time and began shaping their first album.
In late 2011 Verão! released their first CD single featuring three tracks: Summer's Game, Glimpse of Love and Whole Lotta Life. The single
received airplay on BBC Radio Suffolk and interest from the radio presenter, Stephen Foster, who has remained a champion of their work.
After catching the band live, Foster immediately booked them to open the BBC Suffolk sound stage at Ipswich Music Day, July 2012.
Verão!'s first album, "Unusual Girl", is a collection of twelve original songs written by Dave and Helen. Recorded in 2011 and the early
part of 2012 in London and Italy, it was released on 4th July 2012. The album includes a guest appearance from Italian harmonica virtuoso,
Luigi Ferrara, who had previously collaborated with Helen on one of her earlier albums, "Simply Me".
A year after their first performance, Verão! were back at the Mersea Island Food, Drink and Leisure Festival. "It's been quite a journey,"
says Helen Abbey, "the biggest thrill has been creating an original sound and integrating our songs into a more standard jazz-based repertoire."