Brandi Disterheft takes a ride on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Surfboard for her latest single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The breezy, hip-swivelling title track from the award-winning Canadian jazz bassist, singer and composer’s forthcoming fifth album — set for release in October — Surfboard pays loving homage to the bossa nova icon. And it’s just the beginning. Featuring legendary saxophonist George Coleman, definitive Brazilian drummer Portinho and the pearly genius of pianist Klaus Mueller, Surfboard is an album that celebrates Brazilian jazz album while showcasing Brandi’s inventive writing, power-socket playing, and sweet ethereal vocals.
The album’s origins lie in Disterheft’s decade-long musical relationship with Portinho, whom she met through Mueller soon after moving to New York from Canada in 2010. Their connection developed during years working together on numerous Canadian concerts led by Disterheft and at Portinho’s five-sets-a-night weekend sinecure at a churrascaria in Manhattan.
“I wanted to record us,” she says. “Porto has a way of uplifting the beat. It’s so funky, with such an infectious groove, and he has so much dynamic range. He has strict rules, but once you learn them, he wants you to break away. He’s always anticipating, turning around the phrases. It’s so much fun.”
Disterheft has long captivated audiences throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, China, and Haiti with her fiery bass playing, and also instantly recognizable vocals — singing in both English and French, she offers an ambient and dreamy voice that conveys vulnerability and emotional intelligence, and matches the high bar set by her partners.
A featured soloist with the Canada’s Pops Orchestra at just the age of 21, Disterheft began performing in her teens with her mother, a Chicago-born pianist and B3 organist. Having been under the apprenticeship of Miles Davis’ bassist Ron Carter since she relocated to NYC, she has recorded with icons Oliver Jones and Hank Jones on the album Pleased To Meet You, worked with Benny Green on Anne Drummond’s album Revolving, and joined Cyrus Chestnut and Jeremy Pelt on Vincent Herring’s albums Uptown Shuffle and Night and Day.
Her first recording Debut (2008) won a Juno in the Traditional Jazz Album category, and her critically acclaimed Second Side (2009) was hailed as one of the finest albums of the year. Disterheft’s skills as a bassist and composer are clear on her breathtaking and Juno-nominated followups Gratitude (2012) and Blue Canvas (2016) — the latter featuring an all-star New York City lineup headed by Harold Mabern and the great Joe Farnsworth.