A melody as bright as the sun. A groove that matches its warmth. A soft sway that isn’t all that different from a cool summer breeze. If there’s a jazz single that captures the essence of the season this July, it’s unquestionably Integriti Reeves’ “Eu Vim Da Bahia,” one of the signature songs off of her new, aptly-titled record Stairway to the Stars. From the very start of the track, the music inspires thoughts of a day at the beach spent relaxing in the sand and basking in the jubilant atmosphere that only summertime can produce. Lyrics are lightly seasoned over the gorgeous harmonies between the instruments, and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get hypnotized by their sprawling size alone. “Eu Vim Da Bahia” is a modern take on a vintage sound, and this month, it’s unsurprisingly making it onto a lot of critics’ ‘Best of the Year’ lists, despite the fact that the woman behind its sexy serenade is among the freshest faces currently active in her scene.
Every element in this track acts as an agent of evocation. The violin conjures up a sense of romance amidst the pastoral grooving of the guitars, whose strings frame Reeves’ singing better than anything else possibly could have. The bassline is forlorn, angst-ridden even, but its solemn attitude only contributes to the angular narrative in the lyrics. Reeves herself spits out some silky verses that, even to her non-Spanish speaking fans, need no further elaboration than they receive here. She’s to the point with us, doesn’t waste any of our time on tired platitudes or metaphorical statements that we hear every two minutes on Top 40 radio, and doesn’t appear to have any issues sharing our attention with the string arrangement behind her. I think the drums are the only instrument that doesn’t get as much of a boost from the mix as the other components do, but they don’t really need one – they’re already powerful enough as they are, and their fragility doesn’t water down the fluidity of the collective tempo in the least. “Eu Vim Da Bahia” was well-designed and built to last, avoiding ties to generational fads while touching on progressive jazz conceptualism at the same time.
Reeves still has a lot to prove to the Latin jazz establishment, but if her scholarly postgraduate résumé wasn’t enough to score their critical stamp of approval, then I think that the substance of this single should definitely suffice. She’s spent the better part of her life studying music, and more explicitly, the ins and outs of one of the most complex and respected genres known to humankind. Jazz requires a lot out of the players who intrepidly dare to approach its legendary school of thought, but Integriti Reeves demonstrates the sort of keen attention to detail that it takes to become one of the style’s reputed hotshots. We’ve never known a time quite like the present in the history of all pop music, but as long as artists like this one continue to experiment with their sound, you can bet everything you’ve got on the best times for music lovers being ahead of us.