Reviews Zone

Ed Motta: Behind The Tea Chronicles (Dwitza/MPS Music) 20th October 2023


  • OCTOBER * Album Of The Month *


5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



There are voices that sound lovely on the radio, but are instantly forgotten. There are also many that make me reach for the off button. No names! Then there are once in a generation voices that could stop traffic. Ed Motta is of the latter.

Ed is Brazilian and known as “the Collossus of Rio.” Very good reason for that when you hear his incredible vocals. Ed’s new album, “Behind The Tea Chronicles,” is a good place to start. An 11-track triumph * (track 11 is only on the CD version). Jazz, soul and superbly crafted and delivered songs that straddle genres. Composed, arranged and produced by Ed.

After a five year break Ed drops his 14th studio album, and it was well worth waiting for. “Behind The Tea Chronicles” features an impressive lineup of renowned musicians, including notable collaborations with both Brazilian and international artists.

Singers Paulette McWilliams and Philip Ingram can be heard as back-up vocals, as well as the Czech FILMharmonic Orchestra, complimenting the core line-up of Ed Motta: vocals, Michel Limma on piano, João Oliveira on guitar, Alberto Continentino: bass and drummer Sergio Mello.

With a career spanning three-and-a-half decades, Ed has established himself as an influential force in the Brazilian music scene. From his early days as a keyboardist for legendary Brazilian bands to his evolution as a successful solo artist, Ed Motta’s talents have consistently pushed boundaries and resonated with fans across the globe.

Read more below the video…

“Behind The Tea Chronicles” is inspired by a diverse array of movies and old TV series, where Ed seamlessly weaves these influences into a cohesive narrative throughout the album. Each track showcases his mastery of various musical styles, incorporating elements of funk, soul, jazz and even Broadway sounds.

You could almost bath in the warmness of this album, and maybe even cut his thick and velvety smooth vocals with a knife. It really is very special and one of the finest albums of the jazz and soul genre released this year. I can smell a Grammy nomination attached to this little belter.

Commenting on his latest album, Ed Motta said, “I wanted to create something truly unique with ‘Behind The Tea Chronicles.’ Movies and old TV series have always had a profound impact on my imagination and musicality. I wanted to pay homage to those influences and use them as connecting points to craft an album that is not only musically engaging, but also takes listeners on a nostalgic and cinematic journey. It is an ode to the freedom and a commitment to the art.”

Ed is 52 now and made his first record when he was 15, and since then his musical passions and references have expanded to soul, funk, jazz, classic-rock, classical music, blues and Broadway. Selling more than 300,000 copies in Brazil with his 1997 release “Manual Prático para Festas, Bailes e Afins”, Ed Motta at that point manifested his role as a “Popstar” in his home country and went Platinum.

Read more below the video…

He continued to merge genres and explore the musical world, working in the film industry as well by adapting the soundtrack of “Tarzan” and recording it in Portuguese. He even explored the world of classical music that he intertwines with his roots from Brazil and different styles from all over the world. time.

So, it is no surprise that over the course of his career he has worked with celebrated musicians such as Ryūichi Sakamoto, Max Middleton, Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick (Incognito), Greg Phillinganes, Chucho Valdez, Roy Ayers, Rolf Kühn and many more.

He had a Latin Grammy nomination in 2006 for his album “Aystelum”. 2018 marked the birth of his last album “Criterion Of The Senses”. On his new album, Ed sings in English, recording the band in Brazil, backing vocals in LA, strings in Prague and horns in Detroit.

If the likes of Gregory Porter and Kurt Elling are your bag, grab this album PDQ and just soak it all up. Glorious.


Review by Steve Best


1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’






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