Jazz Scene Magazine - May 2011
Buzios, Bill Beach.
Beach was bitten by the Brazilian jazz bug nearly a decade ago, and the result has been a couple of infectiously good Brazilian-influenced jazz discs, including this latest from the Portland composer/arranger/pianist/vocalist. His slightly breathy delivery fits the bossa style well, and — when he's joined by fellow Portland vocalist Rebecca Kilgore on "Tudo a Relativo (Everything is Relative)" — the result is smooth sailing, with Kilgore's ebullient voice flowing with the Portuguese lyrics. Also joining Beach are bassist Dave Captein and drummers/percussionists Reinhardt Melz, Gary Hobbs, Charlie Doggett and Ron Steen. Beach has long been a welcome and unique voice in the Portland jazz world, and this disc of originals continues his contributions. While Beach's vocals are nice, his instrumentals are equally strong and focused. The title track warms up the listener with a Bahia breeze, while "Pete's Place" grooves with polyrhythms. Beach has obviously studied the Portuguese language, and it comes out in his mellifluous diction and lyrics that sound like they were written by a true Brazilian — no small feat. Of course, for those of us who don't speak the language, we have to be lulled by the lyrics as if they were another instrumental voice, which works well. Beach's piano takes center stage when the vocals are silent, and he proves once again that he is his own best accompanist. It's another successful voyage to Brazil from Beach, and the subsequent concerts should be a pleasure.
2011, Axial Records, 50 minutes.
                                                                                            - Review by Kyle O'Brien
Música Brasileira website, May, 2011
Búzios is a popular resort place, north of Rio de Janeiro. The peninsula's twenty beautiful beaches and famous night-life attract many visitors. Happy faces of relaxed people form part of the attraction. The sentiment pianist, singer and composer Bill Beach creates on his most recent album recalls the atmosphere of Búzios in a nice way.
From Corvallis, Oregon, Bill Beach studied with jazz giants like pianists Marian McPartland and Warren Bernhardt. During his career, that spans a quarter of a century, the pianist performed with saxophonists Joe Henderson, Eddie Harris, trumpeter Nat Adderley, singer Mark Murphy and other legendary jazz soloists. Although his style sometimes echoes influences of pianist McCoy Tyner, it's clear that Bill picked up many other influences as well to shape them into his own style. In 2002 he dived into the world of Brazilian music and was influenced by artists like Carlos Lyra, Edu Lobo, Luiz Eça and João Donato. Bill studied Portuguese, performed with Brazilian musicians and started to write his own lyrics in Portuguese.
On Búzios Bill Beaches offers us a dozen of his own compositions among which there are 5 instrumentals. The album opens with its instrumental title track. It's a lovely piece of work on which the pianist shows his lyric and rhythmically interesting piano style. It's performed in an old fashioned trio format. The perfect opener; it sets you in the mood for the music that follows; music with sunny blue skies. On the following "Tudo É Relativo" the renowned vocalist Rebecca Kilgore was invited. The specialist of the American Songbook, singing in Portuguese for this occasion, perfectly knows how to add a natural flow to the song. "Nada de Lágrimas/Namida no Hate ni" is a bilingual song, that starts with Bill Beach singing in Japanese before switching over to Portuguese. With a large Japanese population in Brazil and a special love for bossa nova in Japan, the connection between the two countries is easily made. Bill Beach sings with a pleasant voice that finds shelter in his own piano playing. At moments it is fun to clearly notice that it's the pianist who's also singing; he does both things with the exact same sentiment! On all tracks, the bassist is Dave Captein, also from Oregon and with a solid history in jazz. He has been working with Beach for a couple of years already. The trio is completed by a variety of four drummers from the Portland jazz scene. The experienced drummers who switch duty are Ron Steen, Reinhardt Meltz, Gary Hobbs and Charlie Doggett. They all do a terrific job in laying down a jazzy rhythm with a Brazilian touch. The songs vary from friendly sambas to beautiful bossa novas. They're all performed with a warm dedication to Brazil and its musical culture. It makes Búzios a wonderful and entertaining album.
                                                                                                                   -  Review by Kees Schoof,
Oregon Music News May 6, 2011
Album: Bill Beach waxes wonderful on newest Brazilian-inspired CD                                            
I love Bill Beach’s music.
Composer, arranger, singer, instrumentalist, he consistently exhibits lyrical piano-playing and produces harmonious compositions that gently invite in listeners.
Now with his third latin-style album, released this month (May, 2011) on his Axial label, “Buzios,” he gives further dimension to his poetic piano playing and sweet baritone-bass, surrendering to the influences of mid-century Brazilian bossa nova giants Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto. Beach’s voice, singing mostly Portuguese, comes close to Gilberto’s in tone and light-stepping rhythmic structure; his piano virtuosity is rooted in styles of expressive jazz keyboardists Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner.
The 50-minute CD is named for a dreamy Brazilian seaside village made famous by Bridget Bardot’s visits with her South American lover way back when. Beach visited Buzios and was intoxicated by the fishermen’s nets and scalloped beaches. The place certainly provided him with musical inspiration.
Beach’s 12 original tunes include five instrumentals (my favorite is “A Casa da Ana” or “Ana’s House”) that showcase the talents of four Portland-area veteran drummers — Reinhardt Meltz, Gary Hobbs, Charlie Doggett and Ron Steen. Add in the expertise of bassist Dave Captein, who has played with Beach for years, and you’re in for pure rhythmic pleasure.
There’s much to love about the vocals and upbeat Latin Bossa nova overlay. Beach sings with Portland’s Becky Kilgore on “Tuda E Relativo” (“Everything is Relative”), and their voices work together languorously yet precisely. In a linguistic twist, “Nada de Lagrimas” (“No Tears”) starts out in Japanese and ends in Portuguese. Beach’s ear for language is as attuned and as well articulated as his playing.
A longtime Oregon jazz pianist by way of small-town Corvallis, Beach has been recording Brazilian music for several years and singing since childhood (his mother was a piano teacher). His vocals were on hiatus as his piano chops took over in the mid-’80s Portland’s jazz scene. He started singing again in 2002 and went public with his Brazilian love-bug in 2004 when he recorded interpretations of Brazilian classics on his CD, “Letting Go.” His second latin-style CD, “Brasil Beat,” came out in 2010, so “Buzios” makes a triple.
One criticism: The CD prints the lyrics of the songs, but skips mentioning the instrumental cuts (except on the back of the album) so it’s a bit confusing to follow the CD. But that production value that does nothing to compromise the music.
                                                                                                        - by Angela Allen,
Jazz Scene Magazine - May 2011
Buzios, Bill Beach, piano, vocals, composer.
Imagine writing numerous pieces of music in a style native to another country, and then writing the lyrics in the language of that country. Think about growing up in Corvallis, Oregon, and then at some phase of your life, you begin writing music that's very Brazilian, adding lyrics in Portuguese. Well, Portlander Beach has done exactly that. Twice! On this, his second recording of original music worthy of any well-crafted Jobim or Gilberto melody, Beach offers a dozen examples of his piano, vocals and his charming writing, all in a bossa/Brazilian bag. He surrounds himself with a talented troop of Portlanders in Dave Captein, bass, and, believe it or not, four scintillating Rose City drummers, albeit one to each selection: Charlie Doggett, Gary Hobbs, Reinhardt Melz and Ron Steen. To sweeten the deal, add Portland's premier singer, Rebecca Kilgore, who joins Beach on one outstanding cut. Not all the tunes are vocals, and instrumentally, Beach is playing his own compositions, very musical ones I might add, in a setting he obviously loves. One can only guess how many hundreds of hours Beach has invested in becoming a stirring interpreter of this very special music. What an accomplishment! And what a delicious new CD as well!
Axial Records, 2011; 49:3.0
                                                                                                                                              -  Review by George Fendel
Willamette Week - May 4, 2011
[BOSS BOSSA] Beguiled by that bossa beat, the rhythmically propulsive jazz pianist Bill Beach has devoted almost a decade to studying both Brazilian music (including a trip to the source) and the notoriously difficult-to-pronounce (for non-native speakers) Portuguese, ultimately writing his own lyrics in the language, and singing it persuasively on last year’s Brasil Beat full-length. Beach’s breezy new offering, Buzios, consists entirely of original compositions and reveals a musician completely at home in the idiom.
                                                                                                             - Brett Campbell
SE Examiner May, 11, 2011
Bill Beach’s Búzios
Búzios is SE Portland pianist Bill Beach’s new CD.  Beach has studied Brazilian music and Portuguese intently and this new disc is a subtle smokey tribute to that contagious music.  He’s writing his own tunes with lyrics these days and the songs on Búzios are a dense swinging mix of rhythym propelled by his solid piano feel. He is also an expresive vocalist with a fine whisper-grasp of Portuguese articulation.
                                                                       -Brian Cutean A&E, SE Examiner