Grupo Falso Baiano – Viajando Choro e Jazz (Independent 2008)

Of the many non-Brasilian ensembles in the United States besotted with "choro," the music of Brasil and, not simply drawn to it, but actually performing it, Grupo Falso Baiano may very possibly be the finest. The quartet of Jesse Appelman (mandolin), Zack Pitt-Smith (woodwinds), Brian Moran (guitars and cavaquinho) and Ami Molinelli (pandeiro and percussion) [...]

Meurkens & Tsiganov: Junity

Hendrik Meurkens has a knack for coining words. It is almost as if he sees the word as part of a lyrical line which...

Chico Pinheiro – There’s a Storm Inside (Sunnyside Records – 2010)

The near falsetto vocals of Chico Pinheiro perfectly offset the voluptuous music that he has created on There’s a Storm Inside. However narrow his vocal range, Pinheiro is a master storyteller and he weaves his lines like an elaborate tapestry, a sort of patchwork quilt that tells the story his way. Pinheiro has a softness that seems to accelerate and retard his very breath. This increases the dramaturgy of his vocalastics in both English and Portuguese [...]

Spok Frevo Orquestra: Ninho de Vespa

To the untrained ear, most frevos may sound the same—fast-paced, played at breakneck speed almost, music rising and falling in waves crashing upon invisible...
The Reunion Project - Varanda

The Reunion Project: Varanda

Listening to Varanda by The Reunion Project, I am struck by how they make of music a living, breathing being, drinking in its heady...
Sergio Pereira - Nu Brasil

Sergio Pereira: Nu Brasil

For the carioca, Sergio Pereira, playing on the Portuguese word “Nu” as the title of his album Nu Brasil and then following it up...

Mario Adnet & Phillippe Baden Powell – AfroSambaJazz

Truth is told: Had the great Billy Strayhorn been even mildly interested in courting recognition for his contribution to Duke Ellington's music, he would have occupied a much more rarified place in the pantheon of composers and arrangers - and even pianists - in the modern history of music. His reticence, even diffidence, was all encompasing. Mario Adnet could very possibly be [...]

Peter Schärli Trio w Ithamara Koorax – O Grande Amor (TCB Music)

Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax and the Swiss trio of pianist Hans-Peter Pfammatter, Trumpeter Peter Schärli and bassist Thomas D?rst work together to transcend any barriers of culture and physical distance. Switzerland, where the core of this group is from is not the first area one thinks about when considering Latin Jazz! These musicians are finely tuned with each other, particularly in the title cut, but why, oh why did they choose to leave out percussion [...]

Duduka da Fonseca Trio Plays Toninho Horta (Zoho Music – 2011)

One of the main reasons why Brazilian music has been preserved and, more importantly, kept alive through the generations has been the readiness of newer generations of musicians to create repertory albums in homage to that country’s master musicians. Over the years there have been a slew of beautiful tributes to classical masters such as Heitor Villa Lobos, from João Carlos Assis Brasil’s legendary album A Floresta do Amazonas [...]

Benjamim Taubkin – Trio + 1 (Adventure Music 2009)

In music – even in a zone of sublime comfort – a small, unexpected ripple can distrub the ebb and flow of the wave, or groove thereby upsetting the complete sense and flow of the ocean of sound. This happens all the time, and can even stop and start a song in the middle of the first bar. That magical pulse must be felt even before the song begins. If it does not snap in the air [...]

Mario Adnet – More Jobim Jazz (Adventure Music – 2011)

Of all the musicians who have contributed to keeping the repertoire of great Brazilian composers alive, Mario Adnet may be making the greatest contribution here. Like trombonist Roswell Rudd, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and pianist Misha Mengleberg who gone to great lengths to keep the music of the great pianist and composer Herbie Nichols’ and (to a certain extent) Thelonious Monk’s repertoire alive, the guitarist Adnet has created some of [...]

Two Releases of Ricardo Silveira on Adventure Music

The masterful Brasilian guitarist Ricardo Silveira has produced two records recently. The first one is a guitar duet with another guitar master, Roberto Taufic,...

Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird’s Eye

Hendrik Meurkens is, most certainly, one of the greatest musical adventurers from Europe. The harmonica wunderkind who also happens to be a fine vibraphone player seems to have almost singlehandedly rediscovered Brazil decades after Stan Getz and Joe Henderson did almost five decades ago. In doing so Meurkens along with the grandmaster of the harmonica, Toots Thielemans, has cast a refreshing light on Brazilian music [...]

Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

It is no longer the necessity to use the term Third Stream that Gunther Schuller “invented” to describe the music created by the Modern Jazz Quartet in the 50’s, which was a confluence of the European Classical tradition streaming with cadenzas, infused with swaggering swing and syncopations of jazz idioms to describe much contemporary 21st century music, which does the same. Labels of any sort would diminish the excellence of the music played by Mike [...]

Danilo Brito: Self-Titled Album

The Brasilian mandolinist Danilo Brito has shown himself to be a musician and composer of considerable talent. This, self-titled album is further evidence of...

Patty Ascher – Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba (Zoho Music – 2011)

Patty Ascher’s exquisitely floating soprano literally takes flight on her ever so memorable English album, Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba, a collection of mostly original...

Cristina Braga – Samba, Jazz and Love

Every year I receive lots of recordings from a diversity of Brazilian artists. Most of those recordings are good, but once or twice a...
Phil Marucci - Next Stop Brazil

Phil Marucci: Next Stop Brazil

You would be forgiven if you thought you were listening to a Brasilian while playing Next Stop Brazil by Phil Marucci. The Portuguese is...

Phil DeGreg & Brasilia: Brazilian People

Among all of the musical idioms of the world Brasilian music must be one of the most seductive; the most attracting of musicians no matter what their compulsion. But let it be known that mastering their complex and myriad rhythms is no easy task ...

Daniel Santiago – Metropole (Adventure Music 2009)

Daniel Santiago comes from a long and continuing line of renowned Brasilian guitarists. He has a lively and probing mind and the language of his guitar resonates with sparkling phrases, unusual syntax and an almost full-formed musical ideology. On Metropole, a thoughtful, questioning record, Santiago employs the distinct nature of being “Brasileiro” to explore his environment [...]

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