Claudio Roditi: Brazilliance x4

Claudio Roditi - Brazilliance x4

Charles Mingus would have loved the way Claudio Roditi plays his horn. He is most like Clarence “Gene” Shaw. And like Shaw, Roditi knows the importance of the space between the notes; when to play a note; a quick flurry, or merely a short intricate phrase… and when not to play. His voice is unique; his sound is bright, delivered in short, round bursts of emotion and energy. And because he is one of the most thoughtful musicians around, he almost never plays a wrong note. On Brazilliance x4 Claudio Roditi is on top of his game, once again. Moreover like the great bebop musicians, whom Roditi no doubt admires—men like Bird and Diz, who was his boss for several years in the United Nations Orchestra—he solos with sonorous rhythm and a quiet fire always aglow, but is the epitome of brevity, always… In and out in a few bars, perhaps a chorus or two. This way the music is always magnificently highlighted, while Roditi and his cohort merely embellish its intricacies in short gentle bursts.

This is Roditi’s first Resonance record and it is a splendid one indeed. He is joined here by three stellar, first call musicians—Helio Alves on piano, Leonardo Cioglia on bass and Duduka da Fonseca on drums. Their expert reading of the charts is near perfect and the empathy with the trumpeter and flugelhorn player is significant. In a day when showboating is the order of the day, each of the musicians here are practically self-effacing. But the music is not. The tunes here cover much ground in contemporary Brasilian music—from Victor Assis Brasil, Johnny Alf, João Donato, Durval Ferreira and Raul de Souza—a Miles Davis chart, “Tune Up” and four Roditi originals. All the songs are played in the Bossa Nova mode and the energy is kept up throughout the record.

Roditi’s original tribute to the great Brasilian percussionist and composer, “Song para Nana,” is a dreamy excursion into a glowing soundscape, creating an almost halo-like quality for the track. Alves solos with exquisite taste and is also mighty glissando. Duduka da Fonseca is restrained and his splashes of brassy color on the cymbals stoke the composition throughout. “Tema para Duduka” has a sturdier bossa nova rhythm and showcases the drummer’s unbridled skill to great effect. The second half of the song belongs to Duduka da Fonseca, who turns his arms and legs, sticks and drums and cymbals into a harmonic and rhythmic constellation. Of course none of this would be complete without the steady strutting of Leonardo Cioglia, who provides a perfect foil for Fonseca to take the song into the stratosphere.

The Brasilian standards at the start of the record are wonderfully recast and in doing so Roditi is also giving notice that he is not merely a Brasilian with a penchant for jazz, but also a soulful Carioca at heart. “A Vontade Mesmo,” “E Nada Mais” and “Quem Diz Que Sabe” provide ample evidence of this. The live track at the back end of the record and the superb sound throughout make this record one of the finest in 2008/09 so far.

Track list – 1: Pro Zeca; 2: E Nada Mais; 3: A Vontade Mesmo; 4: Tune Up; 5: Rapaz de Bem; 6: Dinner by Five; 7: Song for Nana; 8: Tema para Duduka; 9: Quem Diz Que Sabe; 10: Gemini Man.

Personnel – Claudio Roditi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Helio Alves: piano; Leonardo Cioglia: bass; Duduka da Fonseca: drums.

Released – 2009
Label – Resonance Records
Runtime – 56:05

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more