May 11, 2012
Maybe it’s the fallout from International Jazz Day, or the onset of warmer weather, but I’ve been increasingly drawn to releases with a Brazilian or South American sound. The weather in New England has been rainy, so perhaps these mellow sounds will chase away the clouds and give us some much needed late spring sunshine. What better reasons for Podcast 274, which features tracks from several of those releases, including:
Receita De Samba – “E Lux O” from Receita De Samba. Receita De Samba are husband and wife duo Anna Borges and Bill Ward, and the band name means “recipe for samba” in Portuguese They hail from Boston’s vibrant Brazilian music and mix acoustic music with drum machines or electronic sampling to make their unique sound.
Frank Herzberg Trio – “Mil Saudades” from Handmade. Herzberg was born and raised in East Berlin, Germany, but followed his love, Brazilian pianist Marta Karassawa, south to São Paulo. His trio is made up of Herzberg on bass, drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário and pianist Alexandre Zamith. . Zamith, who holds a Doctorate in Classical Performance, and Nazário, who seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of rhythms from Brazil, help make this groove of a track go.
New World Beat – “Song for Brazil” from After Carnival. Miami-based New World Beat mixes Brazilian and other World tones into what they call a “sonic cocktail”, reminiscent of past Pat Metheny sounds. The band - Richard Sprince - vibraphone; Matt Vashlishan – soprano & alto saxophones; Tom Lippincott - 8 String guitar; Diogo Brown – fretless bass; Goran Rista – drums; Tony Cruz, Terezinha Valois – vocals; Cezar Santana - nylon string guitar; and Dwili Dewongy –percussion; are joined by Jorge Pardo on flute for this ballad, which has bolero overtones.
Kate McGarry – “O Cantador” from Girl Talk. Singer McGarry is gaining more exposure and greater acclaim with each album release. This wonderful duet with Kurt Elling is made even more stunning by the deep and talented backing band of Keith Gantz - guitars; Gary Versace - organ and piano; Reuben Rogers - bass; and Clarence Penn - drums and percussion.
Towner Galaher – “Café Con Samba” from Uptown! This is a peak at a CD not due out for another month. Drummer Galaher has put together a band that features trumpeter Brian Lynch, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, and tenor saxophonist Craig Handy. To give the sound some soul he has added Pat Bianchi, on the B-3 organ. Galaher wrote this one in 6/4, and the band, which has roots in Eddie Palmieri’s groups, knows how to bring the fuego.
Marisa Monte – “Descalço no Parque” from O Que Você Quer Saber De Verdade. The album title translates as “What You Really Want To Know”, and while filled mostly with Monte originals, it also features covers from some of her favorite artists. Here she chooses Jorge Ben’s tune for her latest Blue Note Records release.