A less-celebrated contemporary of Jobim and Gilberto, pianist/composer Joao Donato has enjoyed a more diverse career than his fellow bossa nova pioneers. As a versatile, accomplished pianist also at home in extroverted Cuban rhythms Donato has recorded and played with Mongo Santamaria, Bud Shank, Cal Tjader, and Michael Franks as well as with many of the major Brazilian singers.
Amazonas suggests itself as a career summary with some of Donato's best tunes presented in the back-to-basics context of a piano trio. The emphasis here is on beauty and celebration, affectionately and knowledgeably delivered. The improvisations are not overly evolved, but there is a sense of variety in tempo, rhythm (especially in some of the left-hand syncopations), and feel. There is a short bass solo on "Coffee com Pao," but Helder and Slon concentrate on quiet accompanying. This CD offers some lovely music.
Personnel: Joao Donato - piano, composer; Jorge Helder - bass; Claudio Slon - drums.