The Jim Josselyn Group’s Brazilian Sunflower
isn’t so much about Brazilian music as it’s title suggests; perhaps it’s the sunflower itself that’s Brazilian. True, the title tune and the closer do have that gentle lilting samba feel, but I would describe this more as jazz with a Brazilian influence rather than the other way around. But categorizations aside, this outing is pure contemporary straight-ahead enjoyment.
And it’s nice stuff. After the two-minute “Prelude,” the remaining songs are long enough (seven to almost ten minutes each) for the principle voices (Josselyn on guitar, Jeb Patton on piano, Lex Samu on trumpet) to stretch out and really explore the changes with thoughtful solos. The songs, all composed by Josselyn, flow nicely, with a swinging medium-tempo groove. Debbie Aviles’ voice is primarily used to wordlessly double the guitar or trumpet on each song’s “head,” but she gets the chance to deliver her own lyrics on “Tres Pontas” and “Hartshorne Valley Walk.” All in all, a satisfying jazz outing from a promising new guitarist and combo.