Marta Hugon: Tender Trap (2006)
Melo, a standout on this recording, is solid throughout, providing support and great interplay with Hugon. The trio of inspired soloists who back Hugon manage to pull back and not detract from the vocalist when it's her time to shine. And shine she does, especially on "Falsa Baina, singing in her native Portuguese. She deftly handles the tune's quick rhythms and exhibits an infectious exuberance. Hugon should consider recording an album of Jobim classics and Brazilian bossas. All indications are that it would be spectacular.
Guest guitarists Bruno Santos (on "I Feel So Smoochie ) and Andre Fernandes (on "I Wish I Knew ) both fit in seamlessly with the trio. Fernandes' solo in particular is very engaging and brings to mind the work of Barney Kessel. I get the feeling from listening to this disc that these musicians have been heavily influenced by the greats of Kessel's generation. Shades of Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen are all heard, which is welcome indeed.
The arrangements are all infused with a sense of respect for the material, while managing to not wallow in nostalgia. The title track in particular doesn't owe too much to any of its more familiar recorded versions, opening with elegant brushwork from drummer Andre Sousa Machado and a melodic bass line from Bernardo Moreira.
Hugon and company have carved a nice little niche for themselves with this warm, relaxed session.
Track Listing: In Love In Vain; Old Davil Moon; I Concentrate On You; I Feel So Smoochie; I Wish I Knew; Tender Trap; That Old Black Magic; Too Close For Comfort; Too Young To Go Steady.
Personnel: Marta Hugon: vocals; Filipe Melo: piano; Bernardo Moreira: bass; Andre Sousa Machado: drums; Bruno Santos: guitar (4); Andre Fernandes: guitar (5).
Record Label: Self Produced