Brazilian Trio: Forests (2008)
Forests marks the auspicious debut of the Brazilian Triopianist Helio Alves, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka Da Fonsecathree musicians already well known in Brazilian jazz circles, having played with an impressive list of Latin icons, including Paquito D'Rivera, Rosa Passos and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
While the traditional piano trio format serves them well, the group's bicultural background takes the music deeper. All three hail from Brazil yet have made New York their home. Alves' improvising sounds like he absorbed the best of Bill Evans, Matta's bass playing is tasteful, supportive and, at the same time, stylistically unique and Da Fonseca's percussion work is nothing short of masterful.
The album is a mix of original compositions and tunes from Brazilian masters such as Milton Nascimento and Victor Assis Brasil. "Amor," the opening track by Ivan Lins, sets a mellow groove; "Samba Alegre," an Alves original, showcases the trio's seamless interplay and rhythmic chops and Nascimento's "Tarde" comes off like the musical embodiment of a sunset.
The skillful ensemble work of these musicians makes this recording particularly enjoyable. In their experienced hands, this collection of samba jazz originals and well-chosen classics is a great listen.
Track Listing: Amor; Florestas; Untitled; Tarde; Pro Zeca; Flying over Rio; Paraty; Ubatuba; Montreux; Vera Cruz.
Personnel: Helio Alves: piano; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums; Nilson Matta: bass.