Randy Brecker: Randy in Brasil (2008)
on all tracks lends the session a cohesion most "cast of thousands" projects lack. The material is largely culled from popular Brazilian writes including Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins and Joao Bosco, though Brecker's two contributionsthe breezy ballad "Guaruja" and up-tempo, samba-esque yet characteristically funkified "Sambop"fit seamlessly into the program.
The lack of a core group often results in a generic sound that looks to the leader for definition, and Brecker's voice clearly gives Randy in Brasil its primary focus. Still, the participation of keyboardist/producer/arranger Ruria Duprat and guitarist Ricardo Silveira
, Joao Donato and Hector Martignon. Most remarkable about Randy in Brasil is perhaps how he places a firm stamp on the music, with a sometimes pervasive Brecker Brothers vibe despite the lack of a rhythm section on most tracks. Duprat's appreciation for Brecker's distinct horn voicings makes Lins' funky, synth bass-driven "Aiaiai" feel, in fact, as if it were drawn straight from The Brecker Brothers' songbook.
The Brecker Brothers often dabbled with broader cultural styles, and Brecker is no stranger to Brazilian music having guested with Flora Purim
Equally, Brecker adapts effortlessly to the cadence of Brazilian rhythmic forms like bossa nova and samba. There's no denying the Brazilian groove of Gil's bright "Ile Aye," the contemporary vibe of Djavan's "Me Leve" or the light, airy feel of Bosco's "Olhos Puxados." Throughout, Brecker solos with attention to the tune's melodic and percussive essencenavigating his own winding changes on "Sambop" as he constructs a solo of narrative perfection that demonstrates his full range, and displaying equal focus but greater lyrical simplicity on "Olhos Puxados."
As a leader, Brecker's albums have sometimes lacked a clear focus or, in the case of Hanging in the City (ESC, 2001), a misplaced one with his vocal alter-ego Randroid. With its lush sound, beautiful song choices and ideal mesh of Brazilian culture and Brecker's singular voice, Randy in Brasil stands as one of his finestif not the finestalbums in his long and varied career.
Track Listing: Pedro Brasil; Ile Aye; Guaruja; Me Leve; Malasia; Sambop; Oriente; Maca; Olhos Puxados; Rebento; Fazendo Hora; Aiaiai.
Personnel: Randy Brecker: trumpets; Paulo Calazans: acoustic piano (1, 5, 8), keyboards (8); Ruria Duprat: keyboards (1-3, 5-8, 10-12), acoustic piano (4, 9), Fender Rhodes (12), clavinet (12), voice (2); Ricardo Silveira: acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5-11), electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12); Sizao Machado: acoustic bass (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10), electric bass (2, 8, 12); Teco Cardoso: soprano saxophone (1, 4, 9, 12); alto saxophone (2, 4, 12), tenor saxophone (2, 6, 12), baritone saxophone (2, 6), saxophone (3), G-flute (5), flute (8); Da Lua: percussion (1-3, 11, 12), timba (1); Andre Mehmari: acoustic piano (3, 6, 7); Robertinho Silva: drums (4, 6, 8); Joao Parahyba: percussion (4, 6, 8-10), timba (6, 8-10); Paolo Calazans: acoustic piano (5, 8), keyboards (8); Caito Marcondes: percussion (5, 7); Gilson Peranzetta: acoustic piano (11); Rogerio: acoustic bass (11); Edu Ribeiro: drums (12); Rubinho Ribeiro: voice (6).
Record Label: MAMA Records