Mark Weinstein: Jazz Brasil (2011)
Jazz Brasil continues flautist Mark Weinstein's odyssey through the world of Latin jazz. The former trombonist-turned-philosophy-professor-turned-flute-phenom has delivered a steady stream of Latin jazz releases that highlight material from well-known Latin American composers, deal with original material, and deliver Latin-ized takes on jazz classics. His previous release, Timbasa (Jazzheads Records, 2010), tackled Cuba with percussion-heavy gusto, and Weinstein now turns his sights westward from that locale, visiting the music of Brazil.
Weinstein and his more-than-capable quartet cover the cream of the crop, with healthy helpings of Thelonious Monk ("I Mean You" and "Ruby My Dear") and Antonio Carlos Jobim ("If You Never Come Along" and "Triste") placed alongside music from Wayne Shorter, Herbie Mann and Ary Barroso, each piece authentically shaped within the Brazilian traditions. Weinstein's alto flute proves to be soothing and warm on Shorter's "Nefertiti," and drummer Marcello Pellitteri creates a light percussive layer that evolves underneath the action. Jobim's "Triste" is Brazilian-by-birth, but pianist Kenny Barron creates some montuno-like movements at times, and delivers one of his most engaging solos on the record. Bassist Nilson Matta's "Sambosco" is one of the bouncier numbers on the program, but the band takes a mid-track pause for an unaccompanied, tom-heavy solo from Pellitteri.
Blues are visited via Brazil on fellow flautist Herbie Mann's classic "Memphis Underground," held in place by a rock-leaning groove and highlighting Weinstein's bass flute work, while saxophone titan Joe Henderson's "Isotope" features explosive solo work from Matta and Pellitteri. Gentler fare comes in the form of Jobim's "If You Never Come," Weinstein's "Dawn's Early Light," and Monk's "Ruby My Dear," which begins with an all-too-brief piano introduction from Barron.
Weinstein covers all of his stylistic and repertory bases on Jazz Brasilanother fine collection of music from a man rightfully viewed as a leading light in the world of Latin jazz.
Track Listing: I Mean You; Triste; Nefertiti; Brazil; Ruby My Dear; Sambosco; Dawn's Early Light; Memphis Underground; If You Never Come To Me; Isotope.
Personnel: Mark Weinstein: concert, alto and bass flutes; Kenny Barron: piano; Nilson Matta: bass; Marcello Pellitteri: drums and percussion.