Claudio Roditi: Bons Amigos (2011)
His warm tone, which can be dually credited to his personal sound and use of rotary valve horns, has become somewhat of a trademark, and he uses it well in this varied setting. He flies atop the band on the baião-based "O Sonho," delivers a lovely, lyrical performance on the title track, and comfortably glides around during his own "Bossa De Mank." When Jobim's music makes an appearance, as it almost always seems to do on Brazilian-based jazz albums, Roditi sings with his voice and his trumpet. While his vocals don't measure up to his horn work, he still possesses a pleasing voice and keen understanding of the nuances in phrasing that can only come with a lifetime of living this music.
Brazilian beats bolster the band during the majority of these tracks, but swing makes an appearance on the trumpeter's "Levitation," proving a welcome contrast as the album inches closer to its end. While this outing is technically a quintet session, the sixth man here is pianist Tamir Hendelman, who never touches the keys, but provides classy, five-star arrangements for half of the songs on the album. His writing brings dreamy passion to "Fantasia," sophistication and swaying swagger to Eliane Elias' "Amandamada," and sheer joy to "O Sonho," which features some killer solo work from guitarist Romero Lubambo and pianist Donald Vega.
With Bons Amigos, Claudio Roditi confirms his reputation as the ultimate trumpet exponent of Brazilian-based jazz.
Track Listing: O Sonho; Para Nada; Bossa De Mank; Ceu E Mar; Bons amigos; Ligia; Levitation; Fantasia; Amandamada; Piccolo Samba.
Personnel: Claudio Roditi: trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, vocals (6); Romero Lubambo: electric guitar, acoustic guitar (1, 2, 5, 8, 9); Donald Vega: piano; Marco Panascia: bass; Mauricio Zottarelli: drums.
Record Label: Resonance Records