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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gabriel Espinosa/Hendrik Meurkens: Samba Little Samba

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Mexican-born bassist Gabriel Espinosa and German-born harmonica specialist Hendrik Meurkens--though coming from vastly different backgrounds--have always had a common passion for the bossa nova and the samba. Continuing their successful collaboration of the past, the two co-leaders join forces once again for another Brazilian musical dance on Samba Little Samba and follow up to their highly-acclaimed Celebrando (ZOHO, 2012), their very first outing. The duo present an offering of nine originals (four each) plus one from pianist Misha Tsiganov who was also a part of the first recording, and round off the repertoire with the standard “Besame Mucho" from Mexican-born ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bebel Gilberto: Tudo

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On her seventh studio album, Bebel Gilberto follows a path similar to her last two records: a blend of original electronic-enhanced acoustic music sung in English and Portuguese and a handful of covers. Tudo opens with the gentle ballad “Somewhere Else," a track cleverly arranged with the addition of a string quartet led by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. “Nada Não" is a syncopated breakup tune in which the narrator tells a former lover that he will not be taking anything with him because “it never belonged to you" in the first place. “Essas Idéias" is the sole bona-fide samba--a gorgeous ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gabriel Espinosa/Hendrik Meurkens: Samba Little Samba

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The hundredth release on the Zoho imprint was the aptly-titled Celebrando (Zoho Music, 2012)--the debut collaboration between Gabriel Espinosa and Hendrik Meurkens. This follow-up date, arriving a little more than two years later, is cut from the same musical cloth, though a few minor personnel changes and role adjustments give this one its own identity. The personnel constants across both albums are pianist Misha Tsiganov, drummer Antonio Sanchez, multi-reedist Anat Cohen, and vocalist Alison Wedding. Cohen, appearing on four tracks here, adds her inimitable clarinet voice and puts her tenor to good use; Sanchez, drumming on half ...

THE CLUB CAR

Mauricio de Souza Strikes the Right Note

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Moonstruck Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge owners Luke Magliaro and Howard Raczkiewicz hired a trio not long ago for a Friday night gig at their popular bistro in Asbury Park, and they got a quartet. Drummer Mauricio de Souza and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi teamed up with pianist-trumpeter Alan Chaubert. Close your eyes and you hear a quartet. That's because Chaubert plays both instruments at the same time. The technique may require a split personality, but the result is Chaubert's smoky muted trumpet accompanied by his left-hand piano layers. At times he also plays, as you might expect, each instrument ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Laura Dreyer: Vida. Arte. Amor.

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Life, art, and love are all intertwined in the latest work from multi-instrumentalist Laura Dreyer--a fourteen song collection that finds her plying her trade in Brazilian-based settings and contemporary scenes. For this album, Dreyer went the wholly authentic route, traveling to Brazil to record in Rio De Janiero. The music that was born in that sunny locale--a fusion of Brazilian musical languages, funk, rock, smooth jazz, and more--speaks to Dreyer's diverse interests; it also speaks to her knack for spinning out catchy and uncomplicated melodies. You don't need extensive music theory training or a music degree to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vinicius Cantuaria and Bebel Gilberto at Celebrate Brooklyn

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Vinicius Cantuaria and Bebel Gilberto Brasil Summerfest at Celebrate Brooklyn Brooklyn, New York July 18, 2014 On the opening night of the third edition of the city-wide Brasil Summerfest, guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria took the stage with his quintet. He played a semi-acoustic guitar and started with a syncopated instrumental interlude that led into Gilberto Gil's “Procissão," a tune whose irony-filled lyrics wax critical against the blind faith of religious communities in Brazil. His delivery was quite personal, often singing down to a whisper, and leaving plenty of space for his improvisational riffing ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Maira Freitas + Lenine at Central Park Summerstage

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Maira Freitas + Lenine Brasil Summerfest at Central Park Summerstage New York, NY July 19, 2014 For her New York City debut, Maira Freitas traveled lightly, backed solely by a drummer on stage. She did the first few songs on piano, beginning with a jazz- inflected samba and then moving on to a very personal rendition of “Dream A Little Dream," her voice a clear soprano with great range. After introducing herself to the audience, she switched to an electric piano attached to a laptop, using lots of effects to enhance songs ...



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