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Some good news about Brazilian music is received from the North Country. Canadian bandleader Paul Donat brings Rio Bossa to fellow enthusiasts in Canada as well as abroad.
Donat is an acoustic bassist and guitarist/vocalist, bitten by the bossa bug in the early 1980s. Traveling to Rio, he worked in a nightclub there for two-and-a-half years, inviting different musicians to join him each night.
When he returned to Montreal in the early 1990s, Donat continued his love of Brazilian music. By 1999 he had relocated to Toronto and, for this recording, has the assistance of Canadian saxman Mike Murley, trumpeter/flugelhornist Kevin Turcotte, pianist Gordon Sheard, and drummers Alan Hetherington and Anil Sharma, in addition to other musicians.
Donat's concept of bossa nova is a series of attractive instrumentals buoyed by his vocalese/Brazilian-type scatting along with vocalist Claire Shaw. All of the tunes are originals and have a nice lilt to them that is easily transposed into samba music. With the exception of "Quiet Night," which is a jazz ballad with noteworthy work by Turcotte, all other tracks fall within the bossa framework. The final compositions, "Coo Coo" and "Ipanema Reprise," create a street samba sound with the aid of a whistle and percussionist.
Rio Bossa passes muster as a warm emulation of samba and syncopation.
Track Listing: Postcard; Rio Bossa; Ipanema Breeze; The Beat of Brazil; Breakfast Samba; Quiet Night; Coo Coo; Ipanema Reprise.
Personnel: Paul Donat: acoustic bass, guitar, vocals; Mike Murley: soprano and tenor sax; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet and flugelhorn (2, 4, 7, 8); Gordon Sheard: piano (2, 4, 7, 8); Alan Hetherington: drums (2, 4,7, 8); Anil Sharma: drums (1, 5); Claire Shaw: vocals (1, 5); Skip Beckwith: bass (1, 5); Tom Roach: percussion (1, 5); Evan Shaw: alto sax (3).