Acoustic Brazilian jazz brings an air of celebration to any event. Drummer Duduka Da Fonseca has gathered together an all-star committee for his Malandro Records debut as leader. As it should be, the drummer here feeds energy to his companions and wraps it all up as a family session. His immediate family, his New York "family," his Brazilian "family" and his recording label "family" form a seamless program that drives traditional, improvised jazz across international boundaries. A native of Rio de Janeiro who grew up in Ipanema, Da Fonseca moved to New York in 1975 largely as a result of his deep love for jazz.
Eddie Gomez and Helio Alves carry a light melody on "Pedra Bonita, a lovely lullaby that suits their piano trio well. Da Fonseca carries the session with a variety of textures from his drum set. Knowing how to balance the various ensembles, he shapes the music with care. There's fire, but the program emphasizes restraint and lyricism. Rhythm comes secondary here, behind harmony and melody. John Scofield brings in one lovely tune that he's written, and adds leading edge trimming to another. Joe Lovano and Tom Harrell guest together on a laid-back "Terrestris summer afternoon. Maucha Adnet sings several selections. Her wordless unison with Harrell and Lovano on "Fotografia" recalls the early 1960's fascination with bossa nova. The naturalismo vocalist also delivers "Saveiros," a fragile ballad; with Kenny Werner's firm guidance. Claudio Roditi and David Sanchez pair for a mellow "Song for Claudio that moves swiftly along spontaneous paths. Each of the guests return for encore numbers. Like a barefoot stroll along a shaded beachfront cove, Da Fonseca's highly recommended debut as leader will appeal to all our readers.
Track Listing: Partido Out; Terrestris; Sco's Bossa; Bala com Bala; Pedra Bonita; Dona Maria; Saveiros; Song for Claudio; Berimbau Fantasia; Pro Flavio; Fotografia; Manhattan Style.
Personnel: Duduka Da Fonseca- drums, cuica, berimbau, caxixi, vibraslap, Mica's bells; Valtinho Anastacio- percussion; Marc Copland, Alfredo Cardim, Helio Alves, Kenny Werner, Dom Salvador- piano; Dennis Irwin, Nilson Matta, Eddie Gomez- bass; John Scofield- guitar; Romero Lubambo- acoustic guitar; Tom Harrell- flugelhorn; Claudio Roditi- trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe Lovano, Richard Perry, David Sanchez- tenor saxophone; Billy Drewes- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Jay Ashby- trombone; Maucha Adnet, Alana Da Fonseca, Lisa Ono- vocals; Isabella Adnet Da Fonseca- voice on ?Dona Maria.?