How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
One of the many delights of writing for All About Jazz is stumbling upon a great CD from the past, and being able to bring it to an audience that might have missed its debut. It's clear that Songs from the Last Century is one of these rare gemseven before a single note is heard, the list of players and songs suggests that something very special is going on.
For one thing, the leaders are the superb pianist Helio Alves
(hence HD2), who are known as two of the greatest emissaries of Brazilian music and its happy cross-fertilization with American jazz. For this 2005 CD, they gathered together the formidable bassist Eddie Gomez
's signature "Bluesette," with Da Fonseca and Alves joyfully playing off each other, and a soulful "These Foolish Things," which Adnet has said is one of Jobim's favorite songs (another, for the record, is "I Concentrate on You," which he reportedly wished he had written).
, and of course Jobim, whose "Sabia" takes on new dimensions with the contributions of Woods and strings (and those are real strings, not synth pads). In sum, Songs of the Last Century is an unusually creative blend of the sound and sensibilities of north and south, and played with great musicality, taste, and swing.
Track Listing: Three Views of a Secret; Blusette [sic]; Sabia; Bebe; Meu Canario Vizinho Azul; Yesterdays; Beijo Partido; Frevo; These Foolish Things; Very Early.
Personnel: Helio Alves: piano; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums; Eddie Gomez: bass; Phil Woods:alto saxophone; Oscar Castro-Neves: string arrangements; Maucha Adnet: vocals; Paulo Jobim: acoustic guitar, vocals; Joyce Hammann: violin; Dave Eggar: cello; Mark Feldman: violin; Kenji Bunch: viola.
Author of "The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the myth of the mad genius," Dr. J combines her love of jazz and her fascination with psychology, focusing on where they overlap: in celebrating the individual spirit.