Brazilian-born pianist Helio Alves, leader of the Cadence Trio, came to a higher profile working with the late tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson on the Grammy-winning Joe Henderson Big Band (Verve, '98) and in Henderson's Double Rainbow Quartet that featured the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim. On Yatrata, Alves leads his trio through a set of sambas and fluid Brazilian grooves.
A lively rhythm teamAlves joined by drummer Portinho and bassist Itaiguarathe atmosphere is high energy, beefier than you might expect from the often lighter, lilting Brazilian sound, and spicer, as if some Afro-Cuban influence lurks in the mix. None of the songs here have been culled from the more popular Brazilian standards; it's more of a celebration of more obscure but still very worthy songsmiths, with two Alves and one Portinho originals slipped into the mix.
"Song for Claudio," an Alves tune, is a dedication to Helio's friend and fellow countryman, trumpeter Claudio Roditi, an aggressive groove with Alves almost going "out there." "In Motion," by Portinho, features a bouncing, bright rhythm behind some guests: Robin Eubanks on trombone, Randy Brecker on flugelhorn, and Romero Lumbambo on guitar.
The set is a deft mix of guest slotsfive of the eleven tunesand trio workouts, with the tracks that feature the guitar/piano interplay sounding especially compelling, and Portinho's samba-spirit drumming throughout lifting the music up a good notch or three.
Track Listing: Yatrata, Aleluia, In Motion, Cancao Do Amanhecer, Song for Claudio, Feitio De Oracao, Corruira Salitante, Mulher Rendeira, Aninha, Vila Madalena, Effendi