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Brazilian vocalist Carol Saboya's previous recording with her father, pianist Antonio AdolfoLa e Ca: Here and There (AAM Music) was one of the highlights of 2010. She returns as headliner on Belezas: The Music of Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento again, supported by Adolfo and his very fine quartet. Composers Lins and Nascimento represent a late '60s answer to bossa nova, which had dominated Brazilian (and a good bit of American jazz) in the late 1950s and early '60s. Called MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), this music was less a musical genre and more a combination of original songwriting and updated folk themes.
The twelve-song recital is sung in Portuguese and English with splendid musical direction by Adolfo and accompaniment by guitarist Claudio Spiewak, whose clean lines and elastic chording properly dress up- tempo pieces like "Tres Pontas" and ballads like "Doce Presenca," which features the excellent Hendrik Meurkens working his Latin harmonica magic. Providng soprano ("Tristesse") and tenor saxophone ("Tarde"), Dave Liebman proves a master of musical barometric pressure, manipulating a song's humidity to effect just the proper sensuousness to complement Saboya's well-balanced soprano.
In what seems an endless flood of Latin jazz, excellence always finds its way and is properly manifested in Saboya and Adolfo. The pair's specific choice of such a narrow wedge of Brazilian music tightens the focus of the disc, making it intelligent and aesthetic entertainment. There is much to be learned and enjoyed about Belezas: The Music of Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento, and we are lucky to have it to enjoy.
Track Listing: Bola De Meia, Bola De Gude; Who Is In Love Here; Abre Alas; Tristesse;
Beleza E Cancao; Anima; Soberana Rosa; Doce Presenca; Tarde; Tres
Pontas; Velas Icadas; Estrelaguia.
Personnel: Antonio Adolfo: piano; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic and electric guitars;
Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums and percussion; Dave
Liebman: soprano and tenor saxophones (4, 9); Hendrik Meurkens:
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.