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Freddie Bryant is a busy young man with a taste for diverse musical adventures. Along with an active career as a classical guitarist, Bryant is also a current member of trumpeter Tom Harrell's quintet. And he's appeared with everyone from African pop star Salif Keita to Klezmer virtuoso Giora Fiegman. On his third CD as a leader, Bryant renews his romance with the music of South America, succesfully melding his superb classical technique with the explosive rhythms of Brazil.
The album opens with Bryant alone on acoustic guitar, offering a hushed, passionate reading of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Por Toda Minha Vida." He quickly switches gears - and guitars - for the full-band, full-tilt electric boogie of the title tune. The rest of the set is mostly quiet, meditative and acoustic, evenly split between Bryant's harmonically complex, but deeply rhythmic originals and well-selected covers including Miles Davis' "Solar" (played to a samba beat) and Horace Silver's "Peace."
Bryant is joined by a septet of some of New York's hottest young jazz and Latin musicians - including bassist Avishai Cohen and saxophonist Steve Wilson from Chick Corea's Origin, and drummer Jordi Rossy from Brad Mehldau's trio. Together they create a mood of lush, tropical splendor that bridges the gulf between the worlds of jazz, classical and Brazilian music. This is an album to savor by an artist to watch.
Personnel: Freddie Bryant - acoustic and electric guitars; Chris Cheek - tenor and soprano sax; Steve Wilson - alto and soprano sax, flute, alto flute; Edsel Gomez - acoustic bass; Jordi Rossy - drums; Gilad - percussion.
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.