For insatiable lovers of Brasilian music, such as myself, it’s always a pleasure to discover a new artist or group which purveys the genuine, unadulterated goods with a fresh new voice.
Brasil & Company offers just such a pleasure. The program on their self-titled debut is a well-chosen blend of the familiar (Jobim’s “Meditation” and “Double Rainbow,” Horta’s “Gershwin”) and several originals by guitarist Paul Meyers and pianist Cidinho Teixeira. Vera Mara, who sings fluently in both Portuguese and English, has an unusually agile voice; she leaps wide intervals and negotiates darting, acrobatic lines with precision and apparent ease. Guitarist Paul Meyers and the various percussionists provide just the right gentle, seductive rhythmic pulse that Brazilian music calls for. While the focal points are Mara and Meyers, various guest instrumentalists, soloing on one tune each, add nice sonic variety. Standouts include David Sacks on trombone (“Julia”), Bob Kindred on tenor sax (“Amor Proibido”), Paulo Levi on soprano sax (“Malicia”) and flautist Cecilia Tenconi, who doubles Mara’s vocal lines on the frenetic “1 to 0”. (Cathexis 93-0009)
Track Listing: Tico-Tico No Fuba; Meditation; Bebe; Julia; A Hug for Toninho; Double Rainbow; Amor Proibido; 1 to 0; Malicia; Seresta; Gershwin; Diana, E. (56:12)
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.