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Since 1987, The Manchester Craftsman’s Guild has been instrumental in bringing high quality jazz performance to the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area. Through these performances MCG Jazz was created to promote and document jazz performance at the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild. The archives of MCG Jazz contain some 300 CDs worth of performances and instruction. To date, MCG Jazz has released nine recordings, including A Nancy Wilson Christmas,Joe Williams Presents Nicole Yarling Live at The Manchester Craftsman Guild and The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars’s Things To Come .
Add to this a tenth recording, Paquito D’Rivera and The New York Voices, Brazilian Dreams. As one might expect, this is a recording replete with Antonio Carlos Jobim with a smattering of Luiz Bonfa, Joao Donata and D’Rivera himself. D’Rivera, Cuban by heritage, began making music in the 1960s. After defecting to the United States in 1981, he later became a protégé to Dizzy Gillespie, attaining national prominence as a multi-instrumentalist-bandleader.
D’Rivera’s interest in Brazilian music coincided with the emergence in Bossa Nova in the early to mid-1960s. The Latin rhythms expressed here are of the lilting variety, gently swaying in the breeze. No hard samba or salsa stomp through this set (as might be expected from a more Cuban oriented jazz). D’Rivera’s alto and especially his clarinet are well at home here. Roditi’s trumpet is smoothly expressive, as is Helio Alves’s piano. The New York Voices are plush and perfect in this repertoire, their high point being "Snow Samba." The set is polished to a high gleam, totally professional and tasteful. To pound a double negative—there is nothing to not recommend this disc. It is superb and fantastic in every way.
Track Listing: Corcovado; One for Tom; Manha de Carnival/Gentle Rain; Desafinado; Modinha; Meu Amigo; A Ra; Retrato Em Branco e Preto; Red on Red; Snow Samba.
Personnel: Paquito D'Rivera: alto sax, clarinet; Darmon Meader: tenor sax, vocals;
Kim Nazarian: vocals; Claudio Roditi: trumpet; Oscar Stagnaro: bass;
Helio Alves: piano; Jay Ashby: trombone; Marty Ashby: guitar; Paulinho Braga: drums; Peter Eldridge: vocals; Lauren Kinhan: vocals.
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.