The Jim Josselyn Group’s Brazilian Sunflower isn’t so much about Brazilian music as it’s title suggests; perhaps it’s the sunflower itself that’s Brazilian. True, the title tune and the closer do have that gentle lilting samba feel, but I would describe this more as jazz with a Brazilian influence rather than the other way around. But categorizations aside, this outing is pure contemporary straight-ahead enjoyment.
And it’s nice stuff. After the two-minute “Prelude,” the remaining songs are long enough (seven to almost ten minutes each) for the principle voices (Josselyn on guitar, Jeb Patton on piano, Lex Samu on trumpet) to stretch out and really explore the changes with thoughtful solos. The songs, all composed by Josselyn, flow nicely, with a swinging medium-tempo groove. Debbie Aviles’ voice is primarily used to wordlessly double the guitar or trumpet on each song’s “head,” but she gets the chance to deliver her own lyrics on “Tres Pontas” and “Hartshorne Valley Walk.” All in all, a satisfying jazz outing from a promising new guitarist and combo.
Track Listing: Prelude; Brazilian Sunflower; Islamorada; Tres Pontas; The Scream of the Butterfly; Hartshorne Valley Walk.
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.