Brazilliance x 4 is only the tenth release from Resonance Records, an arm of the non-profit "Rising Stars Foundation" which aims to showcase new talent. Although trumpeter Claudio Roditi has been well-known and much-loved within the Brazilian music community, he has not been nearly as visible to the general public. His latest is likely to change that, given its collection of sparkling tunes, all delivered with a luscious tropical feel, and at the highest level of musicianship and recording.
Roditi, whose tone has never been warmer, is joined on this happy voyage by two of his best-known fellow expatriates: pianist Helio Alves and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca. As longstanding colleagues and friends, their interaction is especially empathic, and each gets plenty of solo room to demonstrate his formidable gifts. The bassist is Leonardo Cioglia, who may be less familiar to audiences than his bandmates, but whose performance here is guaranteed to raise his profilesee, for example, his strong solo on "Quem Diz Que Sabe."
Brazilliance x 4 is an energetic and energizing session that slows down only once, for track 7the tender "Song for Nana," one of the four fine Roditi originals in the mixbefore launching into the live kick of "Tema para Duduka." Da Fonseca steps forward on half the tunes, and never repeats himself. Jeff Hamilton, arguably the world's greatest drummer, has this to say about da Fonseca: "Duduka's steeped in the tradition, but always has the element of surprise; he's a team player, embracing the others, with strength to his beat no matter what the dynamics. He's always groovin'!" Hamilton also admires the joy in his playing, a quality that actually pervades this entire CD.
There are no overplayed clichés in this set, which includes a bossa-fied standard by Miles Davis ("Tune Up") and compositions by seven Brazilians who deserve more recognition outside their native land. Roditi wraps things up with a virtuoso performance on his "Gemini Man," another live track, which features a dazzling Alves ramping up a chorus or two and DaFonseca and Cioglia swinging like mad. Brazilliance x 4 is nothing less than a party: a welcome splash of surf and sunshine after a long, gray winter.
Pro Zeca; E Nada Mais; A Vontade Mesmo; Tune Up; Rapaz de Bem; Dinner by Five; Song for Nana; Tema para Duduka; Quem Diz Que Sabe; Gemini Man.