Constelacao contains a wonderful range of material, from the passionately churning title track to pianist Cedar Walton's classic "Bolivia," which features a great drum opening by Duduka Da Fonseca.
Tucked between these splendid bookends are such gems as Dori Caymmi's beloved "O Cantador," which many will recognize as "Like a Lover." Introduced to North American audiences by Sergio Mendes, its lyrical melody and meaning are regularly rediscovered and newly recorded by singers. There's the requisite contribution of the master, Antonio Carlos Jobim, who is represented by both his relatively obscure work ("Quebra Pedra," "O Boto") and his more familiar ("Luiza"). Each trio member contributes one engaging original as well, together producing a swinging, nuanced and delightful session from start to finish.
This CD exemplifies the seamless ease of playing with old friends who are also masters of their instruments. Finally, as it so often happens with Brazilian music, whether driving forward or laying back it manages to be both energizing and relaxing at the same time.
Constelacao; Bebe; Embalo; O Cantador; Quebra Pedra; LVM/Direto Ao Assunto; Luiza; O Boto; Isabella; Bolivia.
Helio Alves: piano; Nilson Matta: bass; Duduka da Fonseca: drums.