The album's eight tasteful numbers encompass two by Cardoso ("Rafaela," "Aguiero"), one each by Golson ("Along Came Betty"), Coltrane ("Giant Steps"), Henderson ("Recorda-Me") and Rollins ("St. Thomas"), Julian Robledo's "Three O'Clock in the Morning" and Irving Berlin's standard, "Remember." Cardoso wrote all the arrangements and infuses them with an ample amount of Latin rhythm and charm while giving such classics as "Betty," "Giant Steps" and "St. Thomas" a fresh coat of melodic paint. The Rollins theme, which rings down the curtain, is especially elusive, with Davis dancing around the melody as the tempo moves from unhurried to frisky; Rollins' memorable samba ultimately comes to the fore to complement glossy solos by Morganti, Graca and Zenon. While the bluesy "Three O'Clock" may seem a curious choice at first blush, it fits quite snugly into the over-all design, thanks above all to Cardoso's seductive chart.
"Remember," usually performed as a plaintive ballad, assumes a more calypso / foxtrot persona to abut sparkling solos by Palmer and Graca, while Cardoso's diaphanous "Rafaela," which follows, is an even-tempered serenade wherein Palmer's nimble trumpet again plays a leading role, as does Cardoso's expressive tenor. "Recorda-Me," on which Cardoso and Davis unleash their impressive techniques, is taken at a brisk tempo that safeguards its inherent charm; Cardoso's mid-tempo "Agueiro," introduced by Graca's evocative piano, is a lyrically incisive essay on which the brass, winds and rhythm excel in the wake of earnest solos by Cabaud, Zenon and Cavaleiro. In sum, Dice of Tenors is a bright and congenial session whose byways are as well-paved and refreshing as its main thoroughfare.
Along Came Betty; Remember; Rafaela; Three O'Clock In The Morning; Giant Steps; Recorda-Me;
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