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Harry Allen: Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won't Dance)

C. Andrew Hovan By

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There's a true universal appeal to Brazilian music. Somehow the exuberant lilting quality it possesses has an uplifting effect on music lovers everywhere. Maybe that's why there was an avalanche of bossa nova projects to appear in the '60s. Not to mention that Jobim has continued to sell records and have his classics performed by countless number of performers. Now, add to that list tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. One of many musicians to benefit from the rediscovery of "swing", Allen is immensely popular in Japan, where his cool Getz-influenced sound has become a viable commodity. By taking on the hip sound of the bossa nova, Allen is sure to captivate his fans abroad, while most likely gaining new ones here in the States.

Originally recorded for BMG Japan at the end of 1997, Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won't Dance) features 12 bossa performances, such as the familiar "O Pato", "Corcovado", and "Meditation". In addition, there's a few jazz standards, like the title track, that are given the Brazilian treatment and even a classical work by Bach puts on a new face via this tropical affair. Really inspired choices were made when choosing personnel, with Americans Larry Goldings on piano and Dennis Irwin on bass. Plus, guitarist and vocalist Dori Caymmi and Brazilian drum legend Duduka Da Fonseca are part of the line up too.

Not much further elaboration is really needed, as this is music for the heart and maybe a dance step or too. Allen, as previously stated, surely has done his homework in terms of knowing the resonance and melodic ingenuity of Stan Getz. Like his inspiration, Allen has the ability to approach a line with great logic and facility. And like the best of them, he makes it sound so much easier than it really is. For the final icing on the cake, Caymmi and Maucha Adnet add their sensuous Portuguese vocals on a few numbers. So turn down the lights, pour a glass of wine and get ready to bask in the warmth of Allen and company's "universal" sound.


Track Listing:

O Pato, Corcovado, Desafinado, Once I Loved, Time is Standing Still, Meditation, No More Blues, Air, I Won't Dance, If You Never Come to Me, Doralice, Retrato Em Branco E Preto (58:29)

Personnel: Harry Allen- tenor saxophone, Larry Goldings- piano, Dori Caymmi- acoustic guitar & vocals, Joe Cohn- electric guitar, Dennis Irwin- bass, Duduka Da Fonseca- drums & percussion, Maucha Adnet- vocals

Title: Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won't Dance) | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: RCA Victor


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