Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida


Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida

Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida
Brazilian-born bassist Marcelo Bonfim is relatively new on the scene. This is his debut recording, and it is a good one. Based in Chicago, Bonfin entitles one of his compositions "When I First Met You." One thinks it must have been some first date, because the tune is a bit more frantic than most on this recording. It is the atmosphere rather than striking melodies that come through. Whether or not the harmonies and time evoke John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner is a matter of a listener's vintage, although the piano comping of Casey Dahl certainly suggests resonances. At all odds, this is a surprisingly mature first recording. One expects to hear good things in the future about Bonfim. Nevertheless, Bonfim appears to have the usual mixed feelings about any really distant foreign home: some up, some down. Major to minor.

On the opening track, "Casa Forte/Zanzibar," Bonfim is accompanied by vocalist Ana Catharina Oliveira. There is a nice sax outing by Gerald Martinez. The whole production has a distinctively 1960s lilt to it, which makes for a good introduction. "Sister (Irmã)" is solo acoustic bass, then the band enters in an odd meter, the tune a tribute to Bonfim's sister. "Alvorada" sounds like a minor blues with more sax accompaniment. "Farewell/Despedida" is, again, evocative, with Bonfim playing mostly upper register acoustic bass. "Going Home"? Well, what would one expect? It is upbeat, of course.

A capable drummer, Jonathan Wenzel, rounds out the cast. If any word might characterize the entire production, it is "honest," because any expat or emigrant will admit to a similar blend of mixed emotions on arrival and departure. It is a measure of Bonfim's skill as a writer and instrumentalist that those feelings come through so clearly.

Track Listing

Casa Forte/Zanzibar; Intro–Sister (Irmã); Sister (Irmã); Alvorada’ Farewell (Despedida); By Myself; When I First Met You; Going Home; Berimbau.


Album information

Title: Farewell/Despedida | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Shifting Paradigm Records



Support All About Jazz

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

How You Can Help

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Painter Of Dreams
Misha Tsiganov
Eclectic Vibes
Ken Silverman
The Recursive Tree
John Blum / David Murray / Chad Taylor
Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.