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Backgrounder: Dave Pike - Bossa Nova Carnival


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Dave Pike is little known today but back in the early 1960s, he was a hip up-and-coming vibraphonist with enormous promise. He wasn't quite Gary Burton or Bobby Hutcherson, but he had a strong following and made great records. Pike had a cool, beat approach on the vibes and his playing taste was sophisticated and hip.

Pike started recording with a quartet in 1956 called the Jazz Couriers. In 1958, he recorded Solemn Meditation with Paul Bley, Charlie Haden and Lennie McBrown. His first album for Riverside, It's Time for Dave Pike, came out in 1961 and featured Barry Harris, Reggie Workman and Billy Higgins. Two album's with Herbie Mann followed and one with Bill Evans, Pike's Peak in 1962. [Photo above of Dave Pike]

Then came Bossa Nova Carnival: Dave Pike Plays the Music of Joao Donato, with Clark Terry (flhrn), Pike (vib,mar), Kenny Burrell (g), Chris White (b), Rudy Collins (d) and Jose Paulo (cabassa, bandero). The album was recorded for New Jazz in September 1962, seven months after Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's seminal bossa nova album Jazz Samba.

The Pike album remains one of my bossa nova favorites and will suit you well if you're sweltering like we are in New York. It's a perfect album and captures the feel of the new Brazilian beat but with a stronger improvisational feel. Pike playing off Clark and Burrell remains one of the most joyous sounds.

Here's the full Bossa Nova Carnival without ad interruptions. Move the time bar to 1:14:15...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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