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Lee Ritenhaur and Dave Grusin: Brasil


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Just as sunshine pop offered a counterweight to psychedelic hard rock in the late 1960s, soft jazz evolved in the 1970s as a lighter FM alternative to the mystical psychedelic jazz fusion movement. Two artists who helped pioneer soft jazz were guitarist Lee Ritenour and keyboardist Dave Grusin. Mind you, these categories weren't exclusive. There was plenty of crossover by musicians between the two genres.

Now Ritenour and Grusin have teamed up on the newly released Brasil (Candid). Recorded in São Paulo, Brazil, Brasil turns to the bossa nova, gentle samba and a range of other rhythms combined with a hushed jazzy spin. The album features bassist Bruno Migotto, drummer Edu Ribeiro and percussionist Marcelo Costa. Added to the rhythm section are guitarist Chico Pinheiro on two tracks; composer, singer and guitarist Celso Fonseca on his composition “Meu Samba Torto” and vocalist Tatiana Parra. Other special guests include vocalist-composer Ivan Lins, harmonica player Grégoire Maret and guitarist Chico Pinheiro. 

What I love about this album is that Ritenour's and Grusin's distinct instrumental sounds remained intact. Listening to the album, you know it's them. They simply are placed in a Brazilian setting, which allowed them to add young local musicians who have the authentic Brazilian flavor. The shift clearly was a great move, considering how surfy the music sounds. Perfect timing given the high temperatures across the country of late.

I also love the album's quiet demeanor. Overall, it has the sound of calm water washing up on the sand at night and then receding. The vocals are similarly serene.

JazzWax clips: Here's Stone Flower...

And here's Cravo E Canela (Cloves & Cinnamon)...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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Track Listing

Cravo E Canela (Cloves And Cinnamon); For the Palms; Catavento' Vitoriosa; Meu Samba Torto; Stone Flower; Boca De Siri (Keep A Secret); Lil Rock Way; Canto Invierno (Winter Song).


Album information

Title: Brasil | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Candid Records






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