230

Fabio Fonseca Trio: Opus Samba

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Fabio Fonseca Trio: Opus Samba Arnaldo DeSouteiro produced Opus Samba to feature Fonseca's funky Hammond B-3 organ in his trio with Pedro Leao (bass) and Mac William (drums). Though you won't hear any jazz standards on its set list or many harmonically adventurous jazz solos in its jams, the very musical way that Fonseca and friends blend together jazz, Brazilian, Latin and soft funk rhythms makes Opus Samba a nearly perfect jazz trio set.

"Samba de Nanh" crisply yet softly opens this Opus with bright Brazilian colors in splashes of rhythm, and you can immediately hear how Fonseca seems to project a very different Hammond sound than, for example, Joey DeFrancesco, or others who sound more connected to the instrument's more familiar gutbucket soul-jazz presentations. The rhythm section leads Fonseca's organ in their dance through Stevie Wonder's "Too High," with William's percussive accents and beats making the soulful rhythm feel even more vibrant.

Their subsequent cover of Ray Santos' "Cochise" sounds more like Latin jazz, with Fonseca ripping into his organ, radiating sheets of sound like brass section blasts and shaping the rhythm, instead of bouncing along with it, through this sharp attack. This is not soft and sweet Brasilia—this is Brazilian jazz in the best musical sense of both terms. (Ed Lincoln scored a hit with "Cochise" in '66, which enjoyed resurgence in the European acid-jazz heydays of the '90s; Fonseca found and purchased Lincoln's Hammond-B3 in '94, and plays this tune on Lincoln's B-3.)

"Dormideira" turns back the rhythm section's tempo but not their tightness; this beautiful original melody, polished to a supple sheen by producer DeSouteiro, strongly suggests the sweet delights of albums recorded by Deodato and Jobim for Creed Taylor's CTI label. So does "Mr. Bertrami," Fonseca's tribute to the founder and leader of Brazilian jazz-fusion supergroup Azymuth, Jose Roberto Bertrami, where the drummer consistently changes up his counterpoint to the bassist's Brazilian metronome to keep the groove feeling new. Sounding both happy and sad, Fonseca's "Missing Dom" similarly honors the late percussionist Dom Um Romao.

"A Mulher de 15 Metros" features vocalist Ithamara Koorax, whose crisp yet round phrasing and balance between control and abandon come together to create a singing style that, like Fonseca's instrumentation, is truly both Brazilian and jazz.


Track Listing: Samba de Nanh; Too High; Vida Vira Vida; Dormideira; Cochise; Traducao Simultanea; Samba de Copa; Cantagalo; Mulher de 15 Metros; Missing Dom Um; Mr. Bertrami; Pro Rene.

Personnel: Fabio Fonseca: Hammond B-3, Rhodes, Hohner Clavinet D6, Sequential Pro-One, ARP Omni II; vocals; Pedro Leao: bass; Mac Williams: drums, percussion; Ithamara Koorax: vocals, percussion; Arnaldo DeSouteiro: percussion, bells.

Title: Opus Samba | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazz Station Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear...
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "You & I" CD/LP/Track Review You & I
by James Nadal
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 9, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.