Some good news about Brazilian music is received from the North Country. Canadian bandleader Paul Donat brings Rio Bossa to fellow enthusiasts in Canada as well as abroad.
Donat is an acoustic bassist and guitarist/vocalist, bitten by the bossa bug in the early 1980s. Traveling to Rio, he worked in a nightclub there for two-and-a-half years, inviting different musicians to join him each night.
When he returned to Montreal in the early 1990s, Donat continued his love of Brazilian music. By 1999 he had relocated to Toronto and, for this recording, has the assistance of Canadian saxman Mike Murley, trumpeter/flugelhornist Kevin Turcotte, pianist Gordon Sheard, and drummers Alan Hetherington and Anil Sharma, in addition to other musicians.
Donat's concept of bossa nova is a series of attractive instrumentals buoyed by his vocalese/Brazilian-type scatting along with vocalist Claire Shaw. All of the tunes are originals and have a nice lilt to them that is easily transposed into samba music. With the exception of "Quiet Night," which is a jazz ballad with noteworthy work by Turcotte, all other tracks fall within the bossa framework. The final compositions, "Coo Coo" and "Ipanema Reprise," create a street samba sound with the aid of a whistle and percussionist.
Rio Bossa passes muster as a warm emulation of samba and syncopation.
Track Listing: Postcard; Rio Bossa; Ipanema Breeze; The Beat of Brazil; Breakfast Samba; Quiet Night; Coo Coo; Ipanema Reprise.
Personnel: Paul Donat: acoustic bass, guitar, vocals; Mike Murley: soprano and tenor sax; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet and flugelhorn (2, 4, 7, 8); Gordon Sheard: piano (2, 4, 7, 8); Alan Hetherington: drums (2, 4,7, 8); Anil Sharma: drums (1, 5); Claire Shaw: vocals (1, 5); Skip Beckwith: bass (1, 5); Tom Roach: percussion (1, 5); Evan Shaw: alto sax (3).
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.