Fresh off his 2009 success with the Grammy-nominated Brazilliance x4 (Resonance), Claudio Roditi has released the stand-out Simpatico. As well as his peerless skills on trumpet, this CD shows off his writing talent with several originals in a samba/bossa groove, as well as some solid straight-ahead tunes.
From the Brazilian jazz tradition, Roditi has established himself as one of today's top players and leaders. His style easily integrates post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts. He plays throughout with strength and lyricism.
Much praise is also due great guitarist Romero Lubambo. His interplay with Roditi is peerless, and they are ably supported by Helio Alves(piano), John Lee(electric bass), and fellow Brazilian and Roditi's drummer of choice for more than two decades, Duduka Da Fonseca. On three tracks, the quartet is joined most ably by trombonist Michael Dease.
Every cut here can said to be a highlight with a soft samba beat in sway on most. A couple though are solid blues, and one is a straight-ahead barn-burner. There is also a lush orchestral arrangement on the lovely "Slow Fire" which gives piano and bass a chance to shine.
In the catchy "Alfitude," Roditi's casual trumpet sound melds with Dease's mellow trombone for a loose, relaxing turn. On "A Dream for Kristen," Roditi's melancholy mood on trumpet is supported by Lubambo's pensive guitar.
For the hard-charging "Alberto and Daisy," Alves' piano comes to the fore after Roditi's rapid-fire solo. Again Dease takes a romping trombone solo in "Blues for Ronni" before trading bars with the trumpet. Roditi takes on the challenges of piccolo trumpet and wins in the perky "Piccolo Blues," staunchly marching along in a blues groove.
In English, "simpatico" translates to "likable" and "congenial"what better words to describe this most pleasant listening experience.
Spring Samba; Alfitude; Piccolo Blues; Slow Fire; How Intensitive; A
Dream for Kristen; Alberto and Daisy; Blues for Ronni; Slammin'; Waltz
for Joana; Vida Nova; Winter Dreams.
Claudio Roditi: vocals, trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn; Romero
Lubambo: guitar; Michael Dease: trombone; Helio Alves: piano; John Lee:
electric bass; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums.