All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Helio Alves and Duduka Da Fonseca (HD2): Songs from the Last Century

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
One of the many delights of writing for All About Jazz is stumbling upon a great CD from the past, and being able to bring it to an audience that might have missed its debut. It's clear that Songs from the Last Century is one of these rare gems—even before a single note is heard, the list of players and songs suggests that something very special is going on.

For one thing, the leaders are the superb pianist Helio Alves and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca (hence HD2), who are known as two of the greatest emissaries of Brazilian music and its happy cross-fertilization with American jazz. For this 2005 CD, they gathered together the formidable bassist Eddie Gomez, notably from the Bill Evans trio; the legendary saxophonist Phil Woods; the brilliant arranger of the string quartet, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, and two wonderful singers, Maucha Adnet and Paulo Jobim, whose sultry blend evokes the iconic sound of the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. That's no surprise, since Adnet recorded and toured with Jobim's Banda Nova for the last decade of his life, and Paulo is, quite audibly, his son.

The ten tunes are imaginative and wide-ranging, from the churning opener, "Three Views of a Secre,t" by Jaco Pastorius, with its masterful Woods commentary, to the closer, the beloved "Very Early" by Bill Evans, transformed here into a lilting samba with Gomez supplying a strong presence and a powerful solo. The journey also includes an exceptionally tasty tropical take on Toots Thielemans's signature "Bluesette," with Da Fonseca and Alves joyfully playing off each other, and a soulful "These Foolish Things," which Adnet has said is one of Jobim's favorite songs (another, for the record, is "I Concentrate on You," which he reportedly wished he had written).

Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" is also in the mix, along with familiar compositions by Brazilian giants Hermeto Pascoal, Toninho Horta, Egberto Gismonti, and of course Jobim, whose "Sabia" takes on new dimensions with the contributions of Woods and strings (and those are real strings, not synth pads). In sum, Songs of the Last Century is an unusually creative blend of the sound and sensibilities of north and south, and played with great musicality, taste, and swing.

Track Listing: Three Views of a Secret; Blusette [sic]; Sabia; Bebe; Meu Canario Vizinho Azul; Yesterdays; Beijo Partido; Frevo; These Foolish Things; Very Early.

Personnel: Helio Alves: piano; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums; Eddie Gomez: bass; Phil Woods:alto saxophone; Oscar Castro-Neves: string arrangements; Maucha Adnet: vocals; Paulo Jobim: acoustic guitar, vocals; Joyce Hammann: violin; Dave Eggar: cello; Mark Feldman: violin; Kenji Bunch: viola.

Title: Songs from the Last Century | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Blue Toucan Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Songs from the Last Century

Songs from the Last...

Blue Toucan Music
2013

buy
 

Música

Jlp Productions
2011

buy
It's Clear

It's Clear

Reservoir Music
2009

buy
Songs from the Last Century

Songs from the Last...

Blue Toucan Music
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island" CD/LP/Track Review Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "A Journey" CD/LP/Track Review A Journey
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Desert" CD/LP/Track Review Desert
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 13, 2018
Read "Mopocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Mopocalypse
by Anthony Shaw
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Acknowledgement" CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Cosmic Language" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Language
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018