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Quick and to the Point : Rewarding Brazilian jazz.
Although over-enthusiastically hailed as a Dave Brubeck-Paul Desmond resurrection in the liner notes, this Take Five isn’t umbilically linked to its illustrious namesake. It is, however, first-rate Brazilian jazz that stands on its own with ease, featuring an infectious emotive largesse, melodic pervasiveness and two festively brilliant reinterpretations of both “A Night in Tunisia,” as well as the title cut itself.
Two For Brazil is Paulinho Garcia and Greg Fishman. They broaden and diversify the music when Garcia doubles on two wind instruments and Fishman vocalizes himself into a virtual third member of this highly effective duo.
Fishman has technical facility and confidence in his capacity to play in the right spirit of the music, and in its own idioms – without depersonalizing his playing in the process – an approachable fully toned range, peppered with muito sabor. Whether enamoring the listener with his sexy whispers in “Deixa,” his loving melancholic roughness in “Anos Dourado,” the bumble bee boppings of “Menina Flor,” or his jazzier and more energetic passages in “Take Five” and “A Night In Tunisia,” as well as his brief but welcomed flute incursions, this saxophonist is in velvety tune with both the material and his varying roles within this unit.
Garcia’s vocals are embracing. At times, he's a mellow old hand, manly in the delicate sensuality endemic to Brazil, albeit percussively rich – as on “Batida Diferente.” On “Que Maravilha,” his storytelling is truly delightful, with percussive breaks to refashion its melodic pulse, within Fishman’s extremely capable flute playing. Overall, the singing on this recording is organically related to its guitar performances. As such, Garcia enriches the group in such ways as to make the listener forget that everything happening stems from just two people. He even enables plenty of bass bottoms with a fertile and full intonation; his technique is quite fine, and one can actually feel his playing while listening to this recording.
Between Fishman and Garcia, they give rise to a new organ: the brainheart. There’s no telling whether it’s two, three, four or just one entity in operation here...
Track Listing: 1. Meio De Campo (Mid Field) 2. A Night In Tunisia 3. Deixa (Let Me) 4. Take Five 5. Que Maravilha
(How Marvelous) 6. Pra Dizer Adeus (To Say Goodbye) 7. Chovendo Na Roseira (Raining in the
Flower Bush) 8. Aqui Oh! (Here) 9. Anos Dourado (Golden Years) 10. Capim (Grass) 11. O Grande
Amor (The Greater Love) 12. Menina Flor (Young Flower) 13. Januaria 14. Batida Diferente
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.