Nilson Matta has long been considered one of the best bassists to emerge on the Brazilian music scene, primarily as a member of Trio de Paz. Although he has had few opportunities to record as a leader, he has been widely utilized as a sideman. On this collection of studio sessions, he repays the debt to some of them by recruiting nearly two dozen different musicians with whom he has worked over the past three decades. As a result, Matta produces a multifaceted recording that never gets stuck in a rut.
His brisk setting of "Berimbau (with pianist Kenny Barron, drummer Jeff "Tain Watts and percussionist Jorje Silva) adds a slightly dark edge, while guitarist/vocalist Joyce's arrangement of "I Only Have Eyes For You is deliberate and full of emotion. His playful take of "Take the A Train features Mauricio Einhorn (a harmonica virtuoso the caliber of Toots Thielemans) and drummer (and fellow Trio de Paz member) Duduka da Fonseca, while also showcasing Matta's considerable skills as a soloist.
Matta's conception of "Night and Day, including tenor saxophonist Harry Allen (sounding a lot like Stan Getz on this occasion), flutist Anne Drummond and percussionist Cyro Baptista, was briefly explained to the musicians and nailed on the first take. This delightful disc easily stands up to repeated spins.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.