October 01, 2002
Universal Music Latino
Jazz, Samba, World Fusion, MPB, Brazilian Pop, Post-Bop, Brazilian Jazz, Fusion, Crossover Jazz, Latin Jazz, Brazilian Traditions, Bossa Nova

Album Review

Brazilian jazz didn't start with the bossa nova explosion of the early '60s. In 1953, alto saxophonist Bud Shank and guitarist Laurindo Almeida teamed up for their historic Brazilliance sessions, which combined cool jazz and Brazilian rhythms more than seven years before Stan Getz started working with Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto. But the early '60s was when Brazilian jazz really became a major phenomenon in the jazz world, and when the early '00s arrived, there were still plenty of people combining jazz and Brazilian rhythms -- like Afro-Cuban jazz, Brazilian jazz is obviously here to stay. This Universal compilation, which was available in Brazil before it was released in the United States in October 2002, illustrates the durability of Brazilian jazz (both vocal and instrumental) by offering different material from different eras. The '60s are nicely represented by the recordings of the Tamba Trio ("Influência do Jazz"), Sergio Mendes ("Batida Diferente"), and Baden Powell ("Deixa"), among others. Wagner Tiso's "Giselle" and Leo Gandelman's "Ocidente" are from the '80s, and The Best of Brazilian Jazz takes listeners into the 21st century with Moacir Santos' "Kamba" and Bebel Gilberto's "Bananeira." Another highlight of the CD is singer Ithamara Koorax's 2000 remake of the French pop classic "A Man and a Woman," which is known as "Un Homme et une Femme" in French. Koorax's sensuous version, which enjoyed a lot of airplay on Brazilian radio, gives listeners a rare opportunity to hear her singing in French; most of Koorax's vocals have been in Portuguese or English. Regrettably, this compilation doesn't have any liner notes, and exact recording dates would also have been appreciated (although Universal does list the years in which the material was first released). But all things considered, The Best of Brazilian Jazz is well worth obtaining.
Alex Henderson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Mas, Que Nada
  2. Giselle
  3. Bananeira
  4. Deixa
  5. Orfeu (Quiet Carnaval)
  6. Amor de Nada
  7. Influência do Jazz
  8. Curumin
  9. Un Homme et une Femme
  10. Batida Diferente
  11. Kamba
  12. Ocidente
  13. Naquela Base
  14. Batucada Surgiu