Saturday, August 22, 2009

In review--Latin Quartet

Benjamim Taubkin, Sergio Reze,
Zeca Assumpcao and Joatan Nascimento
Trio + 1
Adventure Music

Trio + 1 marks another splendid release on the Adventure Music label. Brazilian pianist Benjamim Taubkin hooked up with drummer Sergio Reze, bassist Zeca Assumpcao and trumpeter Joatan Nascimento, the +1 in the group, resulting in a sizzling Brazilian jazz recording with a global signature.

The opener, The Desert is Here comes with an ironic title because there is nothing dry or vacant on this lush track. A lilting piano riff is eventually picked up by trumpet, developing into a gorgeous musical conversation. Arabic tones mesh with Latin American ambiance on this long- play track. Baianinho features swinging bass and drums with a New Orleans-style trumpet motif. It is a real challenge not to stand up and dance to this piece.

In the liner notes, Taubkin described the recording process. The musicians recorded 3 takes of 2 tracks for each session then the tracks that showcased the sound of the whole group landed on the CD. Room was left for musicians to solo and improvise on the main themes, while seducing listeners' ears with sparkling trumpet and shimmering piano anchored by double bass and a lot of cymbal, reminiscent of waves crashing on a shoreline.

The re-interpretation of Baden Powell/Vinicius Moraes' Solace (also covered by Astrud Gilberto, Virginia Rodrigues and Celso Fonseca, among others), expanded the notion of space and clocking in at 12 minutes and 2 seconds, the musicians closed out the album on a high note.