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Bons Amigos

Resonance HCD - 2010



1. O Sonho
2. Para Nada
3. Bossa de Mank
4. Ceu e Mar
5. Bons Amigos
6. Ligia
7. Levitation
8. Fantasia
9. Amandamada
10. Piccolo Samba
Claudio Roditi - Trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, vocals
Romero Lubambo - Electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Donald Vega - Piano
Marco Panascia - Bass
Mauricio Zottarelli - Drums
Tamir Hendelman - Arranger (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 9)


In the 1960s Brazilian jazz, principally bossa nova, became a musical wave that influenced both musicians and musical styles for several years. Names of Brazilian musicians such as Laurindo Almeida, Joao Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa, and Antonio Carlos Jobim became identified with this seductive sound. Recently a less reproducible but more impressive Brazilian sound has emerged, with trumpeter Claudio Roditi as one of its leading exponents. His latest Resonance release entitled Bons Amigos is a perfect example of this "new wave".

Although long removed from his native Brazil, Claudio Roditi has shown that he has not forgotten his roots. In addition, his playing on trumpet and flugelhorn shows the American influences of those hard-bop trumpeters such as Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan. In this outing, he has surrounded himself with musicians who understand the idiom, and he has chosen songs from well-known composers who reflect the underlying rhythm of the music. While Roditi's playing does not stray far from the middle register, he does have a beautiful cool tone which is in the forefront of the initial track, the baiao-inspired O Sonho. Pure Brazilian bossa nova is the theme on the next two cuts, starting with the Eliane Elias composition Para Nada followed by Roditi's own tune Bossa de Mank.

The Brazilian composer Toninho Horta penned the title track Bons Amigos and, given the tune's stylish harmony and stirring melody, Claudio Roditi delivers the ideal interpretation. It would almost be sacrilegious if a Brazilian-influenced album did not include a composition from Antonio Carlos Jobim and clearly Roditi was not about to make that mistake. The Jobim offering is an exquisite ballad entitled Ligia wherein Roditi produces a Chet Baker-like vocal to good effect. Levitation is another Roditi original tune which is a straight-ahead swinger and provides an interesting juxtaposition among all the Latin-derived tracks. Throughout the session, pianist Donald Vega and guitarist Romero Lubambo present unwavering support and interesting interplay adding to the texture of the music. Furthermore the Israeli-born pianist Tamir Hendelman has arranged five of the tunes, and has demonstrated a wonderful feel for the Brazilian musical genre.

Claudio Roditi is a trumpeter who merits commendation and attention. This outing should add to his praiseworthy accomplishments.

Pierre Giroux

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