Monday, February 25, 2013

Matta's Black Orpheus; Goode's Other Side - Bob Stewart

When Nilson Matta was a young child in his native Brazil, his father brought home an LP of the music from the play Orfeu da Conceicao by the playwright Vinicius de Moraes, which retells the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice in the then-contemporary setting of Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. Matta was entranced by the music composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim with lyrics by de Moraes. The burgeoning bassist's attachment to the music only increased when the film version of the play, titled Black Orpheus, was released in 1959 with new songs by Jobim and Luis Bonfa. Five decades later, Matta's long-time love affair with the music from both productions finds consummation with the new CD -- "Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus" -- a jazz-flavored reimagining of the music featuring Randy Brecker, Kenny Barron and Gretchen Parlato.

Long known for his highly swinging recordings and performances, trumpet virtuoso Brad Goode also has his "other" side, first exposed on the 1988 release, "Shock of the New."  Twenty-five years and 13 albums later, having established himself as a soloist of immediacy and warmth and a composer of striking originality, Goode is still stretching. With his culture-spanning band of Ghanian drummer Paa Kow, Brazilian bassist Bijoux Barbosa, Lebanese percussionist Rony Barrak, guitarist Bill Kopper and keyboardist Jeff Jenkins, "Chicago Red" also features Goode's explorations in polytonal chord cycles-no less bold a break from standard procedure than fusion once was-to create an eclectic, electric and thoroughly grooving CD.

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