There’s Latin, and then there’s LATIN! Paul Beaudry & Pathways: Americas, Duduka da Fonseca Quintet: Samba Jazz-Jazz Samba, Anna Estrada: Volando

AHH! THE FAMED LATIN TINGE! Where would Western music be if not for the

adventures of Christopher Columbus and Pedro Alvares Cabral, who

initiated the unification of Europe, Latin Culture and the New World?

The thought of jazz without the music of the Caribbean or Brazil makes

me shudder at times, and if there were no blues, what would be have?



Here are three recent releases united in culture, but with a variety of

flavors on the plate.


Bassist Paul Beaudry leads a quartet with Tim Armacost/ts-ss, Bennett P

aster/p and Tony Jefferson/dr  that take you on a sonic excursion

through the various countries of Central and South America. Lesser

known countries such as Suriname, Honduras, and  Trinidad are

represented here, as well as more obvious choices like Cuba and

Argentina. A danceable “El Panuelo De Pepa” includes some lovely

soprano work by Armacost, while the busy “Every Time Ah  Pass” has

Jefferson working in overtime. Old school romance is emphasized on the

luscious tango “Zamba Alegre” spotlighting some lovely piano work by

the leader. Lots of exciting music here for a hot and muggy night while

you sip your 92 octane coffee.


Drummer Dudka Da Fonseca holds the reins on a hot band that features

Anat Cohen/ts-cl, Helio Alves/p, Guilherme Monteiro/g and  Leonardo

Cioglia/b. Just as the Crayola Crayons have a large difference between

“yellow-green” and “green-yellow,” so Da Fonseca and company show a

wide range between “samba jazz” and “jazz samba.” One is a style, one

is an attitude. Ornette Coleman’s “Blues Connotation” is treated like

an upbeat boogaloo, with some marvelous sounds emanating from Anat’s

tenor and Monteiro’s guitar. The original “Flying Over Rio” includes

some graceful  moments provided by Alves, while Jimmy Rowles’ “The

Peacocks” floats with Cohen’s lithe clarinet. Latin wouldn’t be latin

without some melancholy, and Jobim’s “Ranco Das Nuvens” provides ample

agony with some conversant work between guitar and drums. Impressively

wide palate of feelings brought to the table.


Vocalist Anna Estrada brings a warm and earthy voice to this clever

collection of material. At first glance, with a backing team of piano,

Rhodes, bass and drums, you might think the music veers a bit on the

easy listening/pop side of latin sounds. But, she throws a few curves

by selecting some eyebrow raising tunes, such as “Happiness Is A Warm

Gun/I Want You” which Estrada turns into this sensuous serenade.

Likewise, the Brazilian lilt to “Begin The Beguine” produces a fresh

breeze of sound, and even the 60’s pop hit “Everybody’s Talkin” works

to satisfaction. Her voice gets delicate and vulnerable when she’s in

intimate company, just her and the piano on the opening to “Paciencia,”

making you wish for more. Smart and well balanced.

By George W. Harris


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