South American Soul…Les Sabler: Jobim Tribute, Ruben Blades: Tangos

What would jazz be without South America? My head shakes at the thought! Here are albums dedicated to Brazil and Argentina, and the rhythms will transport your soul as close to heaven as humanly possible.

Les Sabler sings in Portuguese and English while playing bass and guitar on this luscious tribute to the bossa nova king Tom Jobim. Delicately buoyant percussion by celso Alberte and Joe Lala along with Clay Perry’s keyboards, Byron House’s bass along with string arrangements by Allon Sams make instrumentals such as “Brigas Niunca Mais/Discussao” and “Triste” lull you into a rapture, while his soto voce on “Corcovado” and “Fotografia” lure you into his world of passion. A delicate take of “Por cause de Voce” with Zink’s strings surrounding Sabler comes off like a midnight serenade. Magnificent!

Composer, poet and actor Ruben Blades takes on tango in this wonderfully collected set of originals and traditionals. Luscious strings and sensuous rhythms back Blades on pieces such as “Paula C” and his own “Ella” that set the tone for moods reminiscent of Carlos Gardel at his zenith. Stories of sordid sorts such as on “Pedro Navaja” or of people who slip through the cracks such as during “Juana Mayo” are all part of the stories told by this magical madrigal. He’ll get you into a deep mood that you may never want to exit on this delicious plate of rich flavors.

Sunnyside Records

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