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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

JAZZINHO

By Marie Elsie St. Leger
Published September 27, 2005

Streetbeat

London’s Jazzinho seems determined to bring back acid jazz. There’s a reason it isn’t in vogue anymore: It got boring. Now more associated with nauseating “smooth jazz” than any dance-floor revolution, acid jazz—not jazz at all but an R&B-based funk lite epitomized by Brand New Heavies and Incognito, the best of the such bands—now seems relegated to the bins of unimaginative corporate music programmers. To her credit, Jazzinho founder Guida da Palma doesn’t stress the R&B, nor does she shy away from adding a smidgen of actual jazz into the mix or delving liberally into the Afro-Brazilian beats that her group’s name suggests. But the songwriter/lead singer arrives late to the game. The Portugal native combines her many musical loves, including jazz, bossa nova and club chill, into this debut. Unfortunately, even cuts like the sonically organic “Constelação” and the samba-derived “Vertigo” sound too pat to excite or demand more than a cursory listen.