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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America


By Marie Elsie St. Léger
Published March 24, 2006

Brazilian Dreams
Manchester Craftmen’s Guild/Telarc

Recorded live at the Manchester Craftmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, Brazilian Dreams is Paquito D’Rivera’s tribute to the Brazilian composers Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa and Caetano Veloso, as well as to vocal quartets that have fascinated the Cuban-born musician since his youth. Unfortunately, workmanlike interpretations by the New York Voices, with whom D’Rivera and his ensemble team up with here, make the saxophonist’s fascination hard to understand. Relaxed and in command, D’Rivera leads his septet through fine readings of bossa novas and sambas as well as a couple of his own, “One For Tom” and “Snow Samba.” D’Rivera’s band shines, whether strolling leisurely through Bonfa’s “Manha de Carnival,” strutting down a samba street with the Veloso/Donato tune “A Rá” or taking a completely new path with D’Rivera’s “Snow Samba.” Unfortunately, D’Rivera’s Dreams are dashed by the listless Voices, whose well-tailored interpretations of Jobim’s “Corcovado,” “Modinha” and “Meu Amigo,” for instance, lack substance and passion.