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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Hd2

By James Rodgers
Published March 30, 2007

Songs From The Last Century
Blue Toucan

Pianist Helio Alves and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, with help from bassist Eddie Gomez, have created a near perfect blend of Brazilian and bebop jazz in their first collaboration. While no new material was written for this release, the 10 songs chosen flow nicely, giving each musician plenty of room to let their instruments dance—sometimes together, sometimes alone, no player outshining the others. This disc warrants repeated play, to focus on just the piano, drums, or bass, and once more to hear it all together. Special guests Phil Woods on saxophone, Oscar Castro-Neves arranging strings, Paulo Jobim on acoustic guitar and vocals and singer Maucha Adnet provide nice coloring, but the recording works best when the trio plays unadorned. In fact, “These Foolish Things,” one of two vocal tracks, while beautiful, feels out of place here. A rare misstep on what will hopefully be the first of many releases.