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March 2000

Rich Perry/Harold Danko
Cancoes do Brasil
SteepleChase

On this unusual recording, we find two widely experienced North American jazzmen, tenorman Rich Perry and pianist Harold Danko, embracing nine pieces by Brazilian composers that seem to have come about independently of the bossa nova movement. As a matter of fact, so as to emphasize the uniquely lyrical quality of this material, Perry and Danko eschewed the support of a conventional Latino or even jazz rhythm section. Using all of the freedom inherent in a duo setting, they engage Edu Lobo's "Canto Triste," Egberto Gismonti's "Cafe" and "Memoria E. Fado," Toninho Horta's "Beijo Partido," Francis Hime's "A Tarde" and "Hora E. Lugar," Ivan Lins' "Choro Das Aquas," Milton Nascimento's "Leila, Venha Ser Feliz," and Nelson Cavaquinho's "Folhas Secas" as if to the manner born. Presumably not designed for dancing, this music is nevertheless subtly rhythmic and in a sense almost hypnotic in its charm.

Perry has a warm, compelling tone, which, at least here, adds an attractively fuzzy edge to what sounds like an essentially Getzian approach to tenor timbre, while Danko's touch, melodic phrasing, and apparent disuse of root voicings suggests the influence of Bill Evans. Together, they make for a very handsome couple, and especially so when wearing these graceful threads.

Originally published in March 2000
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