March 2000

Helio Alves

Helio Alves is a Brazilian-born pianist in his thirties who recently gained attention through his appearances with Joe Henderson, plus work with Claudio Roditi and Paquito D'Rivera.

Alves is Berklee-educated and now in New York. This album, another of Reservoir's acclaimed "New York Piano" series, puts Alves leading two separate standard trio sessions at the piano.

One group includes John Patitucci and Al Foster. This combo digs into standards like "There Is No Greater Love" and "My Ship" with sensitivity. But their most dynamic moments come in the vamping treatment of Cedar Walton's Latin-tinged "Bolivia."
The second trio includes Brazilian companions Nilson Matta and Duduka DaFonseca. They attack the obligatory bossas and similar pieces with authentic vitality and zest, and they also give a workout to Bud Powell's "Hallucinations" that includes a long drum solo by Paolo Braga.

Throughout, Alves plays a straightahead jazz piano, with a deft and light-hearted touch.

Originally published in March 2000
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