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January/February 1998

Nova Bossa Nova
Jazz Influence
Arkadia Records

Led by drummer Guilherme Franco and bassist Alberto Beserra, who propel their band with catchy rhythms, Nova Bossa Nova builds on the fusion of cool jazz and various Brazilian rhythms, which gained momentum in the U.S. in 1962 when Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz issued Jazz Samba. Capturing the bossa's laid-back essence, NBN sprinkles their inventions with hard-swinging modern tinges, with fine solo moments from Japanese pianist Achan Inoue and accordionist Eddie Monteiro (whose accompanying vocalese adds flair to the session). Nine tunes, mostly written by the co-leaders, are inspired by commonplace situations. While everyone shines, the stars are the incomparable hard-bop front line featuring tenor saxist Bob Mintzer (of Yellowjackets fame), trumpeter Claudio Roditi (Brazilian native who has performed and recorded with numerous groups including Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra), alto/soprano saxophonist Joe Ford (veteran player with bands of McCoy Tyner and Jerry Gonzalez's Fort Apache Band). With its distinctive 1990s edge and fine solo work, Jazz Influence is a carnival-a buoyant, intoxicating session that invites repeated listening.

Originally published in January/February 1998
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