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CD Review: Duduka Da Fonseca plays Toninho Horta

Instrumental interpretations of popular songs usually have the insipid taste of what people call elevator music, and in the best of cases of poor quality smooth jazz. But Duduka Da Fonseca is not an ordinary instrumentalist. Da Fonseca, in the words of Toninho Horta, "is one of the most exquisite Brazilian musicians" and has worked with jazz greats as John Scofield, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Herbie Mann, Eddie Gomez, Joe Henderson and Joe Lovano, as well as Bossa legends Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto. And Toninho Horta is not an ordinary popular songwriter. He is widely recognized as one of Brasil best composers.

With the addition of pianist David Fieldman lyrical soloing and the tight playing of brazilian bassist Gutto Wirtti, the new release by Duduka Da Fonseca, Plays Toninho Horta has all the elements to be a great album, and it is.

A masterful fusion of jazz and brazilian music, this release contains some of the best music recorded by Da Fonseca, a richly inventive musician, equally comfortable playing either jazz or any brazilian music. We are talking about a Grammy nominated drummer for his album Samba Jazz Fantasia.

The trio sounds sharp and cutting edge brilliant in the sambas "Aqui Oh!", "Francisca" and "Aquelas coisas todas", the bossas "Bicycle Ride", "Luisa" and "De Ton pra Tom" (dedicated to Antonio Carlos Jobim), the beautiful ballads "Moonstone", and "Waiting for Angela" and the swinging "Francisca". All the arrangements have a perfect balance of surprise and coherence, of rhythmic intensity and elegance.

Duduka Da Fonseca - drums, David Feldman - piano, Guto Wirtti -bass

Aqui Oh!, Bicycle Ride, Moonstone, Francisca, Aquelas coisas todas, De Ton pra Tom, Waiting for Angela, Luisa, Retrato do gato

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Wilbert Sostre