Manfredo Fest: Fascinating Rhythm

Fellow Brazilian Claudio Roditi guests on Manfredo Fest’s third release on the Picante label. Roditi plays trumpet on five of twelve tracks. On “Berimbau” he’s also heard on fluegelhorn. The tunes include jazz standards, such as the title cut, “Summertime,” and “Tenderly,” and Brazilian sambas and bossa novas. Jobim is represented by “Samba do Aviao” and “Triste.” Manfredo contributes the tune “Arigo,” and his son, the very capable guitarist Phil Fest, composed and sings on the tune “Marcia.” Bassist Rogerio Botter Maio and drummer Portinho round out the quintet. “Soho’s Samba,” written by Jobim’s son, Paulo, finds Fest and Roditi fired up. Fest’s touch is spry, and delight pervades his playing. Even “Triste” and “Tenderly” are handled in bouyant fashion. Some listeners may want greater emotional texture, yet every number is rendered with such joyous assurance that it seems curmudgeonly to wish otherwise. “Route 66” has a driving rhythm by Portinho with all the principals having loads of fun. – Marcela Breton