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Brian Nova Quartet: Blue and Bossa Nova

This record really swings! The band behind the very competent Seattle-based guitarist Brian Nova is clearly capable of capturing a groove and sticking with it. Much of that is owed to the nimble rhythm section, but with a vet like Buddy Catlett on bass, how could you miss? Pianist Larry Fuller served as Ernestine Anderson’s music director and has put in time with Jeff Hamilton and Ray Brown, among others. Nova himself is an accomplished guitarist, on both electric and acoustic, where his fingers lightly dancing on the fretboard exploring a bossa grooves at breakneck tempos.

So we have a record to recommend here, right? Well, the problem is that Nova also fancies himself a vocalist and I am afraid that is the chink in the armor. His voice is tentative, of no particular consequence and detracts madly from this otherwise enjoyable collection of American standards and Brazilian nuggets. Let’s hear more, but save the vocals for the shower!

Originally Published