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Café Jam: Moio (Rhythmic Spice)

The quintet Cafe Jam hails from Sao Paulo, and their release is perfect listening for a summer’s day picnic, smooth jazz with just a pinch of the tropical. Included among the twelve tunes are two Jobim compositions, “Passarim,” featuring Paulo Pascali, Jr., on tenor, and “Samba do Aviao.” Pascali’s tenor, and the overall high level of musicianship, is good reason to keep from dismissing this release as just another smooth jazz entry.

Pascali composed two tunes, pianist Marcelo Zanettini three tunes, bassist Yoshiya Kusamura two tunes, including the eponymous “Cafe Jam,” and guitarist Benoit Decharneux two tunes. The group’s musical influences include Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets, Earth Wind & Fire, Weather Report, and a host of other fusion, pop, and even disco artists. Basically, you’d be hard pressed to identify Cafe Jam as Brazilian but for the Portuguese song titles. But it’s very well done, and if you’re planning a picnic by the lake…

Originally Published