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Romero Lubambo: Setembro

“Virtuoso” is a term used too loosely in jazz criticism, but it absolutely applies to Romero Lubambo. In his hands a guitar becomes an orchestra. He is one of a group of Brazilian musicians who emigrated to the United States long enough ago-30 years in Lubambo’s case-that their birthright breezy sambas have taken on a New York edge. (Duduka Da Fonseca, Claudio Roditi and Helio Alves are others.)

Setembro addresses this cultural duality directly. Its subtitle is “A Brazilian Under the Jazz Influence.” The album can be understood as a companion to its predecessor from 2014, , also on Sunnyside, which was dedicated almost exclusively to Brazilian music played on solo acoustic guitar. Setembro is also a solo recording but divides its loyalties among Brazil’s best-loved composers, pieces from the American Songbook long favored by jazz musicians and originals. Lubambo plays both electric and acoustic jazz guitars.

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