Claudio Roditi – Brazilliance + 4 – Resonance Records HCD 2002, 57:57 ****:
(Claudio Roditi – trumpet, flugelhorn; Helio Alves – piano; Leonard Cioglia – bass; Duduka da Fonseca – drums)
Brazilian horn master Claudio Roditi, who came up with Paquito D’Rivera in the 70s and played with jazz masters such as Joe Henderson, Tito Puente, McCoy Tyner, Charlie Rouse, and others, made his mark with the Dizzy Gillespie tribute band United Nation Orchestra. Always a fiery improviser, Roditi’s signature move has been to blend Brazilian rhythms with exciting post-bop elements. Yet despite his technical brilliance, Roditi has struggled to find his own unique voice. Until now.
I’m thrilled to say that he’s put it all together on Brazilliance + 4. Sometimes it takes years, even decades, for accomplished players to finally come into their own. Credit producer and Resonance label founder George Klabin for recording and showcasing this venerable jazz warrior in his finest setting yet. It helps that he’s known Roditi for nearly three decades. It helps even more that he has the acumen to identify when an artist has finally broken through to a new level.
Featuring an attractive assortment of Latin jazz standards with four Roditi originals, this disc percolates and simmers with controlled passion. Besides leader Roditi’s searing statements on his two horns, Brazilliance showcases the talents of top Latin players Helio Alves on piano, sounding as confident and convincing as I’ve ever heard him, and the inimitable Duduka da Fonseca on drums. The latter always seems to find and express the heart of whatever Brazilian rhythmic idiom is in play, setting the table for exotic variations and expansions by Roditi and Alves. Brazilian bassist Leonardo Cioglia, a name new to me, more than holds his own in this rarified atmosphere. Look for his disc, Contos, featuring some of the finest up-and-coming jazz composers and players. One of the better Latin jazz discs of the past year.
E Nada Mais
A Vontade Mesmo
Rapaz de Bem
Dinner by Five
Song for Nana
Tema para Duduka
Quem Diz Que Sabe
– Jan P. Dennis