Orfeu by Ron Carter
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For nearly 40 years, Ron Carter
has been jazz's most in-demand and well-traveled bassist: from Miles Davis's Someday My Prince Will Come
to A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory
. Along the way, Carter has recorded several projects featuring Brazilian music. On this recording, Carter, along with pianist Stephen Scott, tenor saxophonist Houston Person
, guitarist Bill Frisell
, drummer Payton Crossley, and percussionist Steve Kroon apply jazz forms to Afro-Brazilian samba rhythms. As a frequent visitor to Brazil and as a devoted student of that country's music traditions, Carter and his crew deliver a subtle, laid-back CD that combines the best of both worlds. Carter's "Saudade," which roughly translates from Portuguese as "longing," highlights the Iberian character with its mournful melody. His other tunes "Por-do-sol," "Samba De Orfeu," and "Obrigado" make the Rio De Janeiro/Bahia-born rhythms swing with their festival-parade soul intact. On Jobim's "Manha De Carnaval," from the motion picture Black Orpheus
, Person's broad and breathy tenor solo echoes Stan Getz
's floating melodies. Carter's "1:17 Special," dedicated to the African-American "underground railroad" and Dvorak's "Goin' Home," ring with the spirituals and the blues, peppered by the percussive percolations brewed by Carter's buttery bass tones and the rhythmic relations from Brazil. --Eugene Holley Jr.