Saturday, November 8, 2008
"Obrigado Dom Um Romão" - "Billboard review
An excellent album of Brazilian jazz, all the more notable due to its performers -- three Swiss instrumentalists. The album was originally intended to be completed in tandem with a tour, both featuring legendary Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romao, a friend of trumpeter and bandleader Peter Schärli. With Romao's death, the projects (including Brazilian songstress Ithamara Koorax) moved forward as a tribute instead. The band has a soft touch to their instruments, perfectly complementing the array of classic Brazilian compositions. Koorax's vocals are similarly slinky, soft, perfectly seductive for a bossa nova. When the band veers away from Brazilian sounds, though, the story changes a bit. Schärli's horn is ramped up and loses its delicacy (as in Rachmaninov's "Vocaliste"), Koorax's slinkiness is converted to heavy-handedness (as in Porter's "Love for Sale"). The band tries to steer between the extremes in other cases ("Manha de Carnaval," which also features a recording of Romao on the berimbau), not quite hitting the excellent features or the faulty features heard in the rest of the album. There are some fine moments here, moments that deserve a listen. Just be sure to skip over the lesser ones.
~ Adam Greenberg