Sunday, February 28, 2010

MASTER SWINGER

Claudio, we've never met. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Charles L. Latimer, the brains behind this jazz blog. I'll try to be brief. A few weeks ago, a publicist from DL Media sent me your new album "Simpatico". I'm glad they did. I had a ball listening to it. In fact, I'm playing the alubm right now. The band has just wrapped up "Alberto and Daisy" one of the catchier cuts on the recording. Guitarist Romero Lubambo solo made my ears dance. You assembled a slamming sextet. I have to level with you, Claudio. "Simpatico" was the first time I heard you play. The album’s press release stated you're a master arranger and gifted trumpeter. After I’d finished my second helping of the album, I knew that wasn’t fluff. Throughout, you handled yourself like a master musician. Last year, you received a Grammy nod. I'm sure it was well deserved. (I wouldn't be surprised if the academy nominated "Simpatico" this year.) Right away, I could tell you worked with the musicians on this date for a long time. The camaraderie was as visible as a stop sign. Claudio, the album had only one flaw.The string instruments on the ballad "Slow Fire" was excessive. The strings disrupted your solo. The ballad would've been fine with just you pianist Helio Alves, bassist John Lee, and drummer Duduka da Fonseca. “Simpatico” appeared to be a Brazilian jazz album on the surface, but it's actually a straight up acoustic jazz date. It was nifty how the band tossed the melody back and forth on "Blues for Ronni” like a volleyball. "Piccolo Blues" was my favorite cut. I heard the Piccolo is a tiny trumpeter-smaller than the pocket-and difficult to play. According to the press release, you don’t play that horn often. You would have a tough time convincing the most astute jazz fan of that. I thought you invented the darn thing. You sounded that good playing it. I bet you could make a garden hose sound like an instrument. Let me stop. I could boast about this album endlessly, but I promised to be brief. As I mentioned earlier, I'm still playing the album. Right now, Fonseca drum solo on "Slammin" is begging for my undivided attention.
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