Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Claudio Roditi - Simpatico (Resonance, 2010)

Trumpeter Claudio Roditi's new album makes for a placid and tranquil listening experience, heavily under the influence of the music of Brazil. Roditi plays trumpet and flugelhorn (and sings on a track), accompanied by Romero Lubambo on guitar, Michael Dease on trombone, Helio Alves on piano, John Lee on electric bass and Duduka da Fonseca on drums. Coming off of his previous album which was nominated for a Grammy Award, Roditi mixes samba and bossa nova with straight-ahead jazz. All of the compositions are Roditi originals, featuring the opening performance "Spring Samba" which is uptempo with a jaunty beat, loping electric bass providing a propulsive foundation for some fast sputtering trombone and trumpet. "Piccolo Blues" has Roditi playing an instrument that is relatively new to him and quite uncommon in jazz, the tiny piccolo trumpet. The song has a dapper medium-up tempo feel, and the piccolo trumpet has an interesting pinched sound to it. Strong bass and piano add fuel to the fire. "A Dream for Kristen" is a thoughtful and patient ballad, featuring some lush trumpet and piano chords, and some nice acoustic guitar accents. The whole album proceeds smoothly, but not cloyingly so. The gentle swing of the music and Roditi's compositions stays consistently interesting. The only down side for me was "Slow Fire" which has an orchestral arrangement on by Kuno Schmid. This is more of a personal preference than anything else, but I feel that placing a thick drape of strings over the track was unnecessary. Simpatico -

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