Throughout the 20th Century, Brazilian music and jazz were intimately entwined, particularly during the bossa nova boom of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Here's an overview of Brazilian and Brazilian-flavored jazz, with artists new and old...
This page covers the Letter "D"
Paul Desmond "Bossa Antigua" (RCA, 1964)
As an architect of the West Coast "cool" style, saxophonist Paul Desmond certainly could lay claim to a big piece of the Braz-jazz puzzle. Sadly, though, this album where he tries to do just that is not one of his career high points, with orchestrations that range from overly-baroque to flat out icky... Still, this does feature some of the earliest jazz recordings of Milton Nascimento's work, and is also notable for the participation of Brazilian chanteuse Wanda de Sa, who was best known for her work with Sergio Mendes's Brazil 66. The rest of the album is devoted to songs composed by Edu Lobo, who was Wanda De Sa's husband for over a decade. This album didn't do much for me, but many folks consider it a classic.
Irio De Paula "Sozinho" (Philology, 1995)
Irio De Paula "Jazz-Samba Ao Vivo" (NelJazz, 1997)
Tom Jobim's canonical compositions get an extra-gooey workthrough, with guitarist De Paula -- who has worked with several major jazz players, including Chet Baker, Gato Barbieri and Eumir Deodato -- leading a mellow ensemble, augmented by string arrangements worthy of the master. In some ways, this is a bit much, but also quite inviting. Depends on your tolerance for "easy listening," I suppose... But I think this is well within the tradition set down by the master, and Jobim fans will probably thrill to the interplay of the guitar and Riccardo Ballerini's sprightly arrangements. Not bad!
Irio De Paula "Sem Batera: 2002" (Azzurra, 2002)
Irio De Paula "Amigo Baden" (Azzurra, 2002)
Irio De Paula "Samba Jazz" (Azzurra, 2007)
Irio De Paula "Viajando" (Azzurra, 2007)
Irio De Paula "Retrato Do Rio" (Blue Music, 2007)
I'm sure the role of the trombone as a lead instrument has been a constant source of contention among jazz fans, but I have to say that it doesn't do much for me here. Still, this is the bandleading debut of one of Brazil's most successful mainstream jazz players, Raul De Souza, who later emigrated to the US and became a leading session player. Here he works through a primarily homegrown set, including one of his own early compositions alongside material by the likes of Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra and (for exotic effect) Duke Jordan. I'm no jazz critic, but this album mostly strikes me as a bit unsubtle and overly energetic. Also on board are many of the early leading lights of Brazil's jazz scene, including pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano and percussionist Airto Moreira, who kicks in with some nice Cuban-flavored percussion.
A pretty funky set from an American-style party band whose sound never quite clicked with Brazilian music fans... Trombonist Raul De Souza led this soul-oriented octet, which also featured percussionist Robertinho Da Silva, organ player Helio Celso and saxophonist Oberdan Magalhaes (later of Banda Black Rio). The "Black Rio" soul sound hadn't really hit Brazil yet, so these guys were kind of shooting in the dark... But it's a fun set, a mix of earnest funk and deliberate kitsch... They covered hits like "Spinning Wheel" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy," alongside giddy instrumentals with titles like "Fried Bananas" and "Cantelope Island." It's goofy, but better than I had expected... Worth checking out.
Raul De Souza "Rio" (Trama, 1998)
Raul De Souza "No Palco!" (Eldorado, 2000)
Joao Donato - see artist discography
Jane Duboc - see artist discography
Brazilian Jazz - Letter "E"
Other Brazilian Styles
Main Brazil Index