Paquito D’Rivera – Brazilian Dreams
(MCG Jazz – 2002)
by Shaun Dale
On Brazilian Dreams, Cuban reedman continues his musical partnership with Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Rodito and adds the stylings of the New York Voices for a program of Brazilian standards and original material, presented in a benefit concert at Pittsburgh’s notworthy Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. (The Guild has offered inner-city arts and education programs for over 20 years, primarily financed by jazz concerts and recordings.)
D’Rivera, who is equally comfortable in jazz and classical settings, is best known for his distinctive alto saxophone work, and he offers enough of that here to satisfy the faithful, but one of the most appealing aspects of this album is the attention he devotes to the clarinet. It seems to be the perfect instrumental complement to the quartet harmonies of the New York Voices, and while it’s not the most common instrument in the presentation of bossa nova, in the hands of D’Rivera it proves to be one of the most effective.
In addition to songs by Brazilian mainstays like Jobim, Bonfa and Donato, D’Rivera and Rodito each offer an original, and the closing number, “Snow Samba,” is a collaboration between the pair. Particularly noteworthy are D’Rivera’s tribute to Tom Jobim, “One For Tom,” which features the clarinet, and Jobim’s “Desafinado,” which shows off the New York Voices at their best and features an outstanding Roditi solo.