Veronneau’s highly anticipated follow-up to their first album Joie de Vivre has arrived! Jazz Samba Project was inspired by the bossa nova music of Brazil paired the sound of American jazz and fits perfectly within their current band’s format. The group features Ken Avis on acoustic guitar and vocals, Lynn Veronneau on vocals, David Rosenblatt on acoustic guitar and Pete Walby on drums alongside guest musicians Jeff Antoniuk on tenor sax, Alejandro Lucini on percussion and Jim McFalls on trombone.
The program explores the world of bossa nova and includes classics from Borroso, Jobim, Powell, Ben, as well as their own bossa treatments to some contemporary songs by Marley, among others, as a celebratory tribute to the original Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd 1962 album’s golden anniversary. Throughout the program, Lynn Veronneau’s vocals are longing, sensual, soft, sad, happy, and layered within the samba rhythms and jazz elements. She sings in Portuguese on “E Luxo So,” (“So Luxurious”), in French on the beautiful “Samba Saravah” and “Autumn Leaves,” and in English. All of the songs are absolutely beautiful and the arrangements are stellar and translate well from the original compositions.
Among the standouts are Veronneau’s dreamy vocals on “So Luxurious,” David Rosenblatt’s melodic and harmonic sense on “September Moon,” that also features easy brush strokes by Pete Walby. Antoniuk’s masterful saxophone solo raises the energy on “One Note Samba” while Ken Avis’ guitar on Baden Powell’s “Samba Saravah” with its repeating chords is like waves washing over a beach! The group ends the program with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s revered “Wave” which features the fresh energy of traditional Brazilian instruments – surdo drum, pandiero and shakers – and takes us back to the roots of bossa nova. This is Jazz Samba at its best.