Album of the year? Maybe...I have a bias though. If it is Latin and especially Brazilian then it hit my musical sweet spot. Hard! Lyrically driven with a smoldering rhythmic pulse finds the latest from the Brazilian Trio Constelacao firing on all cylinders.
This is the follow up to their Grammy nominated debut release with an open ended style of arrangements of some rare Brazilian classic from artists such Antonio Carlos Jobim and some slightly more contemporary fair from Dori Caymmi and pianist Helio Alves. With the Latin jazz category back this release may just be where the smart money goes! The trio is rounded out with Helio Alves on piano, Nilson Matta on bass and the great Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. Their is an elegant yet oddly organic charm to this release as the trio develop their own eclectic identity with that deceptively subtle Brazilian groove. Music that is indeed good for the soul.
By tweaking the meter every so slightly this formidable trio is able to reinvent the Brazilian sound for the aficionado as well as just the casual listener. The tune "O Cantador" from Dorri Caymmi is a nice riff on "Like A Lover" made famous by Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. An evocative all most dream like texture pushes the vibe of the release to the next level. Aside from a vibrant fresh approach the Brazilian Trio goes back to the 1964 bossa jazz classic "Embalo" originally done by the somewhat forgotten pianist Tenorio Jr. The release is articulated by the syncopated pop of the great Cedar Walton tune "Bolivia."
Constelacao is one of those rare releases be it Brazilian or more traditional that offers a little something for everyone. Rhythmic texture, moving harmonics and a groove you can use! Founded in 2003 this stellar trio has found hit their stride and with all the vibe and texture one would associate with this incredible music.
Literally flawless as three brilliant musicians literally come together as one voice.
One of the very best for 2012!
Tracks: Constelacao; Bebe; Embalo; O Cantador; Quebra Pedra; Lvm/Direto Ao Assunton; Luiza; O Boto; Isabella; Bolivia.
Personnel: Helio Alves: piano; Nilson Matta: bass; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums.