Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dee Bell Marcos Silva Silva Bell Elation Laser 2014


Twenty two years in the making Dee Bell and Marcos Silva reinvent Brazilian music with a decidedly western twist while losing nothing in authenticity.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
A little over two decades ago Dee Bell released Sagacious Grace. Thanks to a plethora of issues including the death of musical director Al Plank and a bad master, the recording seemed destines to die a natural if not undeserved death. Enlist the prolific talent of Marcos Silva who also happens to be an instructor of Brazilian studies at Berklee and suddenly the possibilities are endless.
 
The hook here is not a full blown Brazilian release, aside from covers by A.C. Jobim and Toninho Horta there are riffs on the pop music scene with tunes from Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Unlike the pretentious if not self indulgent use of "vibe" in the smooth jazz radio format, the lyrical mood embraces that bright and breezy Brazilian feel while imaginative reharms highlight a truly engaging recording. Special guests include Andy Narell, Barry Finnerty and Chris Sulivan all bringing their distinctive artistic voice to a release of deceptively subtle nuanced flavor. Some straight ahead gems here include "S'Wonderful" and "I've Got The World On A String."

Nothing here really hits you over the head, it isn't supposed to. Silva Bell Elation is instead the personal melodic happy place of Dee Bell. A recording originally slated to include Stan Getz, Silva Bell Elation has been worth the wait and a vocal jazz release certainly worth exploring.

4 Stars.

Tracks: Harvest Moon; I've Got The World On A String; Beijo Partido / Broken Kiss; Night In The City; I Will; The Face I Love; Nature Boy; Dreamer; The World Is Falling Down; S' Wonderful; Midnight Mood.

Personnel: Dee Bell: Vocals; Marcos Silva: Piano, Electric Piano; Andy Narell: Steel Pan: 2 & 7; Barry Finnerty: Guitar 4 & 9; Scott Thompson: Electric Bass; Phil Thompson: Drums; Chris Sullivan: Saxophone: 1

Special Thanks to Michael Bloom of Michael Bloom Media Relations.