Mark Isbell and friends capture the lyrical essence of Brazil with Samba Copacabana!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first, hate the title...That being said, love the release! Those that travel my inner circle or musical mafia know that Brazilian music in general and samba in particular will make my musical back leg shake. Mark Isbell is a lyrical technician on alto saxophone and with the help of his Brazilian friends that knock out one of the consistently pleasing and authentic releases of Brazilian music you may find.
Sound? Mark finds that harmonic happy place somewhere between David Sanborn and the Sadao Watanabe records of the late 80's that also walked the samba tightrope with grace and soulful swing seldom heard from artists not coming from a straight Latin jazz background. The release is a model of consistency and while some might debate the technical merits of authenticity that is not what Brazilian music is all about. Brazilian music embodies the spirit and the attitude of the people. The rhythm of life.
If you remotely appreciate Brazilian music on any level, Samba Copacabana is the perfect addition to any library. Independent artists like Mark inspire me, his music will do the same for you.
Tracks: Navarro Flats; The Monster And The Flower; Preciso Aprendera A Ser So; Rio; Se E Tarde Me Peroda; O Morro Nao Tem Vez; Pra Dizer Adeus; Batida Diferente; Nuvens; Tanya; Samba For Carmen.