long been a partnership of sorts between jazz and Brazilian music.
Numerous jazz artists, from Stan Getz to Lee Ritenour, have married the
two styles. Flutist Mark Weinstein continues the relationship with Jazz
Weinstein played piano as a child and later the trombone. But his career
as a bandleader has been marked by his play of the flute. On Jazz Brasil,
he plays concert, alto and bass flutes. He’s accompanied by Kenny Barron
on piano, Nilson Matta on bass and Marcello Pellitteri on drums and
“I Mean You,” a Thelonious Monk title, opens the set in a festive mood.
The syncopation of the band is tight from the start. Weinstein is the
feature, but his sidemen also stand out – in the background as well as
during solos. There’s a spirited call and response between flute and drums
that segues back into the primary theme.
One of the most often recorded Brazilian pieces is Ary Barrosa’s “Brazil.”
The intro is soft, subtle, but the song quickly shifts into samba mode.
Weinstein’s treatment keeps the melody recognizable, but the flute gives
it a strong, Herbie Mann feel.
Mann’s classic “Memphis Underground” is given a fresh, sassy groove.
Weinstein and the band play it with a subdued but delightful swing. Matta
and Barron add to the fun with their middle solos.
Weinstein and Matta composed one song each for this set. The rest are new
arrangements of Brazilian-style pieces of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wayne
Shorter and Joe Henderson, as well as those already mentioned.
With the success of recent releases Con Alma, Timbasa and Straight, No
Chaser, Weinstein has established himself as a proficient mixer of jazz
with Latin, Brazilian and world music styles. Jazz Brasil reinforces that