at the Rio Jazz Club
Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell has been an underground legend in this country for thirty years or more. Not widely played or heard on the radio, he was nonetheless a founding member of the burgeoning Brazilian Jazz/Samba scene. As a writer, singer and player, he represents the best of the genre.
What we have on this CD is a live concert recorded at the Rio Jazz Club in 1990, about ten years before his death, and released here this year. Originally not intended for a US release, all the stage announcements and comments by Powell are in Portuguese, which adds to the exotic nature of the date. But his playing, a mix of flamenco runs, arpeggios and soulful samba ballads, really gives the listener the full spectrum of his talents.
Many of the songs on this CD are not the usual Brazilian exports we always hear, such as "Wave" or "Waters of March." While some are familiar, this is a live concert in his county, in his language, and too bad if it's lost on the few Americans who might hear the CD.
Those Americas who enjoy Dori Caymmi will appreciate Powell's two-song tribute to his father Dorival Caymmi. The date is a nice mix of instrumentals and vocals, recorded the way in went down fifteen years ago at a Jazz club in Rio. Sometimes you can't ask for more than that, as a true recording will document what really happened rather than what was created in a studio. And from the reaction of the crowd that night, they knew they were in onto something special.
by Michael Handler
Copyright Jazz Now, September 2005, all rights reserved.
Jazz Now Interactive September 2005 Vol 15 No. 5 - Table of Contents