If you like percussion and music from Brasil I think you’ll enjoy it

Anuk Label

Lorenzo Vitolo – Piano, synth; Devin Daniels – Alto saxophone, synth; Oscar Latorre – Trumpet; Thiago Alves – Acoustic bass; Paulo Almeida – Drums, percussion, voice; Lionel Loueke – Guitar, voice (tracks 1 & 6); Alberto Garcia – Percussion (tracks 1 & 4)

Orixas are deified ancestors; they’re a link between the spiritual and human world. Paulo Almeida thanked the Orixas for giving him the strength and inspiring him to put out his new album OFERENDA; that’s offering in Portuguese.

Paulo Almeida is a Brazilian drummer, percussionist, and composer.  He began his musical studies at Sao Paulo State and at the Conservatory of Tatui. He’s performed at festivals and jazz clubs all over the world.  He’s played with the likes of Guillermo Klein, Jorge Rossy, Anat Cohen, and Ralph Alessi.

OFERENDA is Almeida’s fifth album as leader and all the compositions, lyrics, arrangements are his. The sounds of Brazil dominate but there’s a European jazz influence as well.

Raindrops has a strong Afro/Brazilian sound and is one of my favourite cuts on the album. There’s a lot of unison playing but things get exciting when members solo. Oscar Latorre plays amazing trumpet. Pianist Lorenzo Vitolo has a melodic touch but he’s good at playing with dynamics and harmony. He slips into a bit of a samba groove that sounds pretty cool. Devin Daniels is young, but he’s won a ton of music awards. His alto sax playing is fluid and lyrical. Almeida’s percussion work shines.

Guest guitarist Lionel Loueke plays and sings on two cuts. His use of nylon strings and his admitted influences, Jim Hall and George Benson, have much to do with the mellow touch he brings to OFERENDA.

‘Hoffnung ’is a low-key affair with the piano stating an elegant theme. Alto and trumpet dance gracefully, expanding on that theme. Vitolo takes off on a sparse solo until he turns the dynamic button up a bit and invites the whole band back in.

‘Odoya ’features another guest, percussionist Alberto Garcia. Garcia knocks the percussive rhythms up a couple notches. Daniels’s alto sounds great soaring above it; I thought I heard a little Gato Barbieri there.

I’m willing to bet the Orixas like OFERENDA. If you like percussion and music from Brasil I think you’ll enjoy it as well.