The Naxos label, thank God, is all over the place: classical, jazz, fusion, World, etc. No sooner do they issue the killer Heiner Stadler free/outside/jazz/fusion two-fer (here) than they also publish Tania Maria's latest, Tempo. Maria's a prime exponent of Brazilian music and here decided to go it in a stripped down diet that does wonders to emphasize the alternatingly bouncy and moody sides of her art. With only the estimable Eddie Gomez plying an equally upside and then somber bass alongside her piano and pipes, the chanteuse presents eight songs bringing the rainforest, sunny skies, afternoon balm, and unique latinate sentiments to all and sundry around the world. In places, either she or Gomez (hard to tell which due to very low volume) are subtly Jarrett-tracking, sometimes with that trippy scat ramble, other times in an under-emphasized vocal organic burble that so aptly imitates unique South American percussives.
Catch the interesting variations in Yeah Man, an all-instrumental cut where the singer gets to work out her chops in a boppish, quirky, loungey transmigrating tune taking Nat King Cole out of the CBS studios and putting him together with Ahmad Jamal and Earl Hines in order to let loose in a cubistically stylish romp. Senso Unico extends the piano/bass atmosphere, embracing an old Ferrante & Teicher formality while deconstructing it, jumping into Guaraldi and Brubeck, not to mention some dancing Benoit, with a tad of scat and interjections in Dear Dee Vee. Maria takes her jazz musicianship seriously, not content to rest just on well-deserved vocal laurels, turning Tempo into an outing echoing a time when the aforementioned greats, as well as esteemed others (Charles Lloyd, Gabor Szabo, etc.) were turning out great dates with minimal members but maximum atmosphere and thoughtfulness…even when joyous.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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