Claudio Roditi has enjoyed a great level of consistency in his career within a Brazilian jazz format. As literate a player as there is on the trumpet and flugelhorn, Roditi's influences stemming from Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard are evident, but a sweet patience and virtue that he owns has been the distinctive difference. Always surrounding himself with exceptional, high-level players, on Brazilliance X 4 the band is as great as he has ever employed. Expert Brazilian drummer Duduka DaFonseca, the wonderful pianist Helio Alves, and the excellent young bassist Leonardo Cioglia provide Roditi an extraordinarily talented and cohesive group, one that hopefully can continue to be a working, touring ensemble. This is a very uniform recording all the way through, with Roditi himself virtually wasting no notes, richly rendering this music from top to bottom while featuring source material from a wide range of lesser known composers. Victor Assis Brasil's "Pro Zeca" starts the program in a hot and hip samba jazz, the astounding Alves driving Roditi's quick lyric line handing off to DaFonseca's inventive drum solo. The ultra-melodic Roditi is at his best on the clean and clear composition of Johnny Alf, "Rapaz De Bem," while taking twists and turns in a more complicated piece written by trombonist Raul DeSouza, the upbeat and bright "A Vontade Mesmo." Durval Ferreira and Lula Freire's "E Nada Mais" is the sleek, romantic selection, while João Donato and Paulo Sérgio Valle's "Quem Diz Que Sabe" cleverly modifies the quick samba rhythm while retaining a simple melodic approach. Roditi penned four pieces, including the steamy samba "Dinner by Five" with another showcase for the modal piano of Alves or DaFonseca's unpredictable drumming, and the slow ballad "Song for Nana" accented by chiming piano and Cioglia's soulful bass. The other two contributions written by Roditi are live in-concert pieces, as "Tema Para Duduka" is yet another feature where the drummer fills in the cracks between melody lines, while "Gemini Man" bubbles with excitement as the trumpeter's strutting and stretching trumpet urges the band ahead in an energetic yet effortless framework. There's also a version of the Miles Davis evergreen "Tune Up," a fluid and patient bossa nova adaptation. A collection of tunes quite easy to love, this comes very close to being a definitive modern instrumental Brazilian jazz classic, and will stand as one of, if not the very best recordings Roditi has produced during his successful and fruitful career.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos