Crazy Rhythm

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With Crazy Rhythm, Azymuth may well have recorded its best album ever by rejecting gimmickry and focusing on what it does best -- sensuous, understated yet rhythmically exciting Brazilian jazz/pop/R&B. Brazilian artists have often been quite adept at creating music that has light and delicate qualities, but never degenerates into "elevator muzak." Like the bossa nova of the '60s, Crazy Rhythm is "easy listening" music with a difference -- some of it was soft enough for airplay on "quiet storm" and "smooth jazz" radio, but nothing on this CD comes across as contrived or calculated. Jose Roberto Bertrami delivers one of the finest solos of his career on the beautiful and enchanting "Diza," and special guest Joe Pass (guitar) is in fine form on "Tropical Horizon" and "Hobalala."

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