Trio Camara were a Brazilian piano trio who hung about playing their particularly rhythmic brand of bossa nova jazz in the early to mid-'70s. This self-titled disc is their debut, and it is a stunner. Pianist Fernando Martins, bassist Edson Lobo, and drummer Nelson Serras were all arrangers and composers in addition to being players, and these 11 tunes bear that out in spades. Nothing here is left to chance; every nuance, every dynamic shift, every turnaround is charted out, and this doesn't make the music sound any less spontaneous. There are three covers mixed in with the band's originals. "Berimbau," by Baden Powell, opens the album at a furious samba pace, with wildly careen piano arpeggios running up and down the scales against the rhythm section. On "Noa, Noa," deep pizzicato work by Lobo underscores the fat, augmented ninths by Martins, and on "Upa Neguinho" a bebop sensibility strides along the bossa rhythm, taking things to a frenzied height of intervallic madness. This is a smooth but furiously played recording displaying wondrous technical skill and exquisite taste; it should be sought out by all fans of Brazilian jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek