Freddie Bryant

Brazilian Rosewood

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Guitarist Freddie Bryant delivers buoyant, Brazilian-style jazz with the help of a fine supporting cast: Chris Cheek on saxes, Diego Urcola on trumpet, Edward Simon on piano, Avishai Cohen on bass, Jordi Rossy on drums, and Gilad on percussion. Bryant's specialty, in the tradition of bossa nova guitar legend Charlie Byrd, is the nylon string acoustic guitar, although he does play electric on several of these tracks. Most of Bryant's compositions have pretty melodies and straightforward samba or bossa nova feels; the album's most marked departure is Avishai Cohen's off-kilter piece "Light Green."

Bryant features his ensemble in various combinations, giving each piece a distinctive quality. Things seem to work best when he follows a less-is-more approach: "Lullaby for the Newborn" and "Niahnie's Dance," the two most interesting tracks, feature only acoustic guitar and percussion. In terms of sheer compositional prowess, however, "Patchwork in D" is Bryant's finest effort -- particularly the splendid passages that feature guitar and muted trumpet in unison.

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