The term Latin jazz usually refers to a blend of jazz and Afro-Cuban music. When people hear the term Latin jazz, the artists who immediately come to mind include Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, Cal Tjader, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, and Poncho Sanchez. Meanwhile, the term Brazilian jazz has been used to describe artists ranging from Airto Moreira to Stan Getz to Claudio Roditi -- improvisers who have combined jazz with Brazilian rhythms. Latin jazz and Brazilian jazz are thought of as two separate categories, but because Brazilian music is a form of Latin music, Brazilian jazz is technically a form of Latin jazz. Thus, it makes perfect sense for Concord to put together a Brazilian jazz compilation and call it Colors of Latin Jazz: Samba. Assembled in 2002, this good-to-excellent CD looks back on Concord's contributions to Brazilian jazz in the '80s and '90s. Some of the selections are actually by Brazilian artists, including Tania Maria's "Dear Dee Vee," Marcos Silva's "Street Samba," and Flora Purim's "Samba Do Cantor." But some of the artists are not, which isn't surprising because Stan Getz and Bud Shank proved long ago that one doesn't have to be Brazilian to play Brazilian jazz effectively. Some of the American improvisers who demonstrate their mastery of the samba beat include pianist Joanne Brackeen on "Recado Bossa Nova," flutist Ali Ryerson on "Não Está Colando (I'm Not Buying It)," and guitarist Charlie Byrd on Luiz Bonfá's familiar "Samba de Orfeu" (which features Ken Peplowski on tenor sax). Colors of Latin Jazz: Samba is far from the last word on Concord's Brazilian jazz output -- for one thing, it doesn't include anything by Laurindo Almeida. But it's an enjoyable compilation that shows listeners how appealing a combination jazz improvisation and the Brazilian samba rhythm can be.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson