Jim Porcella has come up with a unique and entertaining theme for his latest release. He runs parallel the works of the esteemed Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim with the hip lyricist Jon Hendricks. Included are instrumentals by top jazz artists whose music to which the written word has been added by Hendricks. On this side of the ledger, there's a whole set of tunes with lyrics in the Hendricks style. Among the more notable with which Porcella and his fellow musicians have a great deal of fun is the funky version of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," made even funkier from the keyboard-cum-organ of Tom LaMark. Miles Davis' "Four" gets the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross vocalese kick to it, and why shouldn't it, given where the lyrics are coming from. There are a couple of tracks where the sometimes aloof music of Jobim meets the impudent words of Hendricks. One of these, "No More Blues," provides an upbeat vehicle for Porcella and the lyrical trumpet of David Burdett. One of the loveliest tracks on the set is Jobim's "Dindi," where Porcella's soft, expressive baritone gently wafts along on the melodic undulations of Monaghan's flute. Overall, this album moves back and forth between lively renditions of classic jazz standards and intelligent versions of Jobim's fine opuses. Of his albums to date, this is by far one of Porcella's most satisfying. Among other things, he shows that he possesses a very romantic set of pipes. Not only is the music highly listenable, but it seems to fit his vocal style to a tee, and he takes full advantage of that fortuitous confluence of voice and song.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan