Dom Um Romão

Lake of Perseverance

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Looking at the art work on Dom Um Romão's Lake of Perseverance, one immediately thinks of CTI's famous LP covers of the '70s. Back then, CTI's album covers had an instantly recognizable style, and a very CTI-minded look graces the front and back covers of Lake of Perseverance. But this diverse CD is not a CTI album from the '70s. Lake of Perseverance, an Italian release, wasn't recorded until 2000, and it was not produced by CTI founder Creed Taylor -- the producer is Brazilian percussionist/arranger Arnaldo DeSouteiro. Lake of Perseverance does not fit neatly into one particular category. Some of the material is post-bop jazz; Romão brings his distinctly Brazilian style of drumming to Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa" as well as two gems from John Coltrane's modal repertoire (the lovely "Naima" and Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue"). But Lake of Perseverance is not an album for jazz purists or jazz snobs -- many of the tunes, in fact, are Brazilian pop and even club-oriented dance music. Those who consider themselves jazz snobs will not be glad to learn that the hypnotic instrumental "House Carnival" is house music or that the funky "Groovestation" has a strong hip-hop influence. Nor would a jazz snob appreciate the alternative rock-minded "Sanctuary"/"Tenacão," which features Brazilian singer Ithamara Koorax and almost sounds like a Portuguese-language take on some of Blondie and Debbie Harry's moodier offerings. Koorax also soars an exuberant version of Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada." But for all its diversity, Lake of Perseverance doesn't sound erratic or confused -- somehow, Romão manages to give this album a certain continuity. Nonetheless, Lake of Perseverance is strictly for those who have eclectic tastes, and people who are broad-minded enough to appreciate a wide variety of music will find the disc to be excellent.

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