When he recorded My Inspiration: Music of Brazil in May 1998, a 72-year-old Charlie Byrd was considered an elder statesman of Brazilian jazz as well as bebop. The guitarist had been involved with Brazilian jazz for 37 years, and his name was always among the first that came up in a discussion of the bossa nova. One of the many Brazilian-oriented projects he has recorded, My Inspiration finds the guitarist joined by the Brazilian group Trio Da Paz (which consists of guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta, and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca) as well as vocalist Maucha Adnet, Chuck Redd (who is heard on vibes instead of drums) and tenor saxman Scott Hamilton. Byrd embraces a few well-known Jobim standards on this CD, including "Agua de Beber" and "So Danco Samba," but thankfully, he doesn't limit himself to obvious choices -- he also turns his attention to material that ranges from Chopin's "Freddie's Tune" to the traditional Brazilian song "Violao Quebrada" and the 1930s show tune "My Inspiration." Hamilton, who is heard on half of the songs, enjoys an undeniably strong rapport with Byrd, which isn't surprising because they're both very lyrical and melodic. My Inspiration was a welcome addition to Byrd's sizable catalog.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson