"Fantasia" aptly describes this exuberant debut by drummer/percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca. Many tracks feature him with his partners in Trio da Paz (guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta), but there's also a rotating cast of jazz heavyweights: guitarist John Scofield, trumpeters Tom Harrell and Claudio Roditi, saxophonists Joe Lovano, David Sanchez, and Billy Drewes, pianists Kenny Werner and Marc Copland, and more. The results are upbeat, melodic, and richly textured, with ample and inspired improvisations -- the above names virtually guarantee it. Da Fonseca includes three of his own compositions: the odd-metered "Partido Out," the Tyner-esque "Dona Maria" (a tour de force for Kenny Werner and Billy Drewes), and the bright finale, "Manhattan Style." There are also original entries by Scofield, Harrell, Lubambo, and Helio Alves, along with gems by Dori Caymmi, Jobim, and others. The blend of electric and acoustic guitars (courtesy of Scofield and Lubambo) on "Pro Flavio" is one of the album's many winning moments; Da Fonseca sets up the track with a two-minute "Berimbau Fantasia." Albums like these raise the creative bar for Brazilian jazz, bringing the form squarely into the new millennium.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler