Many recordings of the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim concentrate on formulaic charts of his best-known compositions. Fortunately, the David Liebman Group not only play his less-frequently performed songs, but interpret them with imagination while utilizing a variety of instruments. Liebman is primarily heard on soprano or tenor sax, but also switches to piano or Indian bamboo flute on occasion. Vic Juris, best known for his electric guitar, also dabbles on steel string and nylon acoustic guitars, as well as guitar synthesizer. Bassist Tony Marino and drummer Jamey Haddad round out the group. The interplay between the leader's soprano and Juris' nylon string acoustic guitar is gorgeous in the bittersweet ballad "Por Toda a Minha Vida (For All My Life)," while Marino is the focus of the lyrical "Luiza." Liebman's bamboo flute is the centerpiece of the hypnotic, chant-like "O Morro Nao Tern Vez (Somewhere in the Hills)," while his warm tenor is intertwined with Juris' sensitive guitar in the pretty ballad "Angela." "Dindi" is likely the best-known Jobim work on this release; Liebman's interesting choice of piano chords to complement Juris makes it clear that he has more than cursory knowledge of the instrument. This highly recommended CD marks an auspicious debut commercial release for GMN.com.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden