Various Artists

Winds of Brazil (Um Sopro de Brasil)

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Winds of Brazil reproduces highlights of a live concert series called A Brazilian Wind that took place in São Paolo, Brazil, in November 2004. All in all, some 250 musicians from within numerous genres took part in the series, with the 11 representative easy-on-the-ears tracks collected here ranging stylistically from light jazz to semi-classical. Although each track features a wind soloist -- participating instruments include flute, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, and clarinet -- most of the arrangements, few of them ever performed before this night, were written for an ensemble, which includes a string quartet alongside various percussion and other instruments, including a traditional Brazilian cavaquinho. "So Much Song," featuring Lea Freire on bass flute, incorporates no less than four other flutists and a bassoon player, as does Teco Cardoso's ambitious nine-minute "Kenoma (April 21, 1500)" (the date marks Brazil's discovery by the Portuguese), which finds the composer/arranger playing bamboo flute, soprano sax, and a uruá (a kind of flute). Other tracks, such as Paulo Moura's "Mulatas, Etc., and All" and Vinícius Dorin's "Sunset Star," the two songs closing the album, are more minimal in nature, eschewing the use of a bevy of collaborators to give their respective lead players more space to shine. The more familiar Brazilian rhythms, such as samba and bossa nova, are in short supply here, but there is no mistaking this for anything but Brazilian music.

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