Polson has developed a strong relationship with Brazil. After
all, he lived in Rio de Janeiro for several years. Colors Of
Brazil is accordingly a kind of retrospective of this
period of his life and the result of the musical influences from
that time. The circumstance that the relationship has not yet
broken off is evident, four of the recordings on this
album were made in Brazil.
Diverse as his music is also
the nature of the international musical cast. With the exception
of harpist Mariea Antoinette, the musicians listed are not
household names from the smooth jazz scene. Please refer to the
credits for more details.
album opens with Aquarela Do Brazil (Colors of Brazil)
written by Ary Barroso in 1939 which commonly became a global
hit in the Western world under the title Brazil. Kenny takes the
tempo out of the Samba piece and lets the whole thing go very
relaxed. Perhaps this is more the reflection of today's serene
Hipnotizado (Mesmerized) mirrors Kenney's very own
style, which in its expression and the finely worked out almost
orchestral arrangement richly staffed with strings and brass
rather reminds of the music of the 60s. The Latin tinged tune
also features Mariea Antoinette on harp who enriches the
arrangement with this classical instrument.
So also the old gem by Duke Ellington
Caravana (Caravan), which I heard in my childhood from a
music chest of my parents, celebrates a resurrection. Brazilian
maestro Marinho Boffa ignites a firework of notes on the
Flor De Lis (Lily Flower) is a Samba
tune by Brazilian singer Djavan from the same named album
(1987). This love ballad is revived by a formation of excellent
musicians who know their craft. Unusual to my ears in the
context of a Samba is the sound of the Koto that is presented by Mitsuki Dazai and Dr. Osamu Kitajima.
was written by late bassist Nico Assumpção as tribute to his
daughter. Kenny deliberately chose this piece to compete in
virtuosity with this famous bass player.
Also on the
Samba piece Leva e Traz (Give & Take) by Ivan Lins/Vitor
Martin one can listen to Mitsuki Dazai's and Dr. Osamu
Kitajima's performance on Koto. Do you know, that Brazil is home
to the world's largest community of Japanese descendants outside
of Japan, numbering about 1.5 million people?
Guitarist and singer
Toninho Horta composed and recorded the Bossa Nova piece
Andando de Bicicleta for his album Moonstone
(1989). Passeio de Bicicleta (Bicycle Ride) is Kenny's
sensitive adaptation on the saxophone.
created the Samba tune Incompatidade De Genios
(Incompatibility of Geniuses) in 1977. On his rendition Kenny
chose Azure McCall's Al Jarreau-style scat performance instead
of the original lyrics.
Dorival Tostes "Dori" Caymmi is a Brazilian singer,
guitarist, songwriter of the Música Popular Brasileira, who also
worked as an arranger and music producer and was nominated for
several Grammies. His tune Obsessao (Obsession)
is rather known only to insiders. Kenny shows that even a
relatively simple structured melody can be developed into
something worth listening to with good musicians. Mitsuki Dazai
on Koto delivers the Japanese flair.
Final tune of the album is a cover of Luz Do Sol (Sun
Light) originally created by Brazilian vocalist/composer Caetano
Veloso, an ode to the beauty of life. A song that touches you
deeply thanks to Kenny's gentle and sensible interpretation.
Colors Of Brazil appeals primarily to the friend of
Brazilian popular music, as it was in vogue in the last century.
It is thanks to musicians like Kenny Polson that it is not
forgotten. With so much commitment and passion this music
becomes a timeless document.
Buy the album
in all stores
Title: Colors Of Brazil
Artist: Kenny Polson
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Rosetta Records
Brazil (Colors Of Brazil) (5:41)
Hipnotizado (Mesmerized) (4:18)
Caravana (Caravan) (5:40)
Flor De Lis (Lily Flower) (3:43)
6) Leva E Traz (Give and Take) (4:55)
Passeio de Bicicleta (Bicycle Ride) (3:40)
Obsessao (Obsession) (6:50)
Luz Do Sol (Sun Light) (4:49)
Kenney Polson – Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, Keyboards, Bells & Percussion
Paolo Erdos, Alessandre Carvalho, Dani Cortaza, Tom Lagana, Dan Balmer
Leni Stern – Guitar, African nGnoni
Noah Simpson, Bidinho, Paulinho Trompete – Trumpet
Kyle Molitor, Vittor Santos – Trombone
Marcello Martins – Tenor Saxophone
Todd Simon, Michael Severson, Dario Galente, Marinho Boffa – Keyboards
Deems Tsutakawa – Piano
Federico Pena – Piano & Keyboards
Leonardo Lucini, Fernando Rosa, Nico Assumpção – Bass
Alejandro Lucini, Elcio Cafaro, Christian Oyens
Chuk Barber, Cidinho Moreira – Percussion
Antoinette – Harp
Mitsuki Dazai, Dr. Osamu Kitajima – Koto
Azure McCall – Scat Solo
Arrieta Ward – Vocals