Chick Corea & Béla Fleck: Brazil
Recorded: Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, no date given (CD released in 2007)
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Jazz fans have enjoyed this composition in many versions, both jazz arrangements such as Chick Corea's solo piano rendition, or when played (usually under the title "Aquarela do Brasil") by many of the leading Brazilian musicians of the last half century. This standard is so well known and beloved in Brazil that a panel of experts picked it as the "Brazilian song of the century" back in 1997. I can't remember asking for a version featuring banjo . . . but maybe that just shows my lack of imagination. Even so, I became the biggest believer in Brazilian banjo jazz after hearing Béla Fleck and Chick Corea work their wonders on Barroso's delightful composition. For several years now I have been suggesting that many of the most exciting developments in jazz will increasingly be found in various fusions with 'World Music' styles. But sometimes even I am surprised where these cross-fertilizations lead. Fleck and Corea's take on "Brazil" is one of those happy discoveries.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
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