Lori Bell: A Ilha (The Island)


A Ilha (The Island)


Lori Bell (flute)


The Music of Djavan (Resonance Records RCD-1007)

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Lori Bell (flute),

Tamir Hendelman (piano), Dave Enos (bass), Enzo Todesco (drums)


Composed by Djavan


Recorded: Los Angeles, 2008


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

When most people think of Brazilian music, they tend to think either bossa nova or samba. Musicians who have traveled and played around Brazil will testify that there are many other rhythmic forms and subtle variations within its musical melting pot. One artist who did much to bring the various elements together was singer-guitarist-composer Djavan, who incorporated elements of African folk, R&B and pop music, as well as the more traditional Brazilian flavors. Brooklyn native Lori Bell, a member of that increasingly rare species known as the jazz flautist, pays tribute to his diverse musical confections in a handsomely crafted album from Resonance Records.

This is an unusual recording in many respects. Aside from showcasing the music of Djavan, who is technically more of a "pop" artist, and the welcome return of the flute to the fore, there is an obvious break from the typical Brazilian instrumentation: the guitar, a staple of Brazilian music, is curiously absent from all but one track of this album. Fortunately it is not missed, due largely to the strength of Tamir Hendelman's polished arrangements and beefy keyboard work. On "A Ilha," the rhythm section alternates between a solid Afro-Cuban 6/8 feel and a lively samba, over which Ms. Bell's rich, lyrical flute takes flight. Her solo lines, a bit evocative of Joe Farrell's work on "Molten Glass," reflect a solid respect for time and space, while her tone reminds us that, in the right hands, the flute can be a powerful, expressive voice. "A Ilha" is an island getaway worthy of an extended visit.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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