Robert Kyle: Favela
Robert Kyle (tenor sax)
Robert Kyle (tenor sax),
Roberto Montero (guitar), Ami Molinelli, Cristiano Novelli (percussion).
Composed by A.C. Jobim, V. de Moraes & R. Gilbert.
Recorded: Pasadena, CA, May 2008
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
On the golden anniversary of the birth of bossa nova, Robert Kyle returns the form to its acoustic origins with, appropriately, a Jobim composition. While Stan Getz's landmark recordings with Charlie Byrd and Joćo Gilberto had relatively light accompaniment, Kyle goes one step farther and constructs his ensemble without a bass or piano. Rather, it's just his sax, Roberto Montero's acoustic guitar and two percussionists.
This setup serves the song well. Montero's brisk guitar work sparkles, providing a perfect bridge between the rhythms and harmony, making the absent bass superfluous. The double percussion puts the proper emphasis on that rhythm. All of which frees up Kyle to color the pretty melody and do so at the leisurely pace that bossa nova is supposed to be about, after all.
Robert Kyle's less-is-more, no-fluff approach makes "Favela" bristle with Brazilian goodness.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron