In the fresh sounds of Brazzamerica, three veteran Brazilian-American musicians tell their life story in the universal language of great music. What can you expect from Brazzamerica? The name says it all. “We wanted to show the flavor of the music, we wanted a name that would say: We play jazz, Brazilian music, and American music,” explains Brazzamerica bassist Leco Reis. Following their goal of expressing themselves with something more personal than simply familiar Brazilian music, they created a harmonious and intriguing blend reflecting “not just our experience as Brazilians who came to the U.S., but how our music changed from living here. Our music tells our story.”
On their self-titled debut recording, Brazzamerica, pianist Cidinho Teixeira, bassist Leco Reis, and drummer Edson Ferreira display an exciting level of telepathy, communication, and understanding in their musical interactions. Such synchronicity can’t be forced, only developed over time. The threesome has been gigging steadily in New York for the past five years, a rare luxury these days, and the result is this CD full of delightful music that will leave listeners wishing for more. All three are Brazil born and enjoyed striking musical success in their native land before making the move to the U.S. While Brazzamerica is basically a collective, with each member contributing ideas and arrangements, bassist Leco Reis and drummer Edson Ferreira have the utmost respect for their senior colleague, pianist Cidinho Teixeira, who composes much of their repertoire. “He’s been a force in Brazilian music for so long, he has his own identity and he inspires us,” Reis declares.
Pianist gained renown in his native Brazil before moving to the U.S. two decades ago. To this day, he is so beloved that the cream of the Brazilian music crop is likely to show up to pay their respects at Teixeira’s gigs. An in-demand composer, arranger, and pianist, Teixeira has extensive global touring and recording experience, accompanying renowned musicians such as Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Lene Andrade, Gal Costa, Simone, and Harry Belafonte. The pianist has recorded with cult favorites like singers Mark Murphy and Blossom Dearie. Teixeira has released a half dozen albums in his own name, ranging from solo and duo efforts to large ensembles, from studio recordings to live at Zinc Bar.( 9/5/2020 unfortunately he is no longer with us, but we love you, always.)
Long acclaimed by fellow musicians for his prodigious rhythm chops, Teixeira was inspired to share his expertise by writing a book on the subject, “Brazilian Rhythm on the Keyboard.” Bassist Leco Reis has been in demand on New York’s music scene for more than 10 years. In addition to Brazilian and jazz, listeners are likely to catch him gigging in contemporary improvised music settings. A Berklee College of Music grad with an advanced degree from Queens College, Reis is now on the music faculty of Sacred Heart University.
Triple-threat Edson Ferreira is a talented multi-tasker. Besides playing drums, he is a brilliant percussionist and producer with more than 20 years experience. He studied at Sao Paulo Conservatory and has played concerts, clubs and festivals worldwide, both as a leader and as an in-demand sideman.
The tunes on Brazzamerica are a mix of Teixeira originals and Brazilian music standards. In choosing the material, the threesome wanted to include Brazilian songs but wanted to avoid the presenting the bossa nova style as it was played in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. They aimed for “something with a swing to it, and a good groove. It had to be good to listen to and fun to play,” Leco Reis points out. Bursting with energy and rough elegance, Brazzamerica’s sound has a deceptive simplicity, full of the interactions that result from a total of well over a century of collective experience among the three. CD highlights include:
The lively opener, “Quintessencia,” sets the mood and promises good things to come. It’s a great introduction to the light-handed drummer Edson Ferreira. The trio’s delightful interplay and strong solos prove they’re all on the same wavelength, and it’s a very cool one.
“Vera Cruz” is elegant yet lighthearted, with a compelling subtle drive. If only it were longer! We could listen to the trio go to town on this groove all day long.
Rhythm is the star in “Lim Sim,” featuring a great bass line, with Reis and Teixeira in tight synch, supported by Ferreira’s subtle percussion. There’s also plenty of dynamic soloing on this intriguing tune.
Teixeira trips the light fantastic on the keys on “Cev Mar”; there’s a gorgeous arco bass opening to the hypnotic “Passarim”; the energetic “Ginga Do Mane” is a high-energy cooker that’s imaginative and engaging. Drawing on styles explored and lessons learned through their extensive and varied life history, Brazzamerica has an exciting story to tell with their elegant and CLICK HERE FOR CD inspired new CD.