Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Opus Samba" review - Cadence

"Cadence" magazine
April - May - June 2008
Vol. 34, No. 4-5-6
Fabio Fonseca: "Opus Samba"
JSR 6054
Fonseca, org, el.p, clavinet, synth, vcl; Pedro Leao, el. b; Mac William, d, perc; Ithamara Koorax, vcl, perc; Arnaldo DeSouteiro, bells, perc;
Review by Larry Hollis:
There are quite a few simlarities between "Opus Samba" and Vito Di Modugno's "Organ Trio Plus Guests". First off, they are both import pressings led by keyboardists that play a variety of other instruments. Fabio Fonseca is a Brazilian who plays not only the Hammond B-3 and Rhodes but an array of synthesizers and the Hohner Clavinet D6 mostly associated with Stevie Wonder and 1970s Funk. He also sometimes adds a vocal to his tracks here and there. Like Vito's set, this is a trio outing, this time with electric bass instead of guitar and with two guests, Ithamara Koorax providing vocals for "A Mulher de 15 Metros" and producer Arnaldo DeSouteiro who joins her on percussion for "Dormideira," a less than 3 minute tune by the leader.
The fifth cut, "Cochise," sounds fairly familiar and could be the same number done by Les McCann on a live at Montreux double LP for Atlantic that hasn't made it to compact disc yet domestically. Stevie Wonder's "Too High" is the most distinctive cover and makes one wonder why Jazzers haven't explored more of his songbook. Fonseca's "Missing Dom Um" is a touching tribute to the late Dom Um Romao. A versatile musician and producer, the keyboardist seems to these ears to be an update to Walter Wanderley in his keyboard touch and he has as much of a pop music/fusion leaning in his music as the more traditional organ stylings of Joey DeFrancesco or Tony Monaco.

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