Drummer extraordinaire Duduka Da Fonseca’s new release, “New Samba Jazz Directions” (Zoho), recorded in Rio de Janeiro with a trio of young Brazilian musicians rounded out by David Feldman (piano, previously with Scott Feiner’s Pandeiro Jazz) and Guto Wirtti (bass), contains mostly original songs penned by Da Fonseca and the group plus two covers: “Sonho de Maria” (Marcos Valle/Paulo Sergio Valle) and :Zelão: (Sergio Ricardo). With these musicians, the bandleader brings further a refreshed sound that takes him in a new direction as a drummer and a songwriter.
The disc opens with Feldman’s “Duduka’s Mood.” The songwriter starts off with a sound reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi’s approach to the piano, both aggressive and melodious. After Da Fonseca’s solo, the track switches to an uptempo blend of straight-ahead and samba with breathtaking results. The bandleader gives a lot of space to the group—on “Sonho de Maria,” Wirtti showcases his great individual talents, and also leads the tune into a complete mood change halfway through. Also check out “Ceu e Mar,” a tune by overlooked bossa nova pioneer Johnny Alf that hints at “One Note Samba” just enough to hit its groove and then take it to a completely different direction. (Ernest Barteldes)
“New Samba Jazz Directions”
Duduka Da Fonseca Trio