Friday, March 25, 2011

Mark Weinstein: Jazz Brazil

Jazzheads Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Jazz Brazil

Latin jazz fans with a fondness for flute probably are familiar with Mark Weinstein. Early on, he played trombone with numerous Latin big bands; he subsequently concentrated on the various members of the flute family, and has released more than a dozen albums featuring that instrument.

Like so many musicians, Weinstein recognized at an early age that he needed an additional source of income to maintain a reasonable lifestyle, so he earned several college degrees and became a teacher. Once tenured and assured of a reliable income source, he returned to his first love: music.

On this album, Weinstein performs on concert, alto and bass flutes; he's backed by Kenny Barron (piano), Nilson Matta (bass) and Marcello Pellitteri (drums). Two compositions ("I Mean You" and "Ruby My Dear") are by Thelonious Monk; Wayne Shorter, Herbie Mann and Joe Henderson contributed "Nefertiti," "Memphis Underground" and "Isotope," respectively. The album is rounded out by Jobim’s "Triste" and "If You Never Come To Me," along with originals by Weinstein and Matta.

The genre ostensibly is Latin and Afro-Cuban, but it’s played with a swinging, straight-ahead style: definitely a treat.

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