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Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage: Copacabana

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Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage: Copacabana
(Nilson Matta Website)

Nilson Matta on Bass and Acoustic Guitar
Harry Allen on Tenor Saxophone
Anne Drummond on Flute
Klaus Mueller on Piano
Mauricio Zottarelli on Drums
Zé Mauricio on Percussion


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 28, 2010

This CD is one I could not stop listening to, as soon as it began. Nilson Matta, a renowned Brazilian bassist, who performs around the globe, has recorded nine tracks, five of which are original compositions. His band for this CD includes the crème de la crème: Harry Allen on tenor sax, Anne Drummond on flute, Klaus Mueller on piano, and two musicians I did not know until now, Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and Zé Mauricio on percussion. Each track is unique, from the familiar “Brazil (Aquarela do Brasil)”, by Ari Barroso, to Nilson’s own “Copacabana”. Each track has spirit and zest, either set to Samba, Latin clavé, or sultry, smooth ballad, and these virtuosic artists combine for music you’ll want to share with guests at parties and events. Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage: Copacabana is a must-have recording. It will surely be the buzz for Latin Jazz awards.

Notable tracks:

#1 – Baden -- Composed by Nilson Matta. “Baden” showcases the exemplary artistry of these musicians, especially that of Klaus Mueller, whose fingers race about the keys in classically trained fashion. In fact, this composition, that Nilson dedicated to the memory of guitarist, Baden Powell, has passages that hint of J.S. Bach, an elegant piece, that’s introduced by Nilson’s solo bass. Both percussion and drums are busy here, with fused, energized pulse.

#6 – Copacabana – Composed by Nilson Matta. Nilson opens this track on acoustic guitar, with teasing quietude, before Harry Allen comes in on punctuated tenor sax, building the tempo. Mueller’s piano melody is luxuriant and sumptuous, transporting the listener to a much more tropical milieu than wherever she is. This “Copacabana” evokes the sultry Latin Clubs of yore, with class, champagne, and caviar. Mauricio Zottarelli’s drums and Zé Mauricio’s percussion create just the right breezy bounce.

#8 – I Can See Forever – Composed by Harry Allen. Harry Allen, reviewed often in this magazine, and known around the globe for his singular talent on tenor sax, has composed a nostalgic and idyllic piece, with generous solos for piano and bass. Harry’s breathy interpretation of his own music encourages the listener to relax and absorb the soothing refrains, enhanced by steady quiet drums.

#9 – Asa Branca / Baião – Composed by L. Gonzaga / H. Teixeira. Anne Drummond is featured on dancing flute, as we are whisked straight to Rio. A rich Samba rhythm, with reverberating percussion and piano, enlivens this vivacious music. Mueller’s dynamic piano and Anne’s brisk flute are the perfect combination to close such a splendid new recording.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at