Saturday, February 8, 2014

A jazz samba kind of day

Kenny Drew Jr.
Drummer Tom Carabasi brought his Samba Jazz Quartet to the Englewood (FL) Art Center Friday for a matinee concert sponsored by the South County Jazz Club. The band included pianist Kenny Drew Jr., saxophonist Rodney Rojas and electric bassist Patrick Bettison.

In addition to a wide range of Brazilian material, the former Manfredo Fest* sideman also presented Brazilian rhythmic twists on a couple of jazz standards ("Star Eyes" and "Autumn Leaves") and a fascinating version of Rafael Hernandez's Puerto Rican standard "Lamento Borincano" that featured Rojas's poignant reed work.

The afternoon's highlights were the Brazilian take on "Autumn Leaves," and "Samba de Caya Hueso," (Key West Samba), a beautiful Kenny Drew original that guitarist Phill Fest (Manfredo Fest's son) included on his recent album Projeto B.F.C. Drew said that it was the first time one of his originals had been recorded on a project in which he wasn't playing in the band. Drew was also featured on a solo version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's  "Eu Te Amo" (I Love You).

*Manfredo Fest had very strong ties to the bossa nova and samba jazz as keyboardist to the group Bossa Rio, an opening act for Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66.
Kenny Drew Jr., Rodney Rojas, Tom Carabasi, Patrick Bettison

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