Tamba Trio ‘The Miraculous Tamba Trio’ (El/Cherry Red) 4/5

Tamba-TrioBrazilian piano trio the Tamba Trio are best known for their classic rendition of Jorge Ben’s ‘Mas que Nada’ and its was in fact this instrumental version that was featured on a previous World Cup commercial featuring Brazilian forward Ronaldo. This compilation from El/Cherry Red omits the classic which is a pity, but instead focuses on three albums and bonus recordings from the period 1962-1966. The Tamba Trio were unusual in that they were both an instrumental piano trio and a vocal harmony group rolled into one and that is what gave them their distinctive sound. Leader Luiz Eça was adept at selecting some of the then up and coming Brazilian composers, now rightly regarded as maestros, and they include the likes of Edu Lobo, Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal. Of course one should not forget that great writer of the bossa nova era, Antonio Carlos Jobim, though Brazilians affectionately refer to him as Tom Jobim. Uptempo takes on Lobo’s ‘Reza’ and ‘Boranda’ are highlights alongside a Portugese version of ‘Garota de Ipanema’, while there are excellent interpretations of Baden Powell’s ‘Berimbau’ and Duval Ferreira’s ‘Batida Diferente’. While not this overview does not provide a fully comprehensive coverage of the trio (you would need to look to two CD compilations for that), this CD nonetheless provides the useful service of a more in-depth introduction to the group than average and at a budget price.

Tim Stenhouse