Various ‘Nicola Conte presents Viagem 5’ (Far Out) 4/5

There has been a paucity of quality Brazilian releases this summer and so a compilation that sheds new light on the classic era of the 1960s and 1970s is a welcome addition. Italian DJ Nicola Conte has made it his mission to search out the most obscure releases of Latin and jazz-related music and make them available to a wider public through his fine compilations and though we are now on the fifth volume of the Brazilian series with Brazilian specialist label Far Out, the overall quality is consistently high. In general the names here will be less familiar, but that only makes the discoveries all the more interesting. Conte prides himself on unearthing the odd piano trio gem and here he has come up with a winner in ‘Neurotico’ by the Pedrinho Mattar trio. Jorge Ben’s classic ‘Take it easy my brother Charles’ has seldom been covered by anyone else so its inclusion by the Bruno Sauer Quarteto is a very pleasant surprise. Of the more recognised names, Luis Carlos Vinhas is name to be reckoned with and ‘Tanganica’ is a superior slice of Brazilian jazz. Probably the most famous composition on the compilation is ‘Berimbau’ which is interpreted here by the Samba 5. A reprise of ‘Vim de Santana’,which was featured on the Quarteto Novo classic album of the late 1960s, is reworked here by Theo. For a more relaxed groove, Jobim’s ‘Vou te contar’ is given an altogether refined treatment by Quarteto 004. Tim Stenhouse

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