Album: Colors of Brazil
Artist: Kenney Polson
Label: Rosetta Records
Exotic, playful and romantic, the music of saxophonist-composer-arranger Kenney Polson is entirely uplifting. His latest release Colors of Brazil brings the merriment of Latin rhythms to audiences. Working with a fleet of musicians that play as one, Polson makes composing, arranging and performing look easy and effortless.
Polson’s own contribution “Hipnotizado” seams the sparkling twinkles of Mariea Antoinette’s harp tucked into the melodic crevices, adding an ethereal texture to the bubbly toots of the horns performed by Bidinho on trumpet, Paulinho Trompete on trumpet, Marcello Martins on tenor saxophone, and Vittor Santos on trombone. Drummer Christian Oyens, bassist Nico Assumpção, and percussionist Cidinho Moreira provide a solid support in the rhythm section, boosting the festive mood. Intensifying the party vibe, Polson’s reworking of Duke Ellington’s seminal piece “Caravana” is a montage of moonlight glitter, clad in exotic flavors postured by a salsa beat as his own alto saxophone helms the jovial ambience.
A mosaic of soft prismatic shades glint across Polson’s reimagining of Djavan’s “Flor de Lis,” corded in the sensual phrasing of his saxophone and the shimmery tones of Dani Cortaza’s guitar riffs, emitting a romantic luster. Jazz-style motifs are integrated with island-imbued accents through “Mariana,” a seaside soundscape written by Polson’s bass player on the track Nico AssumpÇão. Caribbean-style bells and vibraphone chimes, performed by Polson, cascade and undulate with a soothing caress along “Leva e Traz,” penned by Iva Lins, Vitor Martins. The music entices listeners to lift their feet off the ground.
Having spent his formative years in Rio de Janeiro, Polson infuses a large chuck of his upbringing into his music on Colors of Brazil. Coalescing the Latin rhythms of samba, partido alto, salsa, and afoxé, Polson partners the Brazilian soundscapes of his youth with smooth jazz and contemporary world music idioms. The result is music that is uplifting, exuding merriment from every pore.
Kenney Polson – saxophones, clarinets, bells and additional percussion
Koto – Dr. Osamu Kitajima and Mitsuki Dazai
Guitar – Dan Balmer, Tom Lagana, Leni Stern, Alessandre Carvalho, Dani Cortaza, and Paulo Erdos
Keyboards – Todd Simon, Michael Severson, Federico Pena, Marinho Boffa, and Dario Galente
Piano – Deems Tsutakawa and Federico Pena
Bass – Leonardo Lucini, Nico Assumpção, and Fernando Rosa
Drums – Alejandro Lucini, Christian Oyens, and Elcio Cafaro
Percussion – Chuk Barber and Cidinho Moreira
Trumpet – Noah Simpson, Bidinho, and Paulinho Trompete
Trombone – Kyle Molitor and Vittor Santos
Vocals – Azure McCall (Scat Solo) and Arrieta Ward
Harp – Mariea Antoinette
Tenor Saxophone – Marcello Martins