Toninho Horta has been a reliable sideman and occasionally a leader in his lengthy career playing contemporary Brazilian music. The acoustic and electric guitarist has a quiet intensity that reflects the passion and verve of genius composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. This tribute to Jobim is quite laden with string charts, most done quite tastefully, rarely overarranged, and pleasantly emphasizing a flute section. Horta has an impressive complementary combo of pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist Gary Peacock, percussionists Paulo Braga and Manolo Badrena, special guests as saxophonist Bob Mintzer, harmonicist William Galison, trumpeter Glenn Drewes, Charles Pillow on oboe, John Clark on French horn, and several members of the large Horta family. Gal Costa sings in a choir, or individually for the CD's sweetest and beautiful moments - where flutes accent but do not swarm during a great take of "No More Blues," and the simple "Modinha" with only Horta's guitar where you clearly hear the depth of both artists' souls. Herat is an accomplished singer, heard in melancholy strains for "Without You," or in brighter spirits with wordless and worded lyrics for the sensual "Agua De Beber." And the hits keep on comin' with a no-frills take of "Desafinado" with strings and choral vocals melding beautifully, while the restraint of "Meditation" echoes the holding back on love until the right moment in time. Mintzer's cameos on Horta's original "Infinite Love" and the Paulo Horta/Donato Donatti tune "Promises I Made" show the neo-bop tenorman as a player who has his heart in the right place.
Only during Horta's tiny notes on "Portrait in Black & White" and Kikoski's always brilliant pianistics for "If Everyone Was Like You" do the strings bury the solo instrumentalists. This is a good outing for Horta and friends, perhaps a tad self-indulgent or overproduced, but only by degrees. Those who are just discovering this Brazilian jazz giant should explore his discography, but this CD is a fine and satisfying entry point.
|Agua de Beber / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||5:49|
|Portrait in Black and White / Chico Buarque / Antônio Carlos Jobim||Toninho Horta||5:44|
|If Everyone Was Like You / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||5:15|
|From Ton to Tom (Silent Song) / Toninho Horta / Hillary James||Toninho Horta||4:45|
|Cristiana / Toninho Horta||Toninho Horta||4:38|
|Meditation / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||4:35|
|No More Blues / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||6:08|
|Infinite Love / Toninho Horta||Toninho Horta||4:00|
|Promises I Made / Paulo Horta||Toninho Horta||4:54|
|Modinha / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||3:30|
|The Girl from Ipanema / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||0:40|
|Without You / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes||Toninho Horta||3:30|
|Desafinado / Antônio Carlos Jobim / Newton Mendonça||Toninho Horta||5:14|