Jazz CD Reviews
Oscar Castro-Neves – All One – Mack Avenue MAC 1026, 1 hour ****:
Published on June 4, 2006
Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/composer Castro-Neves was part of Sergio Mendes’ Brasil 66 from 1971 thru 1981. This is the second album the distinguished musician has made for Mack Avenue, and in it he integrates the multicultural sounds of his home country with music from around the world. He is assisted by a sextet of instrumentalists including Don Grusin on keyboards, Gary Meek on woodwinds, and Brian Bromberg on acoustic bass. Guest vocalist Luciana Souza is heard on two tracks, and for my money they are the most gorgeous two tracks on the entire lovely disc! The first – translated I Live to Love You – is one of the five originals by Castro-Neves. The second is that Brazilian favorite with the “O Ba, O Ba” chorus. There are also five backup vocalists on the track Kurski Funk.
The title tune for the album is a very catchy bossa nova with a vocal by Castro-Neves in his laid-back, informal-sounding voice. Its sense, and that of the entire album, is that we on earth are all connected, and that music especially can be a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all human beings. Neither jazz nor classical standards are omitted from the 14-track program. An arrangement of a familiar Chopin Prelude is a delight, and Monk’s ‘Round Midnight and Coltrane’s Naima are also heard. Castro-Neves closes out with his own intimate vocal on Michael Franks’ One Bad Habit. Infused throughout by the spirit of the most exciting peoples’ musical culture in the world, this super-tuneful and swinging album dubbed All One should speak to The Many.
Tracks: Double Rainbow, All One, Kurski Funk, Morrer De Amor, Holding With an Open Hand, Nao Me Diga Adeus, Naima, Historia de un Amor, ‘Round Midnight, The Very Thought of You, More Than Yesterday, There Will Never Be Another You, Prelude Op. 28 No. 20, One Bad Habit.
– John Henry