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are a veteran crew. They are an eclectic bunch. They fuse a hard-core
be-bop horn section with a thumping Brazilian rhythm section, creating
a unique, exciting sound. They are, simply, Nova Bossa Nova.
The founding members of the group, Guilherme Franco (drums) and
Alberto Beserra (bass), are both natives of Brazil. They had to
travel to Japan, however, in order to become acquainted with one
another and with each other's music. It was 1975. Franco was on tour
as a member of the McCoy Tyner Group and Beserra, who was living in
Japan (as he still does) caught his future friend perform in concert.
Then it was Franco's turn to watch Beserra play, at the club where he
was a featured artist. By the end of the night, the two were jamming
side-by-side, and making plans to form a band together. 20 years later
they have done just that. Claudio Roditi, a native of Brazil, is essentially a jazz
trumpeter, and a very good one at that. Eddie Monteiro, while
not from Brazil, brings a lot of that country to his unique accordion/vocalese.
Bob Mintzer, on the tenor sax, has gained renown as an
orchestrator, the leader of his own big band, and as a member of the
Yellowjackets. Joe Ford, on the flute, the alto and the soprano
sax played with Franco during the McCoy Tyner days. Pianist Atsushi
Inoue frequently collaborates with Beserra in Japan.
In 1996, Nova Bossa Nova signed an exclusive recording contract with
New York's Arkadia Jazz. If all holds to plan, we will be
hearing a lot more from this exciting band, which unites the melody
and improvisations of jazz with rhythms of bossa nova.