Dan Costa infuses mellow jazz sounds with Latin rhythms on Suite Três Rios (Three Rivers Suite). In a summer where many eyes from around the world are turned towards Rio de Janeiro, Costa could hardly have found a more appropriate time to release a record produced in the city earlier this year in January.
A cool, relaxing vibe envelops the listener on “Alba,” the opening track. But it receives an interesting twist when a cello is interwoven with the jazzy piano and saxophone. Jacques Morelenbaum’s cello appears at times to merge with the sound of the sax, making it difficult to separate the two instruments.
The pace picks up on “Khorinho” and “samba,” as the instantly recognisable Latin rhythms become more pronounced. “Samba” is especially impressive in the way it brings in guitar, piano, saxophone and trombone in an arrangement which lets each instrument express itself without seeming overly crowded.
Bossa Nova, featuring the lyrics of Leila Pinheiro, is once again a more relaxed paced affair as soft trombone and piano parts combine. This is followed by two well-crafted pieces which provide the opportunity for percussive sounds to feature prominently–“Baião” and “Maracatu.”
Suite Três Rios powerfully draws on elements of jazz and South American musical styles to produce a record that is both enjoyable and musically exciting to listen to. Costa’s piano brings in classical and jazz influences, and it is the way in which the piano is complimented by the other featured instruments that makes the album stand out.
Costa has already begun to establish an impressive resume, having studied music in several countries, including Portugal and Brazil, and appeared at festivals as both a pianist and composer. We will be looking forward to future releases.