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Ryan Keberle’s Collectiv do Brasil - Sonhos da Esquina (self-released)

15 March 2022

The music of Brazil has long fascinated American musicians, especially jazzers – everyone from Stan Getz to Pat Metheny has drawn heavily from it. Add trombonist Ryan Keberle to that list with his latest album Sonhos da Esquina. Inspired in particular by native composers Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta, Keberle and his new band Collectiv do Brasil – pianist Felipe Silveira, bassist Thiago Alves, drummer Paulinho Vicente – lean into the country’s penchant for refined euphony, centering on the melody on each of the eight tracks here. Silveira leads the way, both in how he sets up a melodious background for the other players and in his own beautiful solos – cf. Nascimento’s lovely “Clube da Esquina 2” or Horta’s lively “Aqui, Oh!” Of course, the leader gets in some good licks as well, laying down some tuneful breaks on the opening Nascimento tune “Cio da Terra” and the same writer’s lush ballad “Tarde,” as well as composing some terrific cuts himself via “Campinas” and “Carbon Neutral.” With the rhythm section locked in behind them, both melodists hit their peaks on Horta’s “Francisca,” a gorgeous but vibrant number that lets them both open up. Clearly a labor of love for all involved, Sonhos da Esquina is fresh, exciting, accessible and beautifully, sublimely tuneful.