SpokFrevo Orquestra – Ninho de Vespa (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

SpokFrevo Orquestra – Ninho de Vespa (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 57:16 minutes | 647 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Motema

SpokFrevo Orquestra present “Ninho de Vespa” (Wasp’s Nest), the second release from the Brazilian ensemble led by Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque (a.k.a Spok). Chock full of the Orquestra’s take on frevo, a uniquely Brazilian genre of fast-paced, jazz-inflected swung dance music, this is a dizzying and invigorating party of an album.

Frevo saxophone maestro Spok assembles his 17 piece SpokFrevo Orquestra to perform what is arguably Brazil’s most creative music Frevo infusing it with the improvisational spirit of jazz. Just as The Buena Vista Social Club served to shine a light on the legacy of the great players of Cuban music, NINHO DE VESPA’S guest performers include many of the legendary musicians from Pernambuco, the birthplace of Frevo.

To begin, a couple of small but important details: first, saxophonist Spok (given name: Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque) is the leader of this remarkable seventeen-piece “orquestra.” Second, Frevo isn’t Spok’s co-leader but a form of Brazilian swing / dance music whose wellspring is the area in and around Recife, Pernambuco. Is it jazz? Most definitely, as it satisfies all the criteria: rhythmic and harmonic finesse, improvisation on almost every number, and, even more important, an unreserved desire to lay into every written note and make it swing like there’s no tomorrow.

It is, however, a brand of jazz that isn’t often encountered in these northern climes, more akin to the exhilarating tangos of Astor Piazzolla or those zany themes from Warner Brothers cartoons of the ’40s than to the more measured, straight-ahead swing of Basie, Herman, Goodman, Barnet, Thornhill or other standard-bearers of the Big Band Era. But make no mistake, the technical proficiency required to play these themes would test even the most virtuosic musicians bred in the cradle of jazz. As a unit, Spok and his teammates deliver letter-perfect renditions of charts designed with malice in mind. In other words, diabolically thorny. The ensemble sails through each of them with nary a false step or pause for breath. Solos, on the other hand, are more an afterthought, and it is here that SpokFrevo parts company with its North American counterparts. As noted, there are solos galore on Ninho de Vespa (The Wasp’s Nest) but they are as a rule more colloquial than inspired, even though, again, no one is devaluing their technical mastery. Ninho de Vespa is admirably recorded, its playing time a respectable fifty-eight minutes. Those whose musical tastes are enhanced by a Latin flavor are sure to fall in love with SpokFrevo, whose irrepressible rhythms are guaranteed to elicit smiling faces and tapping toes.

01 – Onze de Abril
02 – Comichão
03 – Spokiando
04 – Capibarizando
05 – Pisando em Brasa
06 – Quatro Cantos
07 – Ninho de Vespa
08 – O Que Nelson Gostou
09 – Tá Achando que tá Devagar?
10 – De Baixo Do Frevo
11 – Pipocando
12 – Cara de Carranca
13 – Moraes é Frevo