New Jazz: Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal – “Yes!!!”

The exclamation marks in the title of Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal’s new album — Yes!!! — are a fair warning. By the time you’re listening to the first track, however, you realize that they are unnecessary; each note played is an exclamation mark.

The musicians at work here are Vinicius Gomes (guitars), Helio Alves (piano, Gili Lopes (bass), and Duduka Da Fonseca (drums). They are an impressive fraternity, with impeccable instincts and a dizzying ability to weave their own unique musical threads together into a cohesive and mellifluous fabric. The generosity on display attests to their understanding of each other’s talents.

Duduka Da Fonseca explores an intriguing style that blends Jazz with Brazilian rhythms, and Gomes, Lopes, and Alves are onboard and charting exciting territory as if they’ve been together for years. They sustain a relaxed, yet kaleidoscopic, atmosphere through the album’s ten tracks, with each giving a different viewpoint and intensity. The album establishes and progresses throughout a landscape that covers a vast musical terrain, the emphasis is on the movement. From track-to-track, from solo-to-solo, from phrase-to-phrase, this album is all about the building musical conversation. Listening in is a pleasure.

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