Jazz For All

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Chris M. SlaweckiBy CHRIS M. SLAWECKI Senior Editor 

Dexter Payne plays clarinet with an easy, warm and conversational style. It never sounds like he’s pushing or stretching toward the next note, but more like he kind of just lets the next note flow out from this one….solos as strong and rich as fine Brazilian coffee.…pour into your ear like sparkling, clear spring water…. exotic and playful as a Disney Alladin character.…like an itchy scratch lifted from a BossaCucaNova record… a musical antidepressant.

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OffBeat (New Orleans)

Denver-based clarinetist Dexter Payne has been mining Brazil’s glorious riches at least since 1997, when he recorded in Manaus. On Jazz for All (Jazz Forro) he cuts a sizable swath, with choro, forro, xote and stripped-down frevo. The crew is four Americans, a Venezuelan pianist and an Italian singer (on a Villa-Lobos track).

Nine of the ten pieces are by Brazilian composers, including avowed eminences like Moacir Santos and Dominguinhos. The one original, “Forrozinho,” has a catchy melody and plenty of ginga. The gang plays very well, and drawing on the well (a bottomless pit, actually) of Brazilian traditions makes this a charming and intriguing disc.

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