In the Press
Jazz For All (Jazz Forró)
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.
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.
by Scott Yanow ★★★★ (4 stars)
Pra Você (which translates to “for you” in Portuguese) is a delight from start to finish. The sound of Payne’s group, with clarinet, accordion, piano, guitar and drums-percussion (but no bass), is light and unique. They perform nine selections that are filled with rich melodies that are often quite joyful, particularly “Alma Brasileira” and “Doce De Coco.” While most of these songs (including the Payne/de Mello collaboration “No Wolf At The Door”) will be new to American jazz listeners, many are well known in Brazil.
Payne’s clarinet is generally the lead voice, and he is heard at both his most creative and most melodic. Although there are many fine short solos from guitarist Bill Kopper, pianist Victor Mestas Pérez and accordionist Dave Willey that always keep the melodies in mind, with drummer Raoul Rossiter adding colorful support, it is the sound of the very attractive ensembles along with the wonderful repertoire that are most memorable.
– Nelson Faria
“quietly brilliant… uniquely beautiful blend of Brazilian, jazz (especially New Orleans), African and other instrumental musical styles”
– Chris Slawecki, All About Jazz
“It’s like a fever when you start listening to this album — the way summer gets in the brain.”
–Erika Frederickson (Missoula Independent)
“Pra Você is proof that Brazilian music can flourish in the most unlikely places… everyone, gringos included, plays splendidly here…. Quite the refreshing disc”
– Tom McDermott, OffBeat Magazine
“Dexter Payne’s Beautiful Brazilian Music CD Has a Great Backstory: …Pra Vocè (“For You”), delights listeners … all you have to do is listen… Watch Dexter Payne talking about the bad-ass nature of beauty.”
“Have you ever … felt like nature was a cathedral and you were seated in its front row? Another Feeling sounds just like that: completely, naturally, immaculate and beautiful. Dexter Payne on clarinet and alto saxophone creates this Feeling with writer/arranger Thiago de Mello. ”
– Editor Chris M. Slawecki, AllAboutJazz.com
“… bossa nova with winning subtlety, fitting together like pieces of an intricate, intimate puzzle… finally, a virtuoso musician who really hears the Brazilian whispers, and not just the carnival clamor.”
– Andy Smetanka, Missoula Independent
“Payne makes the challenging appear effortless on “Inspiration” (Dexofon Records). Relaxing and intellectual at the same time, “Inspiration” might remind American ears of the classic Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd collaboration, “Jazz Samba.””
– Bret Saunders, Denver Post
“if he shows up in your town, go see this master alto sax player, sometimes airily reminiscent of Desmond, or Shank, but [with] more humanity, more earth, more fire. This is a very accomplished musician… and well worth driving a hundred miles or more to hear.”
– Jon Jackson, Big Sky Journal
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