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Two of Swords

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Album Review

Recorded at two separate sessions on September 24 and 25, 1990, Two of Swords finds Claudio Roditi leading two separate groups. One of them, which he calls a "Brazilian Quintet," employs trombonist Jay Ashby, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca — the other, which he calls a "Jazz Quartet," includes pianist Danílo Perez, bassist David Finck and drummer Akira Tana. Both groups serve Roditi well, and both of them are hard bop-oriented. The main difference between the two, apart from personnel, is the fact that "the Brazilian Quintet" is more overtly Brazilian-influenced. "The Brazilian Quintet" is still playing hard bop, but it's hard bop that is more consistently mindful of the samba beat that Roditi was surrounded by growing up in Rio de Janeiro. While "the Brazilian Quintet" sticks to Roditi's own compositions, "the Jazz Quartet" embraces Roditi originals as well as "Secret Love," Sonny Rollins' "Airegin" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" (which is "the Jazz Quartet"'s most Latin-influenced offering). Two of Swords won't win any awards for being cutting-edge or groundbreaking, but for bop played with plenty of soul and conviction, you can't go wrong with this CD.


Born: 28 May 1946 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A superior if sometimes overlooked trumpeter (the Kenny Dorham of the 1990s), Claudio Roditi is a frequently exciting hard bop-oriented player. He came to the U.S. to study at Berklee (1970-1971) and gigged around the Boston area until moving to New York in 1976. Roditi played with Charlie Rouse and Herbie Mann, and most importantly, in the early '80s, he started working regularly with Paquito D'Rivera. The reliable trumpeter has been on many straight-ahead recording sessions, in addition to being...
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Two of Swords, Claudio Roditi
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