The central quartet is a group of longtime friends who are as comfortable with each other as with Westergaard’s amiable tunes. As much as he and they relish the challenging technicality of Latin jazz, the resulting pieces are no less warm and reassuringly familiar. Jazz Brazil makes its namesake feel right next door and as inviting as a neighborhood cookout.All About Jazz (USA), 2023
Jazz and Brazilian music go well together, producing many masterpieces. These masterpieces will include this current release. [Read more in Japanese]The Walker’s (Japan), 2022
This release is a treat from start to finish. [Read more in Danish]JazzSpecial (Denmark), 2022
… all tracks are melodic, harmonic, and anything but flat. On the contrary, the numbers are refined, faceted, and beautiful from start to finish – which is why one can also hope that the world stage opens up more and more for Westergaard and his superb crew [the musicians in Jazz Brazil]. [Read more in Danish]ivanrod.dk (Denmark), 2022
An ambitious work by a Danish bassist who continues to pursue Brazilian music. […] The sophistication of harmonies and rhythms supports the idea that Brazilian music is as attractive as jazz. It is terrific that Ulrik, Alves, and others made it happen. A monument reached 32 years after the first work [Torben Westergaard: Brazilian Heart]. [Read more in Japanese]Jazz Japan Vol. 149, 2022
Why is Brazilian Music So Attractive to Jazz Players?
Luckily, I have had the great fortune to be near Brazilian popular music for almost forty years of my musical life as a professional musician.
The journey started at around age 20 on a Vallekilde summer course with pianist Guilherme Vergueiro as a teacher. After that, I moved on to music school in Los Angeles in 1984, where I briefly joined a band led by percussionist Laudir de Oliveira, and in the mideighties, I went to Brazil for the first time to tour with drummer Magno Bissoli.
Later, moving to New York, where I spent close to six years, I luckily got to play a lot with the great Portinho on drums, including recording my second release, Brazilian Heart. And in addition to that Dom Um Romao, Romeo Lubambo, Manfredo Fest, Hermeto Pascoal, Helio Alves, and auditioned for pianist Tania Maria’s band.
Later, when I returned to Denmark, the Brazilian adventure continued with the great singer Silvana Malta and drummer Afonso Corrêa. In addition, we had great luck having legendary percussionist Airto Moreira and guitarist Toninho Horta as guests on a few tours through her band.
Concerning Helio Alves, who is visiting for the upcoming tour and played on the recording of Jazz Brazil in April 2022, he and I have spent a lot of time together touring with german harmonica virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens. Therefore I am delighted to reunite with him again for this special occasion!
The same goes for dear old friends Hans Ulrik, sax, and Jonas Johansen, drums. I have known and played with these brilliant musicians on and off since the late and early eighties.
And why is Brazilian music so compatible and attractive to jazz players?
Because it contains a very sophisticated approach to harmonies and rhythms like jazz.
Please check out the new release or come and hear us play on the upcoming tour, and we will do our humble best to demonstrate this aspect for you!
- Hans Ulrik – soprano and tenor saxophones
- Helio Alves – piano and Rhodes
- Torben Westergaard – bass, additional keyboards, and voice
- Jonas Johansen – drums
- Special guest: Rogério Boccato – percussion (tracks 1, 2, 5, 7, and 9)
All music by Torben Westergaard
Recorded April 2022at Millfactory Studios (DK), Myogen Productions (DK), and Glass Door Studio (US)
Mixed by Boe Larsen, Millfactory Studios (DK)
Mastered by Carlos Laurenz (ARG)
Cover design by Bønnelycke MDD.
Label and catalog number: TWMUSIK020