Artists Worth Checking Out: Cafe Jam is great to enjoy before or after a game


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With the Chicago Bulls edging out the Washington Wizards and Nene at Rio’s HSBC Arena (the gymnastics venue during the 2016 Summer Olympics) in the first ever professional basketball game to take place in Brazil 83-81 on Saturday evening/Saturday afternoon Chicago time (albeit it was only a preseason game that saw 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose not play where tickets were as high as $915 a piece).

Even with basketball legends like 1987 Pan Am Games gold medalist Oscar Schmidt and 1990’s NBA Champions from the Bulls in Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson, and Randy Brown all in attendance, I thought an album that came out just months after the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990’s faded into history would be a great album to explore.

Plenty of cool reading with Scott Adams from “The Sounds of Brazil” weekly podcast talking about the history of how Brazilian music came to America and how Americans embraced it during the second half of the 20th century.  One of the artists Beba (aka Marcelo Zanettini on keyboards and piano) is even quoted about “the other influences–mostly American pop and rock” blending into Brazilian jazz today.

This album was recorded mostly in Sao Paolo by Carlos Martins at Estudio Zabumba.  The only pair of tracks recorded elsewhere was in 1996 at Estudio Cardan (Tracks 4 and 9, with rhythmic up-tempo versions of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s standards, “Samba do Aviao” and “Passarim”).  The best tracks include Maca on Track 2 and the title track, number 7 originally done by Yoshiya Kusamura on bass.  Even the final track paying homage to the United States is also worth a nice listen, done so beautifully to wrap up this Malandro Records label out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

With Paulo Pascali, Jr. doing multiple instruments of flutes, tenor and soprano sax and Benoit Decharneux on guitar, and Marcel Cangiani on drums and percussion, this is a nice free-flowing album that is worthy of multiple playbacks prior to or after a volleyball game on the sandy shores of Copacabana Beach–or some nice rhythms to enjoy prior to your favorite NBA basketball game during the often chilly American winters.

Bottom line, this Rhythmic Spice album will definitely add some extra flavor while celebrating the arrival of autumn and the usual nice changes that come with it.

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