Artists Worth Checking Out: Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo
When I first heard about this multi-talented artist and his six person band of Novo Tempo, it was during a commercial on the popular Scott Adams podcast The Sounds of Brazil around 2010.
What I found out was a refreshing, upbeat mix of neat sounding vocals and periodic horn arrangements from 2004. However, there are some nice backup sounds provided by the likes of Kristen Strom of Nuclear Whales fame playing the woodwind instruments, John Worley on brass (worked for a time with the Wayne Shorter Sextet), Jennifer Scott, pianist and singer hailing from Canada, Scott Sorkin on guitar and mandolin, another Canadian native Rene Worst on bass, Mark Ivester on drums, and finally percussion done so masterfully by Jeff Busch (no relation to the beer of that same name).
The pace unlike last week’s entry is more carefree and very loose. But the real fun begins with the vocals and horn combination on the title track (Track 2). The next two tracks take on a faster piece before slowing down a bit on “Remembrance” (Track 5). The fun takes over on Tracks 6, 8 (“Tara” almost sounding a bit like “Pink Panther”), and the lone American English track “Silent Heart” can be found on Track 10.
This brand of Brazilian pop is lively, very cool, and refreshing. Excellent track to unwind after either mowing your lawn or tending to your favorite vegetables outside with your garden.
Although I was unable to find a picture and my flash rendered the cover art like a simple lemon getting ready to be squeezed to make lemonade, I wish to say that Ed Johnson has also done a few other albums in the last several years. House of Doors, Over That Wave, and The Other Road go deeper into other forms of Brazilian jazz.
He even has time to teach people how to play the guitar, among his many teaching offerings.
Most, if not all of the albums can be purchased online. Overall, this is a very nice album to add to your Brazilian jazz library.
Next week, in honor of Mother’s Day–I will finally pay tribute to one of jazz’s early giants, who was a true trailblazer in her own right who managed to put her own stamp on Brazilian jazz around the time bossa nova was catching on in the United States. Find out who I will chronicle next week–as the final countdown of the 2016 Olympic Torch will finally hit Brazil in a matter of days.
All I can say, even with the growing talk of impeachment involving Brazil President Dilma Rousseff reaching a fever pitch, along with those deplorable water conditions affecting the sailing, rowing, and swimming leg of the triathlon:
Prepare-se, Brasil. A verdadeira diversão está prestes a começar.
Get ready, Brazil. The real fun is about to begin.