Album Review of

Written by Robert Silverstein
July 19, 2021 - 5:13pm EDT
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Revered in his native Brazil for his work with music legends such as Sergio Mendes, Airto Moreira and Milton Nascimento, composer and trombonist Raul de Souza was born in 1934 and he passed away in June 2021 at the venerable age of 86, yet before he departed, he left us with his final masterpiece called Plenitude. Featuring Raul’s work in the Generations Band, the 16-track, 66-minute Plenitude CD was released in the wake of the artist’s passing, on the Austrian PAO Records label. The instrumental jazz work features Raul’s trombone work in the company of album producers Christophe Schweizer (trombone) and Alen Correa (keys), along with the rhythm section of Glauco Solter (electric bass) and Matheus Jardim (drums). Drawing on the rich legacy of Brazilian jazz, Plenitude includes diverse touchstones including the finest in Brazilian instrumental music, funk, fusion and jazz and there’s plenty of originality to it as well. In the past Raul worked with legends such as Cannonball Adderley, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock and Jaco Pastorius, so his legacy in the jazz world speaks for itself. A most unique exercise in modern-day era Brazilian music, Plenitude isn’t fusion although there are elements of that genre here and at times it even transcends Brazilian music too, making it a very versatile album all anchored by Raul’s deep and sonorous trombone sounds. With Raul’s and Christophe’s trombone working the front line, the horn-based sound is very unique to say the least. The CD of Plenitude is wonderfully packaged and features in-depth liner notes by Raul and a host of others, including Sonny Rollins and other jazz luminaries, writing fondly about working with Raul over the past 60 years. With the Generations Band ranging in age from 24 to 86, Raul de Souza’s Plenitude is a most enchanting musical achievement from one of the giants of Brazilian music.