Bai„o (Costa) [5:46]
Maracatu (Costa) [4:27]
Garota de Ipanema (Jobim) [4:10]
Aria (Costa) [3:08]
O Barquinho (Menescal) [3:35]
Tempos Sentidos (Costa) [5:12]
Love Dance (Lins/Peranzzetta) [3:04]
Iíve written admiringly before of British pianist Dan Costa but this is his
first solo album, recorded live at Kuumbwa Jazz, California, on 29 February
2020. He is as well versed in the Latin lineage as itís possible to be and
this concentrated focus on his solo chops allows the listener to appreciate
the sheer variety of the genre. Five of the eight pieces are his own, with
one each from Jobim, Menescal and the team of Lins/Peranzzetta.
His own composition Bai„o is infused with the choicest lyricism
and is an excellent opener. Having the time to stretch out gives
opportunities for an added quotient of colour in his playing as a listen to Maracatu will confirm. The play of colour and rhythms, the eager
verdancy of his tune, and the decorative tracery and dappled warmth as it
ends attests to his control of touch and voicings. Jobimís Garota de Ipanema is treated to a performance of enveloping
warmth, heightened by Costaís rich chording, his crisp accenting, and his
sure stylistic grip on Jobimís genius for insinuating melodic and rhythmic
Itís the chording element that also appealed to me in Costaís Sete Enredos and the off beats too. Costaís left hand subtly
voices whilst the right remains at all times dexterously colour-conscious.
He plays Menescal O Barquinho in great style with just the right
kind of clarity of articulation allied to sensitivity of purpose. So,
whilst he gets easily into that stylistic groove thereís room too for the
most songful sunshine at its heart; the avuncular and generous Latin vibe
is there with an emotive generosity. And thereís nothing, of course, to
beat a great rhythmic kick which one can find in CostaísTempos Sentidos Ė a piece one can also find on his album Skyness (see
), a band performance to similarly engaging effect.
Whether with his band or, as here, solo Dan Costa shows he can cover the
stylistic bases. And with a closer of Love Dance he shows that he
knows how to programme a gig well and to say goodbye with a charming and
reflective romantic envoi.