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Live in California

Dan Costa (piano)

Recorded at Kuumbwa Jazz, California, USA, 29 February 2020



Bai„o (Costa) [5:46]

Maracatu (Costa) [4:27]

Garota de Ipanema (Jobim) [4:10]

Sete Enredos (Costa) [6:08]

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 niceties.

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 review ), 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.

Jonathan Woolf

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