World & Latin

Twin Trumpets


Trumpeter Claudio Roditi lives with feet planted firmly in two worlds. Born and raised in Brazil and trained at Berklee College in Boston, he's the ideal distillation of Latin and American jazz. This duality is the inspiration for the title of his 1988 recording on Milestone, Gemini Man.

The eight-song set -- one of the most satisfying of his entire body of recorded work -- consists primarily of Roditi's own material, with a couple tunes borrowed from his South American homeland: "Una Misma Alma," a bolero by Venezuelan composer Pedrito Lopez, and "Conceicao," a traditional Brazilian song recast with fresh new harmonies. Backing his intricate and expressive trumpet work is the brilliant team of acoustic pianist Roger Kellaway, keyboardist Daniel Frieberg, bassist Nilson Matta, drummers Ignacio Berroa and Akira Tana, and percussionist Rafael Cruz.

As might be expected from a cross-cultural innovator like Roditi, there's a little of everything here. "We (To Kristen And Me)" is laced with Afro-Cuban elements, while "Jacarandá" is constructed atop a bossa beat. The nostalgic closer, "Brazilian Roots (To Amaury Tristão)," takes its name from a band that Roditi played in at New York's famed Tin Palace during the '70s.

In addition to his horn work, Roditi also provides equally fine vocals on three tracks, each in a different language: "Em Minas Gerais" in Portuguese, "Una Misma Alma" in Spanish and "Snow Samba" in English.

"Jazz and Brazilian music are both part of what I am," Roditi says in his liner notes. "I may be from Brazil, but I grew up listening to Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. I'm at home in either idiom."