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Delta Groove (DGPCD141)

Shake It Baby, Is It True? Bloodshot Eyes, My Hat's On The Side Of My Head, Blue Bop, Little Girl, I Sat And Cried, Maybe Someday, Show Me The Way, Bill's Change, The Comeback, The Way You Do, Going To Mona Lisa's.

A couple of years ago Braziliian blues fiend Igor Prado sent Lynwood Slim a tape of his band and asked if he'd be interested in playing on their new album. Slim listened in amazement to this band who he describes as ‘not run-of-the-mill musicians' and packed his bags for Sao Paulo. In the studio Slim was knocked out with their performance realizing that ‘these guys were much more than I expected. The first song, Blue Bop,  was crisp, fast and played with zeal and confidence - after the first take I was speechless!'

And no wonder; the band play like they've been in business for 25 years - with a sensitive touch on the slow ballads like Maybe Someday but then they can fire on all cylinders on brash boogies like Show Me The Way, hit the perfect vintage groove on heavy horn instrumentals like Bill's Change and come on like James Brown's band on the thundering soul workout Shake It Baby. This one has Igor Prado growling out the vocals while Denilson Martins plays the hell out of his baritone sax over Rodrigo Mantovani's snappy bass runs and is a tune full of great moves and surprises like when Igor crashes in with an idiosyncratic guitar solo filled with stuttering lines and discordant funkiness just before Slim moves in with some exotic flute ideas that disappear into the fade-out much too soon. 

The band tackles everything with such confidence and verve. Yuri Prado's drumming has the faultless timing and energy of the best in the business, Rodrigo Mantovani's bass playing is so fine you find yourself playing a track just to listen to him and Donny Nichilo's piano is always superb from the jazzy feel of My Hat's On The Side Of My Head to the Mike Stoller-style triplets on The Way You Do and then the sheer silkiness of his stylings on the cool ballad Maybe Someday.

Although the CD is liberally laced with tunes lifted from Buddy Guy, Dave Bartholomew, Jimmy Nelson, Jimmy Nolen and Wynonie Harris, there are some cracking originals from both Igor and Slim. Igor's Bill's Change, for instance, is a honking roller coaster of a tune throbbing with great horns, driving guitar and superb sax while Slim's harmonica showcase Going To Mona Lisa's sounds like it could have come from a south side blues session in 1959.

Brazilian Kicks has got to be an album of the year. It's undoubtedly Lynwood Slim's best by a country mile and somehow, I think The Igor Prado Band are gonna be something big!

Review Date: January 2011

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