Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo: Movimento (2004)
Never judge a book by its cover! Having been a collector of music for almost fifty years, I've often fallen into that trap when that irresistible record or CD has to be judged by its cover or else it will go home with someone else at that crucial moment of decision. A quick glance at the cover of Movimento shows guitarist Johnson playing while seated on a stool. A similar look at the back cover indicates seven other musicians with similar Anglosaxon names with no hints of the contents.
This is a delightful bossa nova album with no concessions to rock, electronica or hip-hop influences that may have crept into the music of Brazil over the decades. Ed Johnson has written or co-written seven of the ten compositions, and the name of his group Novo Tempo (which translates as "new times") was taken from the title of an Ivan Lins song. In his liner notes, Johnson reports of the important influences of not only the American jazz masters but also Jobim, Gilberto, Nascimento and Toninho Horta. A full page from Jovino Santos Neto, the son of legendary Brazilian composer/performer Hermeto Pascoal, testifies to the importance of this album in capturing the Brazilian musical persona.
It is difficult to single out moments from this session. The tracks are perfect summer listening with sunny remembrances of perhaps the first time that the general public heard "The Girl From Ipanema." Johnson is a most fluent nylon-string acoustic guitarist and his a pleasant vocalist. His high range resembles that of Milton Nascimento. Canadian singer/pianist Jennifer Scott is also a standout on both background and duet vocals. Their version of Jobim's "A Felicidade" is a treat. "O Bom Alvinho (The Sweet Albino)," written by Gerry Mulligan, is an homage to Hermeto Pascoal. Although there are three songs with English language lyrics, this is really a tribute to the almost lost era of the Brazilian music of first generation bossa.
Track Listing: Scotch Baiao, Movimento, Exceto Nos, Light's Return, Remembrance, O Bom Alvinho, For T, Tara, A Felicidade, Silent Heart.
Personnel: Ed Johnson, vocal, acoustic and electric guitar; Jennifer Scott, piano, vocals; Kristen Strom, sax, flute, vocals; John Worley Jr. trumpet,flugelhorn; Scott Corkin, guitar; Rene Worst,bass; Mark Ivester, drums, percussion; Jeff Busch, percussion
Record Label: Cumulus