WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Ricardo Bacelar — Sebastiana

Mar. 21, 2018

Here is a rather intriguing undertaking by pianist/composer/arranger Ricardo Bacelar who traveled from his Brazilian home to Miami and assembled an ensemble of Latin American musicians to honor the roots of Brazilian music while cleverly incorporating each musician’s unique culture on this jazz-centered album entitled Sebastiana. It’s an album of distinct taste, class, and sophistication and does capture the colorful characters of both jazz and Brazilian exoticism.

While not for the strict smooth jazz fan looking for the smooth groove-laced sax, keys, or guitar, it embodies the very essence of the origins of this highly regarded form of musical seduction. You may find yourself nestling back into that soft place in your music room and wishing for a glass of Casa Valduga, Leopoldina Chardonnay, Vale dos Vinhedose, or some other delicious Brazilian wine as you let waves of Rio wash over you.

Admittedly, some of the material may prove to be so esoteric that, if you’re not a Brazilian jazz aficionado, it may not appeal to where you normally live musically, but there’s a bit of mystique and magic in each tune that should convince you to listen nonetheless. Tracks like the title track and “Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir” are slightly more closely aligned with the smooth jazz and/or jazz fusion animal in you while the tender acoustic piano melody of “Depois dos Temporais” may take you to yet another, less familiar but nonetheless gratifying, space.

A gentle blend of melodies that warrants a careful listen if only to catch the whispery nuances and subtle musical intangibles, Sebastiana does both jazz and Brazilian music justice here. – Ronald Jackson