Stein’s sixth album is the first that he has made while on the road, and it also features him working with new musicians. The CD, however, is far from being a Brazilian record. That’s made clear from the start, with the excellent opening track, "Happy Hour," a Stein original that recalls New Orleans not Rio de Janeiro.
There’s also a blues tune, Grant Green’s "Blues in Maude’s Flat," and a standard in "I’m a Fool to Want You." Although the CD is not a collection of Brazilian music, it does have some Brazilian material. The nine-track instrumental CD includes a bossa nova, "Marta," by Frank Herzberg, which is done in triple meter, and the Antonio Carlos Jobim song, "Inutil Paisagem,"
What makes Concerto Internacional de Jazz Brazilian is the musicians. Stein, a native of Kansas City, Mo., and a faculty member of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, is backed by bassist Herzberg, drummer Ze Eduardo Nazario, pianist Alexandre Zamith, trombonist Bocato, and percussionist Pedro Ito. Teco Cardoso is also featured on the CD and plays the seldom-heard bass flute.
Stein’s guitar playing, which is always crisp, melodic, and refreshingly understated, leads the way, but there’s plenty of collaboration. Zamith is particularly good throughout the effort, providing both strong melodies and the right piano embellishments.
Concerto Internacional de Jazz is recommended. It showcases not only some strong guitar playing but good ensemble work.