Charlie Dennard

00:00 April 11, 2014
By: 2Fik
Charlie Dennard FBTNO
[Courtesy of Charlie Dennard]

Charlie Dennard's From Brazil to New Orleans takes songs from seven Brazilian composers (and adds a couple of his own for good measure) and puts a New Orleans flavor to them. Dennard, a UNO graduate and former student of Ellis Marsalis, is a world-class piano player, and he shows his skills off in this album. The album is a fantastic jazz album which goes up and down a canon of Brazilian tracks and gives them a new read. The album includes a variety of fantastic New Orleans players using a bevy of instruments and has ensemble pieces such as "Asa Branca," which includes the likes of Gerald French (Drums), Matt Perrine (Bass), Rick Trolsen (trombone) and Michael Skinkus (percussion) as well as having Dennard playing not only the piano, but the accordion and melodica as well. The album has toned down tracks as well, such as "Senhorinha," which just has Dennard on piano and Jack Craft on the cello. Dennard shows his range with the aforementioned track, playing a beautiful and slow melody, especially with how up-tempo the opening track is. From Brazil is truly a unique blend, with tracks such as "Quando o Galo Cantar" having strong Brazilian elements, with the beat and the bell, yet Dennard has the horns play secondline rhythms. "My main goal is to make beautiful music that feels good and is emotional," Dennard says. "To me, the music of Brazil and New Orleans have all of that and more, so it just seems logical for me to put them together in one big gumbo and 'stir the pot' so-to speak…" He did just that, and it sounds so good.

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