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  • Jonathan Widran


A decades-long presence on the NYC area jazz scene, trumpeter Mark Morganelli has produced 40 albums for Candid Records (including Speak Low, a Birdland date with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter and Jimmy Cobb) and recorded with the likes of Paquito D’Rivera, James Moody, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Bucky Pizzarelli.

He is also renowned for his bookings at countless regional venues, including the Village Gate and Birdland, which morphed into his non-profits Jazz Forum Arts organization, known for its summer concert series he’s produced for years. In 2017, he and his wife added “club owner” to his resume with the Jazz Forum club in Tarrytown, NY.

This is the venue where Morganelli and his explosive seven-piece ensemble The Jazz Forum All-Stars (featuring the versatile, heart-tugging vocalists Eddie Monteiro and Monika Oliveira) recorded their wildly ambitious album Brasil! over two nights in June 2018.

It’s a massive and expansive, rhythmically varied set of gorgeously played and arranged music, a two-CD, 27 track collection covering the waterfront of Brazilian music, with relative obscurities interspersed among imaginative renditions of more familiar pieces by Jobim (the predominant composer featured), Baden Powell, Ivan Lins, Joao Donato and Marcos Valle.

Although Morganelli offers a brief anecdote for each chosen selection, there’s no overriding theme happening – which allows the band to just have a blast freewheeling with their own spin on some of the most joyous, heartfelt and soulful music ever written.

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