Back in 2003 I was introduced to a wonderful album from a trio in Israel. Tucan Trio’s Tucan in a nutshell blew me away with their vibrant music. Though the group had been in existence since 1998, their first and only album had only been commercially released in 2000. Tucan Trio, in its short five-year career, appeared in several festivals in Israel as well as other venues around the world, including Russia and the US. One historic appearance took place at the Kennedy Center and was repeated at the Makor Club in New York, where Tucan trio performed with mandolin virtuoso Armandinho. A track from that encounter, Garoto’s “Lamentos do Morro,” is included here in Bebê. The album was recorded in Israel and Brazil, and it marks Hagai Rehavia’s first solo effort. What a great solo debut this is!
Bebê, as Hagai himself says, “reflects sheer joy, great excitement, renewal, and most of all, an expectation to a fascinating journey.” Once again, Hagai shows his deep knowledge and passion for Brazilian music with a truly inspired repertoire of original compositions and other classical works by Hermeto Pascoal, Marco Pereira, Garoto, Tom Jobim and Rodrigo Riera. Though no longer performing as Tucan Trio, in this album Hagai (nylon and acoustic guitars) still has his Trio collaborators at his side. Joca Perpignan (percussion, vocals) and Amir Milstein (flute, vocals) are just as strong as before. Other musicians joining Hagai include Ilan Salem (flutes), Yorai Oron (bass guitar), Zohar Fresco (percussion), Roee Ben Sira (melodica, keyboards), Gordinho (percussion) and Juarez de Santos (percussion). Other special guests make Bebê even more exciting: Daniela Spielman (with a soprano sax solo in “Carioca”), Jessé Sadok (flugelhorn in “Revival Samba”) and, as mentioned previously, Armandinho (in “Lamentos do Morro”).
“Revival Samba” opens Bebê with a golden key. The slow guitar introduction sets a smooth tone for a gorgeous samba. Though Amir’s flute solo dominates most of the track, featured soloist Jessé Sadok makes a memorable solo, too. “Revival Samba” gives us a taste of samba, bossa and jazz. In “Boscoar,” as the title implies, Hagai honors João Bosco’s unique guitar style with fast tempo and sudden stops. Here, Joca’s percussion solos steal the show. He is electrifying. The title track is very dear to Hagai. As he says in the liner notes, the album “was being conceived in parallel to the birth” of his own son, Amit, whose voice is featured in the introduction of this endearing arrangement. As for Daniela Spielman’s soprano sax solo in “Carioca,” it is spectacularly vigorous and full of swing. Like an infant, whose energy level never seems to run out, Bebê is constantly dynamic, even when Hagai slows the tempo, such as in “Café da Manhã” and “How Insensitive.” The soft, slow samba beat created in the latter, for example, is fresh and soothing.
Hagai Rehavia starts a solo career on the right foot. His composition skills are strong. His performance style is creative and energetic. If Bebê is a sign of things to come, and based on the previous Tucan Trio release, we will be hearing from this excellent artist a whole lot more.
For more information about the album and artist, please visit Hagai Rehavia‘s web site. Songs are available for download there, too.
Jazz972 520923 (2006)
All tracks by Hagai Rehavia, except where noted.
- Revival Samba
- Bebê (Hermeto Pascoal)
- Carioca (Marco Pereira)
- Café da Manhã
- Prelude Creole (Rodrigo Riera)
- How Insensitive (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Lamentos do Morro (Garoto) w/ Tucan Trio & Armandinho