Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Basie’s glorious MPS sojourn! “Bossa Nova and jazz-styled improvisation are an especially good combination.” So said Venezuelan Juan Romero, who had a good understanding of South American folk music. He had also studied classical guitar at the music conservatory in Munich, Germany. And Romero had listened to a lot of jazz albums. But he had not had many chances to play jazz. That all changed after he met two Americans; Guitarist Ira Kris and saxophonist/ flutist Frank St. Peter moved to Munich, and formed a trio with Romero. He taught the two seasoned jazz musicians South American rhythms and melodies. In exchange, Romero learned the ins and outs of jazz. It was a time that bossa nova was “in”; the three found gigs in such famous clubs as Munich’s Domicile and Stuttgart’s Atlantic. For their MPS album debut, they expanded the trio into a quintet. Bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Tony Inzalaco, two more Americans, jumped into the band. Inzalaco was the drummer in the Edelhagen Orchestra. Woode played in the Kenny Clark/Francis Boland Big Band. These two accomplished professionals showed they also had mastered the diverse Latin rhythms. “Jazzanova” contains pieces from Brazilian stars Baden Powell and Edu Lobo as well as compositions from Kris and St. Peter. The album is a spirited reminder of the bossa nova boom and the many American musicians who were in Europe during the sixties and seventies.
Originally released as 2 LP set.
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Eric Dixon (tenor saxophone); Charlie Fowlkes (baritone saxophone); Gene Goe, Sonny Cohn (trumpet); M.F. Wanzo, Grover Mitchell , Bill Hughes (trombone); Harold Jones (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Sonny Lester; Hans Hielscher.
Photographers: Sepp Werkmeister; Hans Harzeim.
Arranger: Chico O'Farrill.