Back in the early 80's, I would eagerly snap up Tania Maria's exceptional Concord releases which offered a totally different perspective of Brazlian music to the kind of Bossa stuff that an older generation of musicians like Stan Getz would produce. This music was fresh and vibrant and could back the kind of exuberant punch that would make most Lionel Hampton records sound like Bill Evans. Albums like "Come with me" and "Wild" help define the 1980's jazz scene for me. As the decade progressed, she seemed to lean every closer to fusion and I eventually lost track of her.
It was therefore nice to be reacquainted with her music. Stangely, the passage of three decades has left her voice unchanged and the combination of vocalese coupled with her nimble piano lines still has a devastating effect. Listening to her performance on this disc, Tania Maria still remains a compelling artist and has not lost her ability to up the excitement levels. However, the problem for me with this disc is the arrangements performed by the Frankfurt radio big band which, whilst well played and mirror the dynamics of the singer's music, are pretty perfunctory. It would have been interesting to hear what a more imaginative arranger might have been able to have producedeuIn some instances the arrangements seem like transcriptions of the originals yet lack the flexibility that her smaller groups were capable of generating. The best tracks are "Come with me", "Its all in my hands" (one of her most "poppy" compositions ) and "Valeu" yet the music is no great departure from the originals and the fact that the principle solo instrument is the piano means that there seems little reason to acquire a CD that is so similar to the initial versions. That said, Tania Maria seems inacapble of producing something that isn't enjoyable and given the difficulty in acquiring her back catalogue which is no longer available, this offers a good intrdouction to what her music is about.