Novo Columbo

What happens when you cross hot Brazilian beats with cool jazz? Nova Columbo, that's what.

Nova Colombo is one of the best "world music" style groups I've come across in quite some time. Their blend of latin rhythms and classic jazz is infectious, and the group makes for an awesome combo. They're led by singer Gina DiDonato, whose voice is absolutely gorgeous, sensuous, and often sexy.. One moment she'll be lilting and lovely, and the next she'll lay down some scat. She harkens back to the great jazz singers of the past.

Experienced trumpeter Valery Ponomorev is at least her equal, filling their songs with great accompaniment and smooth solos that seem to be equal parts Herb Alpert and Dizzy Gillespie. His trumpeting is exquisite, and his range of styles is a marvel to behold.

The rest of the band is no slouch either, with great backing keyboard work and some judicious use of acoustic guitar throughout. The group also eagerly incorporates a range of other instruments throughout, including flute, saxophone, and even accordion, along with an extensive and infectious rhythm section. Their composition is clever and engaging, and their songs are constantly well-written. I especially liked the track "Something new" with its clever integration of the famous song "Brazil" backing up the music.

In short, as a long-time fan of jazz, I fell in love with Nova Columbo at first listen. Everything about them is absolutely first-rate. Jazz fans everywhere would be well advised to check them out.


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