Music News

Diogo Brown

South Florida isn't exactly a hub for jazz right now. Despite the fact that a few solid jazz musicians have retired here and that some damned fine players were raised here, the culture of jazz itself doesn't seem to stick to South Florida's ribs. So it's a pleasant shock when an international jazz musician moves from Brazil to West Palm Beach to launch his career. That's sort of like building an igloo in Maui, but no matter. Rio de Janeiro's Diogo Brown is here, South Florida is his new home, and the talented bassist already has a solid LP of straight-ahead-meets-eccentric-jazz to show for it. His debut album, Daqui Pro Mundo ("Here to the World") is a glimpse inside the head of a young composer/musician on the rise. Brown not only plays electric and upright bass throughout the album but also percussion and guitar, all of which come together surprisingly well. But make no mistake: The bass is his weapon, and Brown unloads on tunes like "Sound Check Groove" and "I Gotta Go," which bring the funk to the party with a New Orleans-meets-the-Global South vibe. There are inflections of samba and bossa nova in the tunes here, and lovers of Latin jazz will get their fix early on. Sonically, this is world jazz more than just Brazilian jazz, and since much of it was recorded in Miami, Cuban influences and the city's global "One Sound" is detectable as well. "O Samba de Nos Dois" easily incorporates all of these styles, which is part of what gives the album such depth. It's not for sure how long West Palm Beach is going to be able to hold on to him, but temporarily, South Florida has an emerging jazz bass giant worth celebrating.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Cunningham