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Mojave by Nilson Matta & Roni Ben-Hur

With a plethora of Brazilian music having hit the street this year, Mojave stands out for two other reasons which are namely acclaimed drummer Victor Lewis and legendary Brazilian percussionist Cafe'. This quartet is special thanks to the ability to interact with each other with such musical cohesion that Mojave sounds far from the first release for this group. While in the liner notes, Matta explains he still does not feel his approach to Brazilian music may be "authentic" but the musical connections made through a perfectly paced release make Mojave pop with its own unique brand of authenticity. A hybrid of be-bop and Brazilian music that swings from the opening Antonio Carlos Jobim title track "Mojave" to sneaking in a straight ahead take on the Burt Bacharach classic "The Look Of Love."


Several tunes from Pixinguinha are included here and for those of you playing at home, Pixinguinha is the iconic master of the pre-Bossa Nova genre of Choro. What is a Choro? To start you do not eat it, it is the  style often associated with a fast and happy rhythm, characterized by improvisation and  full of syncopation and counterpoint. The Choro is considered the first urban popular music typical of Brazil and when you fuse this with the classic bop sensibilities of the players as are assembled here then musical lightening in a bottle happens. Jazz you hear with your hips. Welcome to the land of rhythm and groove! A summit of Samba and be-bop!


Nothing beats a good back story with Mojave part of Motema's Jazz Therapy series founded by Roni Ben-Hur and label head Jana Herzen to raise money and awareness for the good works of The Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund of the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation in Englewood, New Jersey.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nilson Matta Roni Ben-Hur
  • CD Title: Mojave
  • Genre: Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Motema
  • Tracks: Mojave; Lamentos; Carinhoso; Samba Do Veloso; Copacabana; Rosa; Baden; Canal Street; P.D. On Great Jones Street; The Look Of Love; Eretz; Three Express.
  • Musicians: Nilson Matta: bass; Roni Ben-Hur: guitar; Cafe': percussion; Victor Lewis: drums, percussion.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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