O.k., I opened the CD case, plopped in the CD and proceeded to listen with measured interest to some really exquisitely diverse jazz. I didn’t bother to read the bio or liner notes on this one first, as I normally do. I was just going to groove on some new music and get down to the review later. Then, I noticed something very interesting about the drumming. This cat was handling all types of timing patterns with incredible ease. I chalked it up to years of experience. Then, I decided to read the bio and liner notes. That’s when I discovered that I had been listening to a 12-year-old! Thus is the case with Tito Pascoal-a 12-year-old Portuguese young man with a really powerful passion for jazz, and, boy, does it ever show.
Every now and again, we are presented with a musical phenomenon. We’ve had Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Diane Schuur, and Steely Dan, just to name a few. Now enters young Tito Pascoal. Surrounded by a talented family (Tim, also the composer of much of this material, hangs out on keys and horns while Theo provides the thick bass lines) and guest artists such as Dave Weckl, Bob Mintzer, and Tom Kennedy, you can see why this kid has the confidence he so clearly displays behind the drums. This kid handles everything from funk to Coltrane. Track 1, "Chicken," starts this party off with a heavy, energized bang, placing young Tito’s skills at center stage. It’s followed by an in-the-groove smooth jazz cut entitled "Decisions"--a true headbopper. He then kicks in the fusion funk on track 3, "Well U Needn’t." Tracks 4 & 7 (the latter being Coltrane’s "Giant Steps") further lend credence to his remarkably diverse skill, and one of the major highlights here has to be his rendition of Wild Cherry’s "Play That Funky Music" at track 6.
Pascoal provides fodder for the kid who’s always dreamed of pursuing a career in music---or in space travel, or in medicine, or.... well, you get the point. A welcome addition to the jazz family, this young man should enjoy a long, bright, and fruitful future in the business. Gotta wonder what he’ll be offering in 20 years! Based on Walk the Walk, it should be worth the wait.