The Brazilian-born and raised Ruzza, who has been plying her plucking skills in New York for the last four years, delivers a robust Latin-jazz debut centered around her multilingual, pervasive bass. “Larry and I” rides a serious slap groove with global implications. A reading of the traditional chorinho “Pagão” finds bass and ’bone locked in unison bliss. Elsewhere, the surging, odd-meter hybrid feel of “Costanera” culminates in an expansive solo, while title track shows off Ruzza’s savvy samba support.
Brian Bromberg: It Is What It Is [Mack Avenue-Artistry Music]
Never one to shun the smooth jazz specter, it seems only fitting that Brian Bromberg jumpstarts the sagging idiom with his vibrant latest effort. Punctuated by a 5- piece horn section and all-star guest list throughout, the 13-track disc gets down to business with the hard-swinging big band title track opener. From there come feel-good covers of “Love Shack” and “Sanford and Son Theme,” fretless poise on “Heaven,” and Marcus-nodding thumb on “Elephants on Skates” and “Mr. Miller.” For full sonic contrast, dig the resonant solo tenor bass ballad “Mirror” and the disc-closing “Slap Happy,” with Brian in shredder mode on overdriven piccolo bass.