Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil Review Roundup

saxophonist kenney polson's colors of brazil review roundup
Read Kenney Polson's Colors of Brazil Review Roundup.

Colors of Brazil by saxophonist Kenney Polson taps songs by Djavan, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins and others for an impressive album of Brazilian jazz. Here’s what the reviewers are saying.

Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil Review Roundup gathers the most insightful, comments, critiques, and observations from music’s influential experts.

Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil chronicles the saxophonist’s love of Brazil, nurtured during his five years of living, performing, and recording in Rio de Janeiro. As a result, this album is making lasting impressions with avid Brazilian jazz fans and C-Jazz listeners, too.

Here’s Connect Brazil’s collection of top reviews for this once-in-a-lifetime recording.

Read quotes from Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil Review Roundup

George W. Harris | Jazz Weekly

“Kenney Polson uses a wide variety of paintbrushes with his mix of reeds on this upbeat and sleek interpretation of Brazilia.”

Polson’s alto mixes with Leni Stern’s guitar and n’goni for a soulful ‘Aqurela do Brazil’. Mariea Antoinette’s harp glistens to the hip horns and backbeat of ‘Hipnotizado’. Paulinho Trompete gives a swinging solo while drummer Christian Oyens hits hard on a rich take of Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan.

Polson melds reeds together for a rich flavor for Dr. Osamu Kitajima’s koto on ‘For de Lis’. Polson’s soprano is gorgeous on ‘Passeio de Bicicleta’ while he creates some thick reeds on a festive take of Ivan Lins’ ‘Leva e Traz’.

The team gets funky to Assumpção’s basswork on ‘Mariana’ and the team punches like a middleweight to Azur McCall’s scat solo on ‘Incompativilidade de Genios’.

Wonderful sounds of festive streets.

  • Want to learn more? If you tap or click the link you can read the complete review at Jazz Weekly.

Joe Ross | Roots Music Report 5 Stars

“Saxophonist Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil album offers smooth jazz with a creative sense of worldly Latinesque adventure. Polson spent five years performing and recording in Rio de Janeiro.”

Born to a musical family in Kansas City, Polson earned a master’s degree in jazz composition and arranging from Howard University in 1997. Widely traveled, Polson has given ten tunes a new groove by incorporating sounds and textures from unique instruments such as harp, Japanese koto, and African nGnoni.

While Polson’s feet are solidly planted in smooth jazz and funk, his Brazilian colleagues contributed exhilarating styles such as samba, partido alto, samba/funk, and afoxé. Four tracks were recorded in Brazil and six in the U.S.

While the album is certainly sax-centric, I also appreciated the imagination and elegant taste conveyed on guitar and nGnoni (by Leni Stern), harp (Mariea Antoinette), koto (Mitsuki Dazai and Dr. Osamu Kitajima) and many others.


Kenney Polson's Colors of Brazil Review Roundup
10 songs from Grammy-winning musicians: Djavan, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Dori Caymmi, Caetano Veloso. Buy the CD here.

Staff | JazzTimes

“In (t)his new recording, Colors of Brazil, Polson allows his love of Brazilian music to permeate his jazz sound and gives additional flavor and texture by adding unexpected instruments in novel ways.”

West Coast jazz saxophonist Kenney Polson is a world traveler who has been to over 50 countries, spreading the gospel of jazz and collaborating with many musicians.

He was fortunate to complete successful tours in France and Hawaii before 2020 pandemic travel restrictions set in, then turned his attention to completing a new album, Colors of Brazil, for release in March of 2021.

  • Want to learn more? If you tap or click the link you can read the complete review at JazzTimes.

Read more quotes from Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil Review Roundup

Staff | JAZZIZ

‘Aquarela do Brasil’ leads off Polson’s new album, Colors of Brazil. He plays tenor and soprano on several of the country’s favorite tunes, including ‘Leva E Traz’ and Caetano Veloso’s ‘Luz Do Sol’, as well as a samba version of Ellington’s ‘Caravan’.”

Besides being a popular recording and touring artist, Polson is an accomplished composer and educator.

He has toured Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Colombia, Brazil, France, and over a dozen Caribbean Islands. In 2016 and ‘17, he toured far and wide as part of Rick James’s Original Stone City Band. The saxophonist has played live with Joe Williams, Gil Scott-Heron, David Sanborn, Kenny Burrell, and others.

  • Read the complete review at Jazziz.

Paul Wilson  | Audiophile Review      Overall: 10 Sonics: 8.5

“Imagine being in Rio de Janeiro in a packed nightclub dancing until 3 AM to the cacophonic rhythms of high octane Bossa Nova. Not your style? Fear not because the latest release from master jazzman Kenny Polson has your back.”

imagine lounging on one of Rio’s world-class beaches while sipping umbrella drinks. Don’t want to travel? No worries, ole Kenny sets the mood with his latest release of Brazilian-styled music in Colors of Brazil.

Having traveled to over fifty countries performing jazz, his time in Brazil is among his happiest. No wonder his latest release is a tribute to that style of music.

He doesn’t stop there, however. There are hints of World music including African and even Japanese influences scattered throughout. Polson obviously took these musical cues from his time spent traveling the globe.

On this release, Kenny Polson shines through in an immense manner and has created a work of truly impressive World Jazz. All one needs is a disco or a sandy beach in Rio. Or a stereo system, whichever is easiest.

Kim Cypher | Jazz In Europe

Kenney Polson’s latest release is a colorful celebration of Brazilian music. I approached his brand-new album Colors of Brazil with a completely open mind and I like what I hear!

‘Flor de Lis’ (Lily Flower by Djavan) is a nice smooth Samba with some great drumming by Rio-born percussionist Alejandro Lucini. This track introduces a Japanese flavour.

Polson uses his multi-instrumentalist ability to thicken up the texture with alto sax, soprano sax, and clarinet. Leonardo Lucini plays a nice melodic bass solo. Both Lucini brothers are friends of Polson from his days at Howard University and became key figures in completing this album recording.

‘Passeio de Bicicleta’ (Bicycle Ride) is a personal favourite on the album for me. A piano introduction leads to a lovely mysterious soprano sax melody with a Parisienne feel. Occasional bell sounds evoke a vision of bicycles riding around a Paris street. I really like it.

‘Incompatibilidade de Genois’ (Incompatibility of Geniuses) has a nice vibe and introduces some unison sax and vocals. The scat solo by Azure McCall in the style of Al Jarreau adds another dimension and sits nicely over the brass.

  • Want to learn more? If you click the link you can read the complete review at Jazz In Europe.

Susan Frances | Jazz2Love

“Exotic, playful, and romantic, the music of saxophonist-composer-arranger Kenney Polson is entirely uplifting.”

Polson’s own contribution “Hipnotizado” seams the sparkling twinkles of Mariea Antoinette’s harp tucked into the melodic crevices.

A mosaic of soft prismatic shades glint across Polson’s reimagining of Djavan’s “Flor de Lis.” The sensual phrasing of his saxophone and the shimmery tones of Dani Cortaza’s guitar riffs emit a romantic luster.

Jazz-style motifs are integrated with island-imbued accents through ‘Mariana’, a seaside soundscape written by Polson’s bass player on the track Nico Assumpção.

Working with a fleet of musicians that play as one, Polson makes composing, arranging, and performing look easy and effortless.

  • Click the link to read the complete review at Jazz2Love.

Tom Steven | Take Effect Reviews 9/10 Stars

Polson’s unique vision and embracing of harp, koto, vibraphone, and a nGnoni, to name a few, places his jazz template into an unclassifiable category that’s rich with creativity and flowing with fascinating musicianship on Colors Of Brazil.

‘Flor de Lis’ (Lily Flower)” is nothing short of beautiful, where a pair of kotos from Mitsuki Dazai and Dr. Osamu Kitajima adds much grace. ‘Mariana’ benefits greatly from Marinho Boffa’s keys and Assumpção’s playfully plucked bass.

‘Passeio de Bicicleta (Bicycle Ride)’, is a very noteworthy track, then gets busy and lush with Alessandre Carvalho’s precise guitar bringing much to the rhythmic highlight.

  • Want to learn more? If you tap or click the link you can read the complete review at Take Effert Reviews.

Ron Weinstock | In A Blue Mood

Polson is a most appealing saxophonist with his clean, lyrical playing and given sparkling backing on a wonderfully sounding salute to Brazilian music.

Toninho Horta’s light samba, ‘Passeio de Bicicleta (Bicycle Ride)’, has some of Polson’s loveliest soprano sax playing with an exquisite Brazilian rhythm section of guitarist Alessandre Carvalho, keyboardist Marinho Boffa, bassist Nico Assumpção, and drummer Christian Oyens.

In contrast, ‘Incompatibilidade de Genios (Incompatibility of Geniuses)’ is a livelier samba with a touch of funk. It has Leni Stern on nGnoni, a punchy horn section, and Azure McCall’s horn-like scatting.

Polson spent several years living in Brazil, including five in the Ipanema neighborhood. He worked with some notable Brazilian musicians, including Marinho Boffa, trumpeter Paulinho Trompete, and the late composer/bassist Nico Assumpção.

These musicians are on this recording. Joining are Rio-born percussionist Alejandro Lucini and bassist/arranger Leonardo Lucini, friends from his days at Howard University.

These brothers contributed heavily to the popularity of Brazilian music in the Nation’s capital.

Staff | Music Monthly

Writing in the album liner notes, journalist Raul da Gama says, “The imprint of flawless, superlative artistry is all over Polson’s 2021 album…a recording on par with the finest Brazilian recordings by titans of the saxophone…”

The [Colors of Brazil] project reflects Polson’s life journey and [his] quest for new sounds.

Alternating between the blast of excitement and romantic, balmy bossa nova, Polson’s deeper global vision as a well-traveled musical citizen of the world includes stellar guest performances by guitarist Leni Stern, harpist Mariea Antoinette and koto greats Osamu Kitajima and Mitsuki Dazai.

Known widely as a smooth jazz artist, his seasoned musical style incorporates Latin, classical, New Age, rhythm & blues, funk, and gospel influences – resting on a firm foundation of straight-ahead jazz.

  • Tap or click the link to read the complete review at Music Monthly.

Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil Review Roundup

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