North/South Convergence

by Circo

Released 2001
The Betty Shop
Released 2001
The Betty Shop
North American jazz harmonies meet South American rhythms and soaring melodies to create this new and energetic sound. CD produced by Hugo Fattoruso, grammy-winning musical director with Milton Nascimento.
NOTES
Circo is an elegant yet robust sythesis of North American, Uruguayan and Brazilian jazz. Influenced by an eclectic array of jazz greats from both sides of the Equator, the compositions are truly original.

The band, consisting of sax, vocals, accordion or piano, bass, percussionist and drums has been together since 1995.
Lee Tomboulian is the mastermind behind the group, the accordion-wielding auteur. Raised on Mozart, Harry Belafonte and Spike Jones, Lee as a world-class mainstream jazz pianist accompanied Nat Adderley, Pharoah Sanders and Eddie Harris. He attended the Naropa Institute and UNT where he was the pianist for the world-famous One O'Clock Lab Band (1997).

The native Uruguayan percussionist Ricardo Bozas, who also played with the One O'Clock, and Vinicius De Moraes (co-writer of "Girl from Ipanema"), is the heart of the band. He sounds like a whole samba school going by, sometimes covering surdo, conga and small toys all at once. Ricardo together with polyrhythmic wonder-boy Dennis Durick on drums drive the Circo rhythm machine to an all new planet, the Circo planet!

Pete Brewer, mad flutist and saxophonist, has his own mainstream jazz recordings and is the first-call A-team guy on the Dallas jazz scene. His solos have a distinctive character with a different personality on each instrument he plays, which vary in this group from tenor, alto and soprano saxes to flute.

Betty Tomboulian sings in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, as well as scat on Lee's impossible melodies that sometimes soar into the stratosphere. She sings Brazilian standards in a smoky alto that has been likened to Astrud Gilberto (Mark Marymont, Arkansas Gazette). She plays keys, guitar, and percussion.

Producer Hugo Fattoruso (the Maestro) played keyboards and accordion and was musical director for Milton Nascimento's Grammy winning CD "Nascimento", and has recorded extensively in South America with Chico Buarque, Trio Fattoruso, Milton Nascimento, Ruben Rada, to name a few. His first outing in the U. S. was with Uruguayan jazz fusion group OPA backing up Airto Moreira back in the seventies. People who love beautiful music should check out his CDs "Homework," "Trio Fattoruso" and "Candombe" on Big World Music www.bigworldmusic.com.