Allen Morrison, Downbeat

Hiromi Suda’s muse straddles the worlds of Japenese folk and bossa nova. On her album Nagi (BluJazz; 46:26; 3.5) – the title means “calm” – she displays a sirene, quietly assured delivery. She couldn’t have hired a better co-producer than the gifted jazz flutist Anne Drummond. They assembled a superb band including the great Romero Lubambo on guitar. The program is evenly split between Brazilian classics like Jobim’s “Triste” and Donato’s “A Rã”, and her own poetic originals. Suda’s vocals on the Brazilian tunes are finely calibrated and disarming. On the face of it, Japenese folk music and Brazilian music might seem to have little in common, but Suda makes it work. It’s well worth hearing.

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