DAVID PIC CONLEY; Bossa Quintet (Love Town Music)

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Born in Newark, New Jersey, David Pic Conley has enjoyed a long and varied musical career. The multi instrumentalist founded Port Authority in the 1970s before moving on to Mandrill. In 1983 he formed a band called Surface and soul connoisseurs will fondly remember their ‘Happy’. Since then he’s worked in management, production and A&R (credits include work with Regina Belle and Rebbie Jackson). In 2008 he recorded an album with Hubert Laws, Nelson Rangel, Bernard Jackson, and Paul Jackson Jr as the No Rulz Band but now he’s out on his own for ‘Bossa Quintet’.

As the LP’s title implies, the ten tracker is a straight ahead Latin collection with Conley’s flute out front. The ‘Quintet’ part comes from the simple fact that David’s used four other musicians to put the set together. They are Lisa Cherian (drums), Roshan Wijetunge (bass), Martin Jenkins (Rhodes/Piano) and Tim Jones (guitar). Jones is co-producer and the album was recorded partly in his Bath Studios and in Aurora, Colorado – two locations not normally associated with Latin music.

Nine of the ten tunes are covers of well-known and not-so –well –known Latin standards. … with five from Antonio Carlos Jobim’s portfolio – ‘Wave’, ‘Amor Em Paz’, ‘Brigas Nuncia Mais’, ‘Aqua De Beber’ and ‘Meditation’ . Conley and his team treat them with respect. No pyrotechnics or flash – just laid back and contemplative – the way Jobim intended, I guess. The other big cover is Herb Alpert’s ‘Slick’ while the only original is Tim Jones’ ‘Art The Pimp’ – jauntier maybe – but not out of kilter with the rest of the collection.

(BB) 3/5