A pair of killers from Dave Pike – early work in a tremendous career in music! First up is Bossa Nova Carnival – a sublime set of bossa nova numbers, all written by the bossa pianist Joao Donato! Joao doesn't actually play on the record, but his compositions here are enough – as they help Pike find a new sense of space and pulse in his music – rhythms that really unlock his vibes towards their grooviest ends for the first time ever on record. Most numbers are heavily modal – a great mix with the bossa setting – and the album also features key work from Clark Terry
on flugelhorn, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Chris White on bass – whose loping lines really help shape the overall sound of the record. Also features lots of nice percussion – and titles include "Ginha", "Samba Lero", "Sono", "Carnival Samba", "Sausalito", and "Melvalita". Limbo Carnival isn't some early 60s gimmick session, designed to cash in on a dance craze – and instead, it's a wonderful early Latin set from the great vibist Dave Pike! In fact, given the strength of the grooves here, it would be plenty darn hard to do any limbo action to this one – because the rhythms are bouncy, modal, and very very groovy – served up by Pike on vibes, in a lineup that includes Ray Barretto on conga, Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, and Leo Wright on flute and alto – plus a few other straight jazz players like Jimmy Raney on guitar and Tommy Flanagan on piano. Tracks include "Mambo Bounce", "Matilda", "Cattin Latin", "St. Thomas", and a strange groovy version of "La Bamba".