Joe Chambers Returns to Blue Note Records for His Upcoming Leader Date

‘Samba de Maracatu’ features the multi-instrumentalist striking a Brazilian tone on several pieces

On the Drums…
2 min readJan 26, 2021

This coming February 26, drummer, mallet keyboardist, and composer Joe Chambers will release a new album as a leader, Samba de Maracatu. Chambers, who in the mid to late ’60s appeared on a bevy of notable albums on Blue Note Records — including Wayne Shorter’s Adam’s Apple and Etcetera, Bobby Hutcherson’s Components and Happenings, Freddie Hubbard’s Breaking Point, Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe, Sam Rivers’ Contours, Andrew Hill’s Andrew!!!, and Donald Byrd’s Fancy Free — returns to the famous jazz label for the first time since his 1998 album, Mirrors. (He’s released a number of albums on other labels since the ’70s.)

The Brazilian-flavored title track, which is now available to stream or download, was composed by Chambers and features him performing drums, vibraphone, and percussion with Brad Merritt on keyboards and Steve Haines on bass. Chambers asserts himself as a mallet player throughout Samba de Maracatu, particularly on the vibraphone, which he uses as the lead melodic and improvisational voice that often converses with Merritt’s piano accompaniments and solos.

While Samba de Maracatu isn’t a Brazilian jazz album in the strictest sense, Chambers utilizes various rhythms and indigenous Brazilian percussion instruments on several pieces, including the title track, which references the syncretic Afro-Brazil rhythms that were originated in the northeast region of Brazil.

You can listen to the title track of Samba de Maracatu here and preorder the album here.

Samba de Maracatu track listing, guest musicians, and composers:

  1. “You and the Night and the Music” (Arthur Schwartz/Howard Dietz)
  2. 2. “Circles” (Joe Chambers)

3. “Samba de Maracatu” (Joe Chambers)

4. “Visions” (Bobby Hutcherson)

5. “Never Let Me Go” featuring Stephanie Jordan (Jay Livingston/Ray Evans)

6. “Sabah el Nur” (Karl Ratzer)

7. “Ecaroh” (Horace Silver)

8. “New York State of Mind Rain” featuring MC Parrain (Joe Chambers/Fenton Chambers)

9. “Rio” (Wayne Shorter)