Ronald Jackson -

Veteran saxophonist/flutist Mary Fettig is a name known to many of the great icons in the Latin and jazz corners. Having played with such brilliantly talented luminaries as Tito Puente, Roy Obiedo, Stan Kenton, and Flora Purim, Fettig's resume is one at which to marvel and behold. Her latest effort, Brazilian Footprints, is a smooth, delicate, and exotic trip to the South American wonderland.

There is such fluidity and tender grace in Fettig's style that one would have to be absolutely tone deaf or so very outside the realm of good jazz as to not be able to appreciate this quality production. There are tunes for everyone here. If sultry rhythm is what you seek, the opening track, "Take the RR Train", written by pianist Marcos Silva (as are many of the tunes here), will definitely whet your palate. Then, there are melodic tunes like the gentle melt-in-your-ear "Nova" for those seeking the mood. Never is there a moment in this set where any of the tunes venture outside the Brazilian imagery that this classy jazz backdrop brings with it. Cheery, subdued in places, but always as fresh and refreshing as the morning sun.

Brazilian Footprints is truly a mood-enhancing album as exotic as a Brazilian sunset and worthy of more than a little your time.

Brad Walseth -

This may be the most joyous and purely listenable recording of the year. Mary Fettig is an incredibly talented musician on the alto and soprano saxes and flute. The first female member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, The Bay Area based Fettig has recorded with Kenton, Tito Puente, Marian McPartland, Flora Purim, Nnenna Freelon and many more, along with television and movie soundtrack work. On this her third recording as leader she has surrounded herself with an impressive group of musicians to help her achieve an exploration of Brazilian music that is melodic, but not loungey, exciting, but not at the expense of warping the basic beauty of the Brazilian sound. It just sounds good.

Covering some mostly lesser-known Brazilian standards ("No Balanco do Jequibau," "Jequie," "Neguinha," "Inspiracao na Esquina"), as well as some wonderful new original pieces written by keyboardist Marcos Silva and one by guitarist Chico Pinheiro, the results are lush and engaging. The musicianship is exceptional: Fettig, Silva, Pinheiro and amazing 6-string bassist Scott Thompson provide the solos, while Silva, Thompson, drummer Celso Alberti, Alex Calatayud and Micahel Spiro provide the rhythm base. With careful attention given to the very tasteful arrangements by the in-tune musicians and the clean recording by Bruce Mishkit, "Brazilian Footprints" is the musical equivalent of a stroll on the beach on a sunny day.

Claudio Roditi and Ricardo Silveira's "The Monster and the Flower" is also covered and is a highlight to end the album, but Silva's originals really shine as well. Fettig shows her skills throughout and is the centerpiece and primary melodic instrument, whether on shimmering sax or gracious flute. Thompson's bass explosions are a true treat, and special attention should be given to singer Claudia Villella, who combines the vocal timbre of the late great pop singer Karen Carpenter with a Latin free-floating wordless vocal take on Silva's gorgeous "Waterfalls." But despite the wonderful playing throughout, the solos fir the context, and the true stars of the show are the songs themselves, which is how it should be anyway. Highly recommended for Brazilian Jazz fans or anyone looking to put a contented smile on their face.

Edward Blanco -

No question about this one, "Brazilian Footprints" is one of the best recordings of the year. Mary Fettig sculpts a monster recording of Brazilian rhythms that is also jazzy to the core, sure to guarantee many spins and draw critical acclaim from aficionados and jazz audiences everywhere.

Chris Spector - Midwest Record

MARY FETTIG/Brazilian Footprints: At home on sax and flute, Fettig's chops have taken her on a long, satisfying journey from Stan Kenton to film work to her own work. Literally having played everything with everybody, she now points her flute to her love of Brazilian music and brings it home with all the slow burning heat and none of the cliches. One of those sets that easily walks the line between tasty and tasteful, this is what upscale jazz should look to if it wants to get it right.(F Major)

John Book - The Run Off Groove

Mary Fettig has been a musician for most of her life, always presenting herself in fine form, and on Brazilian Footprints (F Major) she gets to show her love of the samba and bossa nova through her work on the flute and saxophone.

D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Newsletter

Mary plays flute and sax with a beautifully refreshing sound. This is most suitable for the bossa nova beats of Brazilian Footprints. Fettig is joined by a very talented team led by Marcos Silva (keyboards) who produces, arranges and composes several of the tracks. We found all ten selections to be relaxing and enjoyable. You can mix this CD into your entertainment rotation. Your guests will appreciate your wonderful taste!

Daniella Thompson on Brazil