Brazilian rhythms and styles have become among the most respected and loved in the world. How could it possibly otherwise? We had Bonfa, Gil, Gilberto, Pascoal, and others to set the style in stone. Later Flora, Airto, and others came along, and then a number of modernizers—Azymuth, Steve Khan, et al—fusionized things for intriguing variations. Especially Khan blew the doors off into an extraordinary new dimension, one that fascinates endlessly, but, one way or another, the region's smooth, elegant, seductive, mellow airs have floated into many genres. Next Milton Nascimento drifted into the general consciousness, and a slow move back to roots took over. Mauricio is of an ilk with the much-lauded Milton resurrecting the first wave, and his band goes leagues to aid in that, producing a sound surrounded with authenticity.
Pessoa plays guitar and sings, sometimes in a trio, other times quartet, often a small "semi-symphonic" ensemble of six, seven, or more, not classical really but just full, atmospheric, seeming to hold more players than it does, stretching out to pencil in quietly exotic panoramas. Of particular poignancy is Carlos Darci's trombone in Linda, a quartet ditty of unrequited love. The mode is then perfectly mellowed out in the follower instrumental, Suadade, with Pessoa on guitar, Ze Luis on flute, and an aching melancholic string quartet weaving everything into a South American adagio, orchestral ambiance prevailing, reminding the listener of Jobim's exquisite compositions in similar mode.
Luis enters in again, this time on sax, in Summer Rain, and it becomes obvious Passoa has a flair for writing horns into his work—at some point, he's going to have to do an entirely instrumental CD, because that, I am convinced, will show his true powers in full. There's a completely different shade of narrative and coloration when he pens just for instruments. Água de Fonte, on the other hand, sounds as though it should be placed in one of the delicious Putamayo gatherum discs, those wonderful CDs brimming over with light, tunefulness, and humanity. Pessoa, I have no doubt, will soon come under their regard.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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