Frustrated with boundaries and expectations, multi-instrumentalist piano-dominant Antonio Loureiro wanted to break out and have some fun, enjoy playing again to the fullest extent, regain the spontaneity too often scamped while being a serious artist, and, with Só, he certainly succeeded. I'm not even sure how to pigeonhole the CD, but I most definitely detect very strong affinities with Robert Wyatt's work and then broad swaths of Braziliana, some as though essayed by Paul Bley, then elements of ECM, and a hell of a lot shifts, change-ups, improv, and free-spiritedness.
Banco is reflected here and there, a little Steve Reich, pronounced Raymond Scott influences, not to mention some of the more demented progsters, RIO crowd, and others, especially in Lindeza, a loonily delightful tour de force through the kind of music Tex Avery and the old Warner Bros. cartoonists loved because it's so damned picaresque. And check out the art work by (the uncredited!) Leonora Weissman throughout the release, especially in the 24-page liner: that mid-booklet piano piece is something Max Ernst woulda done after getting brain-zonked by Jackson Pollock…with a hint of Piranesi gone schizophrenic!
Something this off-the-controlled-path shoulda come out on Zoho, ECM, Japo, EG, MoonJune, or any of the high-brow label enterprises valuing out of the box thinking. I'd call it 'fusion', but Só evades all categories of fusion I'm familiar with—again, that Robert Wyatt mindset blending stratospheric art with zany tomfoolery and uncategorizable elements. Though Antonio plays everything on a couple of cuts, he imports sessioneers on the rest and is somewhat like the old Henry Cow / Art Bears / etc. releases with Lindsay Cooper and crew as sieved through Jobim, Bonfa, and the South of the Border musos. Alexandre Andres is a marvelous flautist, and Loureiro sets him an enviable stage upon which to gambol as the rest of the crew crafts up a Rousseauvian jungle.
Don't try to make sense of this review, by the way, you have to listen to the CD to get it at all, and if you haven't smiled lately, Só will do the trick. The biggest grin of all will probably be found on Hermeto Pascoal's face, and you'll find the disc listed at the end of 2013 on my Top 20 for the year. It's that unique and refreshing as hell.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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