Yuri Popoff

Era So O Começo

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In his debut solo album, the experienced bassist Yuri Popoff brings the sonorities of his Minas Gerais, and the Northeastern influences of the neighboring Bahia, in a mix where the contemporary meets the ancient, the erudite embraces the popular, and the sophistication is hidden under the simple. Beautiful melodies serve as vehicles for beautiful if economic improvisations of accomplished professionals like Carlos Malta (soprano sax), Cliff Korman (piano), Marcio Montarroyos (trumpet), and Yuri himself, among others. While some songs are typical commercial ballads, like "Romance," dense depths are met in the only vocal track "Era Só Começo o Nosso Fim" (sensitively sung by Selma Reis, at ease in her gambit). Villa-Lobos is evoked in samba format in "Canto do Sertão das Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4," while "Vertentes" continues in the same beat, with a beautiful harmonica solo (William Galison). The third-stream "Russia" brings a multitude of references within which the acoustic guitar solo is the main attraction. The album is not adventurous, but appeals to a broader audience interested in world instrumental pop, a category in which this release is one of the most sophisticated and juicy examples.

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