The Prêmio Visa de MPB Instrumental, in its first edition (1998), surpassed the expectations of discovering new talents in Brazilian music. In the first two places, it had André Mehmari (piano) and Célio Barros (bass). This album brings the third, fourth, and fifth collocations, who are by no means minor musicians. Hamilton de Holanda is a superb mandolinist in the best tradition of choro; Nelson Veras, an experienced violão jazzer who has been playing/recording with such jazz musicians as Aldo Romano, Jeff Gardner, and the Brazilians Raul Mascarenhas, Gilson Peranzzetta, and Robertinho Silva, also was featured with his quartet in the 13th Paris Jazz Festival in 1991 when he was 14; and Rodrigo y Castro/Fábio Torres, an excellent duo of flute and piano. Each one is a mature artist, even in their tender age -- eloquent evidence of Brazil's rich musical possibilities, unfortunately ignored as the industry in that country is almost completely turned to commercially abusive promotion of untalented "artists." The Visa initiative must be acclaimed and widely copied. Brazilian music deserves that.
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