This disc is part of a series of four reissuing performances of Ernesto Nazareth's music by Brazilian pianist Arthur Moreira-Lima. The original recordings apparently appeared in the 1970s. The sound is reasonable for that era, but there's no documentation at all other than a tracklist and some anti-copying warnings in Portuguese. The newcomer to Nazareth might wish to choose a disc that gives a bit more background on this fascinating and underrated composer, but recordings of his music are not abundant, and the music heard here is thoroughly enjoyable. Think of Nazareth as occupying a position somewhere in the middle of a triangle formed by Chopin, Scott Joplin, and the often nameless but worship-worthy early pioneers of tango. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether he was directly influenced by ragtime or made similar rhythmic discoveries on his own; probably each process occurred to some extent, and you can puzzle out the relationships for yourself in a piece like Bambino (Você Não Me Dá), track 1, which is designated a tango. Whether working in the form of a tango, polka, waltz, or any of several local Brazilian dances, Nazareth often pushes the music just slightly away from the salon and in the direction of classical complexity. It would have been fascinating to see what might have happened if Joplin had gotten to know his music. His triple-meter pieces are especially free in spirit; rooted in the waltz, they place the accents all over the place. Try out Meigo, track 11, for some especially subtle sets of three, played to the hilt by Lima. Recommended, especially for those who've heard a bit of Nazareth and want to know more.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim