Alemao

De A a Z

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This album is the result of the fertile association in a series of European tours, including a live recorded track at France's Perpignan National Theatre of two excellent guitarists from two different generations: Alemão, a distinguished performer, active accompanist for great names of Brazilian music since the dawn of bossa nova, and Zezo Ribeiro, actually a violonista, a talented younger musician who also has been playing with national and international names such as former Police guitarist Andy Summers.

Exploring longtime classics such as "Abismo de Rosas" (Américo Jacomino), the duo exposes a new vision of it, with a modern re-harmonization that doesn't conflict with the longing, romantic character of that valse. Jobim's "Wave" begins with an inconspicuous ad-lib intro, just to get into in-tempo feel with the universal melody being delivered with no surprises, just subtle bossa comping and creative if not revolutionary improvising. Ernesto Nazareth's "Odeon" is straightforwardly played by Ribeiro in the way the arrangement was transcribed from the original piano part, and Alemão invents counterchants over it. "Valsa do Beco" (Alemão) receives a more percussive treatment from Ribeiro, with his right-hand comping enhancing the rhythmic possibilities of the 6/8 time signature with exciting effects. The classic frevo "Vassourinhas" (Rocha/Ramos) is presented after a subtle introduction with all its propelling qualities translated efficiently by the duo's superb balanço. Chopin's "Nocturne" in toada rhythm evokes a lullaby quality until it becomes a bossa nova. Jobim's "Samba de Uma Nota Só" ("One Note Samba") is delivered up-tempo with swinging samba paroxysms. "To My Friend" (Alemão), a complex, angular melody in minor key over a slow bossa rhythm, has a haunting quality. "Mal Passado" (Alemão) is a highly percussive samba theme designed to expose (successfully) the duo's virtuosity, both in comping and improvising.