Roberto Perera

In the Mood

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In the liner notes to Roberto Perera's In the Mood, the Paraguayan harpist makes clear his intention to make his instrument as hip and cool as any other traditional genre axe. His way with Latin and pop rhythms in the past have ensured this long before now; in fact, if not for those swaying string glissandos, it was almost possible to visualize that he was playing a very high-pitched guitar. This time, he delves even further into the smooth jazz mainstream by interweaving slightly lower-toned melodies with the guitars of genre giants Peter White, Marc Antoine, and labelmate Richard Smith. On "Take Your Time," Perera plucks along happily over the easy Brazilian flavored harmonies of White's tender strings as John Mahon shakes a few percussion instruments to guide things along. Although White weaves in and out again on his tune "Insatiable," the best part of the song finds Perera improvising over a gently soaring synth line. Antoine wrote "Hermosa," but he wisely steps aside and plays a faint harmony role only on occasion as Perera meditates easily over a cool funk groove. Likewise, Richard Smith guests on the heavily Latin "Free Fall," but takes a back seat to the interesting weavings Perera does with Greg Vail's sax as Tom Lilly's bass rolls underneath. Hopefully all the guests will increase Perera's profile, but there's no mistaking whose recording it is.

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