Nelson Faria

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Ioio Review

by Alvaro Neder

Debut album by Nelson Faria, a jazz guitarist who has been recording with Cássia Eller, Baby do Brasil, Carlos Lyra, Toninho Horta, and many others. He has originals and also renditions of Villa-Lobos's pieces and Milton Nascimento's and Ian Guest's songs. The album opens with the energetic baião "Baião Por Acaso" with inspired solos. "Antes Tarde" is a complex melody over a subtle samba groove. "Tijucana" is a duet with soprano saxophonist Nivaldo Ornelas, with Nelson playing strings in the synth guitar, which may sound dull to some ears. "Prelúdio No. 3" (Villa-Lobos) is a recreation of the piece by the genius of Brazilian music, where the harmony and arrangement were modified to make possible some jazz inventions in the electric guitar. When Nivaldo comes again with his sax, the same ambience of the previous track is brought again -- with a somewhat static result. But the next song, a busy, modern choro, is a welcome change of pace. The song has the participation of Zélia Duncan (when she was still Zélia Christina). Another beautiful, subtle, and complex theme is "Caraça" (Ian Guest), performed without improvisations. Swinging sambas are presented in "Só Te Esperando" and "Buxixo" (also heavily fusion-influenced), and "Ioiô" is a contagious frevo. The album also had Cássia Eller, Carlos Malta, Adriano Giffoni, Paulo Braga, and other musicians. Nelson keeps an intense feel in his cohesive improvisation, being one of the most important contemporary jazz guitarists in Brazil.

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