This solo album was recorded before Carlos Zingaro developed an interest in interactive electronics. His playing has rarely sounded this naked and immediate, making Solo a must-have for anyone who finds solace in the music of this great violinist and improviser. The 13 short pieces included here (for a total time of 44 minutes) feature Zingaro duetting with the monks of the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal. Chosen for its wide, well-defined acoustics, this location amplifies and multiplies the violin in ways that occasionally feel electronic in nature. It is hard to believe that there is only one violinist in "Shikata Ga Naï," a fast-paced piece. In "Enfim" and "Square Through a Spiral," Zingaro lets us appreciate the acoustics by leaving long gaps between his single bowed notes, waiting for each one to come back to him before sending another one to touch the farthest point of the ceiling. "Spinal Levels" shows a lot of lyricism. Despite the fact that Zingaro is a free improviser, these pieces rarely sound abstract or cold. Instead they show a certain concern toward the listener's comfort, and even in the virtuosic "Saida," the man is careful not to lose sight of Beauty (with a capital B). Solo catches Zingaro in one of his finest hours, and remains a fascinating listen.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture