The music of guitarist Ricardo Silveira flows—especially on Até Amanhã/’Til Tomorrow–flows like an interminable river into the proverbial ocean of sound where a world of music mixes and mingles. Yet the idea that he is only marginally Brazilian is anathema. Silveira’s music ripples and gushes with a forceful swagger recalling, at times, the immensity force Rio Negro. That is when his phrases and lines bubble like with liquefying, steamy splendour. At other times the guitarist may interrupt his free-flowing ideas with a dynamic that could well feature a stabbing ferocity of well-chosen single notes, triads or chords. But this only serves to frame and accentuate the fluidity of his vocal phrases.
On this album, Silveira’s musical language is intertwined with superbly arranged woodwinds, reeds and brass instruments that play staccato and legato as the score demands, with concert-hall, almost symphonic coloration. Throughout the proceedings, however, there is the persistent reminder that his beloved country is never far from his thoughts, especially when clarinets and flutes play in counterpoint with percussion that treats the ear to the maddening acceleration of the samba.
Silveira is closer in sensibility to a pianist, horn player or even a vocalist than he is in lineage to a guitarist such as say Baden Powell, but that legendary figure in the Brazilian guitar pantheon may sometimes flavour his thoughts and works indeed. Lately the guitarist also seems to thrive in the larger, more orchestral environment. With wind instruments to dapple color onto his musical landscape as he makes it Silveira emerges with stellar grace, bringing the guitar once again into the limelight it seems to miss out on in music as a lead instrument, every once and awhile. The manner in which he introduces the track, “Rocket’s Tail” is a master class in guitar melody, harmony and rhythm all rolled into one. The opening lines are repeated throughout the song and its end, with the same line, suitably embellished with reeds and woodwinds is truly spectacular.
The album shimmers throughout, each song appearing to splash and glitter where the last one left off. At times—especially between the title track and “You Can Get What You Want”—is typical of this almost skipping-stones effect that Silveira brings to the music on this album. It is measure of the uncanny ability of his musicians to also pick up on this suite like connection between the songs. His group of musicians—bassist, Romulo Gomes, drummer Andre Tandeta and the chorus of horns, reeds and woodwinds that appear throughout the record respond magnificently to the task. Add to that the “pianistic” guitar of Silveira and there appears no need for a piano at all. The magnificent humming of the instrumentation on “Dois Irmãos” and the hop, skip and jump of that track onto the next is another spectacular attempt to string the songs together like a glittering necklace.
There is something elementally the similar between Ricardo Silveira and trumpeter Claudio Roditi, both old band mates and once co-composers as well. Both musicians have melded their “Brazilian-ness” so completely into the idiom of jazz so as to make for a unique new sound—one that fuses the shuffle of the samba in with the swing of jazz so as to make their music sing with a new voice, unheard of either in the music of Brazil or the idiom of American so-called jazz music either.
Tracks: Rocket’s Tail; Até Amanhã You Can Get What You Want; Dois Irmãos; O Canto do Pico-Pau; Good To Play; West 26th; Pela Biera do Mar; Let’s Move On; Bahia Drive; Portal da Cor.
Personnel: Ricardo Silveira: guitars, horn arrangements (6, 10,11); Romulo Gomes: acoustic and electric basses; Andre Tandeta: drums; Claudio Sergio Santos: clarinet, bass clarinet (1); Marcelo Martins: flutes, tenor saxophone (1 – 9), horn arrangements (4, 6); Jessé Sadoc: trumpet, flugelhorn (2 – 11), horns arrangements (3, 6, 10); Christiano Alves: clarinet, bass clarinet (2, 8); Léo Gandelman: flutes (8), tenor saxophone (9); Jota Moraes: marimba (10); Vittor Santos: trombone (2, 5, 7 – 9), woodwinds and horns arrangements (1, 2, 5, 7 – 9).
Ricardo Silveira on the web: www.ricardosilveira.com
Review written by: Raul da Gama