Edson Natale: Âmbar – Os Afluentes da Música

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It doesn’t take much any longer – not after Jurassic Park – to imagine how amber could be a miraculous, almost living crucible of life on earth. It seems also in the DNA of Edson Natale – a musical alchemist – to imagine how he could divine the viscous flow of this translucent fossil resin to create musical ornaments of the most fabulous kind that tumbles and roars as a river in flood. Naturally this river would be steeped in the musical tradition of Brasil; amber is, after all a fossil resin. But once this resin comes alive in Mr Natale’s music it is no longer preternatural, but something gloriously new and manifests itself in seven [that mystical number] musical personae, each characteristic of human nature and the live-changing events that affect this nature itself.

None of this is as esoteric as it might seem. In fact, in Âmbar – Os Afluentes da Música, each song represents values called “Afluentes” which, in their most literal renditions, might connote wealth but in their most poetic form evoke the virtues. These seven “afluentes”, set to music [and spoken word], guide us [provoking our own individual humanness] on a wondrous journey, where we interact with other human beings sharing lofty ideals such as respect, acceptance, consideration, appreciation, listening, openness, affection, empathy and love towards each other; all of which is transmitted through this extraordinary music.

It is significant, I believe, that Edson Natale, in his prodigious artistry, has managed to create an artistic patina where tradition exists in a manner so accessible that is eminently relevant in today’s day and age. Increasingly albeit not surprisingly in the Brasil of today more artists are becoming not only aware of this imperative, but also putting it to great artistic use. I say “not surprisingly” because it seems that in a place such as Brasil, which is founded upon and bubbles underfoot with its African and Indigenous roots, seems to keep this alive with minimal effort as it worships at the altar of the glories of such cultural abundance.

Still, it is Mr Natale’s singular artistic genius that enables him find a way to make this come alive in the poetry of his music. His thought-provoking and eloquent arrangements – bolstered by his articulate performance on the violão, he has turned this Âmbar into a musical metaphor of significant proportions. Directing the artistry of a stellar cast of musicians – among them clarinetist Nailor Proveta, the incomparable Vanessa Moreno, accordionist Toninho Ferragutti, bassists Ana Karina Sebastião, Ronaldo Gama and Paulo Brandão, and a host of other virtuosos – Mr Natale holds us, his listeners, rapt with his mesmerising music. With each piece unraveling; peeling away layer upon layer of amber to give up its mysteries we find ourselves experiencing the idiomatic beauty of Mr Natale’s extraordinary musical epic as revealed in Âmbar – Os Afluentes da Música.

Track list – 1: Afluente das Diferenças; 2: Afluente dos Lugares; 3: Afluente do Futuro; 4: Afluente das Contradições; 5: Afluente das Intuições; 6: Afluente dos Afetos e das Festas; 7: Afluente das Palavras

Personnel – Edson Natale: compositions, voice [4, 6, 7], violão and tenor violão [5]; Nailor Proveta: clarinet [1, 3]; Hugo Hori: flute [2]; Beatrice Pacheco: soprano saxophone [3]; Danilo Rocha: alto saxophone [3]; Leonardo Brandão: baritone saxophone [3]; Toninho Ferragutti: accordion [1]; Webster Santos: mandolin [2]; Gustavo Ruiz: guitar and SH-2000 synthesizer [4], electronic tambura [5]; Tuco Marcondes: banjo [5]; Manoel Cordeiro: guitar [6]; Lincoln Antonio: piano [6]; Ana Karina Sebastião: contrabass [2]; Ronaldo Gama: contrabass [3]; Paulo Brandão: contrabass [7]; João Taubkin: guembri [5]; Maurício Badé: congas [1, 7], maracas e bolachão [1], percussion [2, 3, 5, 6] and ganzá, guiro, cuíca and gonguê [7]; Alex Braga: violin [2, 5]; Paulo Freire: viola [4]; Patrícia Ribeiro: cello and cello arrangements [4]; Vanessa Moreno: vocals [2, 3, 6]; Ná Ozzetti: vocals [5]; Sérgio Vaz: vocals [7]; Mauricio Pereira: keyboards and vocals [7]; Elizah Rodrigues: vocals [7]; Salloma Salomão (Portuguese), Debora Pill (German), Gabriel Natal (Greek), Danilo Salgado (Portuguese and English), Fernando Velazquez (Spanish) and Fernanda Ramone (Chinese): vocals “cada lugar é, a sua maneira, o mundo” [2]

Released – 2020
Label – Spin Music [Spin 013]
Runtime – 38:21

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