Sergio Pereira: Nu Brasil

Sergio Pereira - Nu Brasil
BUY THIS ALBUM ON AMAZON.COM

For the carioca, Sergio Pereira, playing on the Portuguese word “Nu” as the title of his album Nu Brasil and then following it up with a wonderful play on strings to make it all come alive must be the easiest thing in the world. After all he is a strings player himself, playing what Brasilians call violão in the grand tradition of the long line of Brasilian guitarists which he not only follows but embellishes enormously. Mr Pereira has also taken a leap into the great unknown, so to speak, with music that has complex orchestrations, thereby mixing the traditions of men like Laurindo Almeida and Baden Powell with those of Heitor Villa-Lobos. A bold move indeed as Mr Pereira has not attempted before. His debut album, Swingando – although it featured a constellation of Brasilian superstars was a small ensemble effort. But this recording is another matter altogether…

Not only has the core group of guitar, piano, bass and drums together with percussion been expanded to include brass, reeds and woodwinds, but the unique feature is the addition of strings on two important – “East River” and “Per Te”. Also as before the voice emerges as a featured instrument and because Mr Pereira has employed an array of artists here he has been able to create an enormous palette of colours and textures. He sets the tone for this with “Down South” on which he sings in his floating style but then springs a surprise with Devin Malloy’s extraordinary rap that not only livens up the proceedings but adds a fabulous dimension to the music that adds a broodingly percussive tumbling groove to the music of this piece.

Elsewhere more surprises and intense harmonic pleasures abound rising to a crescendo on “Nu Brasil” with the gorgeously voice of Viktorija Pilatovic, whose soprano is pure, lithe and high-sprung. Harmonising her lead lines by doubling up on vocals and also with the horn of Voro Garcia is pure magic. The inimitable Paula Santoro appears on “Arpoador” and “Trem do Tempo” and for these two pieces no finer vocalist could have possibly been found. Miss Santoro is breathtaking. Her vocals grace both works floating and weaving with sublime clarity, precision and feeling. The rest of the group accompanies her with exemplary beauty. But it is pianist Baptiste Bailly who is exceptional here as elsewhere as is drummer Mauricio Zottarelli, who obviates the need for complicated percussion, sounding like a whole percussive ensemble with a simple drumset.

Of course neither of these vocalists are alone in taking one’s breath away. The incomparable Sergio Santos on “Greta” does much of the same. And so does the brilliant Helio Alves with his extraordinary pianism on “Sambinha” and “14 Clicks Away”; as do the ingenious harmonica player Gabriel Grossi on “Sambinha” and “Lascia Stare”, and the great Spaniard, Perico Sambeat offers a superlative mellow account of the music of “14 Clicks Away”. But it is Sergio Santos whose energising precision and passionate performances throughout who makes this album altogether special. His breathtaking articulation, and warm intonation adds colouristic brilliance to the music making this album something truly special.

Track list – 1: Down South; 2: East River; 3: Arpoador; 4: Greta; 5: Nu Brasil; 6: Per Te; 7: Sambinha; 8: Trem do Tempo; 9: 14 Clicks Away; 10: Lascia Stare

Personnel – Sergio Pereira: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals (1) and percussion (1, 7); Ales Cesarini: contrabass (1 – 6, 8 – 10) and vocals (1); Mauricio Zottarelli: drums and vocals (1); Baptiste Bailly: piano (1 – 3, 5, 6, 8, 10) and vocals (1); Alex Leon: soprano saxophone (1); Devin Malloy: rap (1); Patricia Garcia: violin and viola (2, 6); Sandra Villora Arenas: cello (2, 6); Paula Santoro: voice (3, 8); Sergio Santos: voice (4); David Gadea: percussion (4, 8); Oriente López: flutes (4, 8); Viktorija Pilatovic: voice (5); Voro Garcia: trumpet (5), flugelhorn (6) and string arrangements (2, 6); Marcus Teixeira: electric guitar (7); Ariel Ramirez: electric bass (7); Gabriel Grossi: harmonica (7, 10); Helio Alves: piano (7, 10); Perico Sambeat: alto saxophone (9)

Released – 2018
Label – ZOHO Music (ZM201808)
Runtime – 52:09

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

11,395FansLike
1,594FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,857FollowersFollow
5,697FollowersFollow
165SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more