Thursday, July 9, 2009

In review--Urban Brazil

Daniel Santiago
Metropole
Adventure Music


Composed and arranged by Brazilian guitarist Daniel Santiago, Metropole explores urban Brazil. Joined by Josuè on tenor and soprano sax, Vitor Goncalves on piano, Guto Wirtti on acoustic bass as well as, Edu Ribeiro and Marcio Bahia on drums, these musicians perform warm and breezy instrumentals. The 12 tracks with titles such as, Gregorian Samba, Salamandra and Traveling provide uplifting acoustic arrangements.

Santiago has performed in the mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda’s quintet. He has performed with internationally acclaimed Brazilian musicians, Joao Bosco, Ivan Lins, Djavan and Seo Jorge. Metropole marks the guitarist’s second recording with Adventure Music. His debut On the Way received kudos from Jazziz magazine.

Metropole has some relaxing moments, but overall, the jazz feels upbeat with some John Coltrane type solos on Letter to the World and plenty of soloing on the various instruments throughout the recording. The influences appear to be both Brazilian and American—creating the best of both worlds. Children of the War resembles a Coltrane ballad with the atmosphere of a luxurious Brazilian beach tossed in, despite the darker tones of the song’s title. Santiago’s guitar sparkles over Lopez’s saxophone and the drummer’s brushes lightly accenting the cymbals portrays the waves crashing on the shore. The song provides one of the relaxing moments on the recording.

Overall, this lovely Brazilian jazz CD takes some time to sink in which is why it has taken me a couple of weeks to actually pen a review of it. I have enjoyed listening to it as I work on my computer on various projects. It has an edge and at the same time, is non-obtrusive. It would also create a warm atmosphere for a meal with a friend or a quiet Sunday spent alone with one’s thoughts.

Adventure Music

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