I reviewed Marcos Amorim Trio’s Revolving Landscapes in 2008 and I was impressed with the trio’s (Jorge Albuquerque-bass and Rafael Barata-drums) laidback approach. Shimmering cymbals recalled ocean waves while the bass anchored the guitars’ flights of fancy. Portraits which marks Amorim’s fourth album with Adventure Music, sounds more laidback than the previous recording. Again, the guitars (both electric and acoustic) set out exploring Brazilian jazz terrain while the bass and drums conjure images of Rio de Janeiro’s sumptuous beaches.
Amorim has captivated the press with his compositions and performances. And certainly he possesses a rich imagination in the soundscapes he creates with his guitar. While you will hear guitar solos here and there, Amorim doesn’t come off as the flashy type, but a musician who prefers to integrate his guitars with the rhythm section. His style is as the press notes cite, “elegant and graceful,” with nothing overstated or understated. The music feels uplifting, hopeful and relaxing and for those of you seeking a pleasant musical journey pop this recording into your player.
Maracatù picks up the tempo slightly and the musicians engage in a passionate musical exchange, probably working up a bit of a sweat. The title track slows the pace and creates a romantically-charged atmosphere (well, this is sexy Brazilian music). The stunning guitar work on this song promises to entice jazz and other music reviewers and aficionados. Bantu departs rhythmically with the drums playing a greater role and the guitar playing a syncopated and catchy rhythm. Daniel combines elements of Brazilian and American jazz resulting in a sunny mood.
I’ve had to listen to Portraits several times before reviewing it. My mind tends to drift and wander when I listen to music and in the case of this recording I lost myself so completely in the music that I forgot I was supposed to be reviewing it! Not only that, I find the CD soothing at a time of family crisis. I would even call the arrival of two Brazilian recordings (at my post office box recently) a god send. Yes, I find this music relaxing, healing and absolutely stunning. You won’t get a higher recommendation than that.