A Jazzy Brazilian/Italian Friendship
It’s always fun when you find out that a name you often see mentioned in the credits of various albums turns out to have his/her own work, too. Bassist Bruno Migliari can be heard on a diversity of albums, ranging from Adriana Maciel to (pianist) Ricardo Leão and from Marcos Valle to rock star Roberto Frejat. Together with Italian guitarist Chester Harlan he founded the jazz/fusion band 8VB. The name sounds like a healthy multi-vitamin drink but it’s actually a term in music theory that stands for “octava bassa.” In short that notification means that the music must be played one octave lower than written.
Bruno Migliari (Rio de Janeiro) studied music at the conservatory of the UNIRIO (Federal University of the state of Rio de Janeiro; bachelor in contrabass). As bassist, arranger and producer he’s asked by musicians in all musical ranges. He also has his own (jazz) trio, leads Weather Forecast (a Weather Report tribute band) and co-leads an eleven piece band (11 Cabeças) with saxophonist Henrique Band.
Guitarist Chester Harlan (Alassio, Italy; 1972) is a graduate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston (bachelor’s degree in jazz composition and guitar), and enjoyed private lessons from (jazz) guitarists as Mick Goodrick and John Abercrombie. Part-time based in both Rome (Italy) and Paris (France), Chester Harlan has an open mind for music. The guitarist feels more than comfortable in many circumstances, whether he’s playing experimental music, funk, Argentinean music or flamenco-jazz. Being married to a Bahian woman, he also gained a healthy interest in Brazilian music. In 1998 he spent time in Brazil where he met quite a few Brazilian musicians, among which Bruno Migliari (who also has Italian blood in his veins from his father’s side). The two started their 8VB project, in which they feature their compositional talents. With the help of some of their musical friends they were able to record this attractive fusion/ jazz album.
On Amicizia (Italian for “Friendship”) the invited friends can be divided into two groups. One with Henrique Band (saxophones), Vitor Gonçalves (keyboards) and Marcelinho da Costa (drums). They accompany the leaders on most of the tracks. The opening “Me Visite em Sonhos” is like a business card for the album. Henrique Band starts the theme of the song on tenor sax, leading the way for a wonderful solo by Bruno Migliari on the fretless bass. Chester Harlan takes over with a short guitar solo after which Henrique Band ends with the theme on the soprano sax, clearly choosing his saxophones in function of the soloing instrument. The track is followed by “Gengis” which keyboard opening sounds like a reference to Eumir Deodato’s funky jazz style. An attractive electric piano solo is followed by one on the tenor sax, very melodic accompanied by fretless bass, the instrument Bruno Migliari chose to play on this album. On three tracks the line-up changes. Vitor Gonçalves stays the keyboardist on duty, assisted by Xande Figueiredo on drums. Two saxophonists complete this second band; Quito Pedrosa on alto and soprano sax and a mysterious AC on tenor sax. This band gives the music another twist. Impressive saxophone arrangements change the mood by a more traditional jazz groove. Drummer Xande Figueiredo especially shines on “5 Dias” where he’s the driving force which explodes in a little soloing. More firework by the drummer can be heard on “A Mais Dura das Cabeças”. Xande Figueiredo is certainly a jazz drummer to pay attention to. “Qual Delas É Você?” is a beautiful ballad with wonderful saxophones accompanying the theme played by Chester Harlan, who also delivers a most beautiful solo. The album ends in beauty with an acoustic duet on bass and guitar.
8VB surprises with an album that should easily travel outside Brazil. Ingenious jazz, balancing between tradition, fusion with an attractive Brazilian flavour. You can discover the music on their page at MySpace.
Delira Música DL512 (2007)
- Me Visite em Sonhos (Bruno Migliari)
- Gengis (Chester Harlan)
- Lusco-Fusco (Bruno Migliari)
- Miss Freyer (Bruno Migliari)
- Green Mood ( Chester Harlan)
- 5 Dias (Bruno Migliari)
- Amelia (Chester Harlan)
- Qual Delas É Você? (Bruno Migliari)
- East 8th (Chester Harlan)
- A Mais Dura das Cabeças (Bruno Migliari)
- Couleurs (Chester Harlan)