Confirming Their Exceptional Quality
After the appearance of a more than satisfying debut album, it’s always a thrill to see how things evolve. This is one of those occasions. The follow up of the self-titled first album from À Deriva invites for a speculative curiosity. The music on their first cd sounded very personal and inspired and showed a high level of professionalism. Here is the sequence: À Deriva II.
The jazz quartet from São Paulo (Beto Sporleder on saxophones and flute; Daniel Muller on piano; Rui Barossi on bass; and Guilherme Marques on drums) carefully recorded a few more of their outstanding compositions. After being on the road in this formation for about five years they gained a serious level of interactive musicianship. On À Deriva II the fruit of their long time collaboration didn’t loose its taste. On the contrary; the self-confidence with which the quartet finds its way through the complex compositions, is nothing short from impressive. This second album confirms that À Deriva has grown to its own style. A comfortable, warm but secure background gives the soloist a steady environment to dream away with inspired improvising. At moments the soloist seems to get directions from his fellow musicians to change his direction a bit. The interactivity between the instrumentalists leads to a total freedom of speech for each. And that is the trademark of this quartet of highly gifted musicians.
The opening “Vendaval” is the best illustration of this. The broken chords that pianist Daniel Muller lies down lead saxophonist Beto Sporleder through his solo, while bassist Rui Barossi provides hints for little diversions is the tenor sax solo. Drummer Guilherme Marques (what a beautiful sound his drum kit has!) supports with surprising rhythmic stimulations. The saxophone solo flows over in a hunting bass solo which on its turn opens the way for a more than tasteful, by handclap supported short drum solo.
This playing with harmonies and rhythms is at the same time the secret of the Brazilian sound in À Deriva’s work. The song is followed by another one of Beto Sporleder’s miniatures “Silêncio V” (numbers I-IV can be found on the first album). A simple theme is worked out to a climax. The dreamy atmosphere of the album continues with “Canção de Ivan,” where the composer’s flute drifts upon, at moments, impatient retort by the accompanying trio.
À Deriva clearly houses European (jazz) influences in its style. On “Bolero para Mariana” they also show an interest in Latin music styles (as suggested by the title). It’s drummer Guilherme Marques who carries the composition with his remarkable style. The way he ends the song is just wonderful. It’s hard to pick out only one highlight on this album. It’s easier to find a song that stands out for other reasons. “Rebentação” attracts special attention because we hear Daniel Muller on the Fender Rhodes piano for the only time on this album. The song is also the track that leans most against straight jazz on this album. Bassist Rui Barossi shows fun with laying down his bass lines by playing some unexpected notes in this traditional style. Sporleder solos on the soprano sax. “Vôo Livre” also follows a more traditional jazz style and gives the opportunity for a wonderful piano solo by Daniel Muller. The album closes with another Bolero, this time for Marcela. It’s more in a ballad form that this Bolero leaves the listener wishing for more music from this liberal quartet of musicians.
The gentlemen from São Paulo prove that their debut album was not a stroke of luck. With À Deriva II they are ready to establish themselves among the big names in Brazilian Jazz. You can visit the band at their web site.
À Deriva II
À Deriva Discos ADVA0005 (2008)
- Vendaval (Guilherme Marques – Rui Barossi)
- Silêncio V (Beto Sporleder)
- Canção de Ivan (Beto Sporleder)
- Bolero para Mariana (Beto Sporleder)
- Música Brega (Rui Barossi)
- Quando Sobram as Palavras (Daniel Muller)
- Rebentação (Daniel Muller)
- Nem Mesmo a Chuva (Rui Barossi)
- Vôo Livre (Rui Barossi)
- Bolero para Marcela (Beto Sporleder)