Pianist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist André Mehmari (Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 1977) has been wowing audiences worldwide with his diverse musical background and proficiency. I was one of those lucky audience members to experience André’s music and performance live when he came to Austin, Texas, in April 2010. With such talent in the Musical Capital of the World (as Austin likes to be known), André also had several performances in clubs throughout the city. Everywhere he played, he would adapt his music and style to the musicians he was playing with. One night he was more classical, on another he’d be more improvisational and so on. Regardless of the venue and musical style, one thing was constant: brilliance!
Afetuoso was released in Japan in 2011 and featured the André Mehmari Trio: André on piano, Sérgio Reze on drums and Zé Alexandre Carvalho on double bass. Special guest vocalist Ivan Lins appears in his own “Mãos de Afeto,” a haunting performance of a classic Lins song. Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by André himself in his Estúdio Monteverdi (Brazil), Afetuoso also has a special meaning to me because of the recorded version of “Trio for Austin,” a piece André presented to the city of Austin when he was here in 2010.
Besides featuring four of André’s original compositions, including the tender “Que Falta Faz Tua Ternura” and the spirited “Choro da Contínua Amizade,” we also have a strong presence of the music of Clube da Esquina with a beautiful jazz suite including songs by Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta and also another representative piece by Flávio Venturini. “Suíte Clube da Esquina” is a great jazz opener and yet it is very down to earth. The arrangement fits the magnificence of the chosen songs without losing touch of their popular contents. Incidentally, for a fuller experience of André’s arrangements and performances of Clube da Esquina music, I recommend MPBaby Clube da Esquina (2008), where André arranged and performed 12 songs from the classic Milton Nascimento albums Clube da Esquina and Clube da Esquina 2. The other Clube da Esquina track in Afetuoso is the sweet-sounding “Nascente.” Although André had previously recorded this piece in the MPBaby Clube da Esquina album, here the arrangement is softer. The notes gently float in the air giving a serene image of a peaceful spring. Experience the full “Suite Clube da Esquina” in the video below.
Afetuoso continues André Mehmari’s superb production, arranging and performances as heard in his other albums. It is no surprise his releases are well received worldwide. His music is truly without borders. Whether performing George Harrison, Robert Schumann, Milton Nascimento or Dorival Caymmi, André Mehmari unites musical worlds with grace, competence and art.
Céleste CMYK-6301 (2011)
- Suíte Clube da Esquina: Clube da Esquina I (Milton Nascimento – Márcio Borges – Lô Borges) – Durango Kid (Toninho Horta – Fernando Brant) – Clube da Esquina II (Milton Nascimento – Márcio Borges) – Cravo e Canela (Milton Nascimento)
- Que Falta Faz Tua Ternura (André Mehmari)
- Veredas (André Mehmari)
- Faschingsschwank Aus Wien – Intermezzo (Robert Schumann)
- Trio for Austin (André Mehmari)
- Nascente (Flávio Venturini – Murilo Antunes)
- Sehr Langsam, From the Youth Album (Robert Schumann)
- Choro da Contínua Amizade (André Mehmari)
- Mãos de Afeto (Ivan Lins – Vitor Martins) – w/ Ivan Lins
- Pra Quem Quiser Me Visitar (Guinga – Aldir Blanc)
- Lachrimae (André Mehmari) – É Doce Morrer no Mar (Dorival Caymmi – Jorge Amado)
- Within You Without You (George Harrison)