Two of André Mehmari’s previous works have been featured here — Piano & Voz and Continuous Friendship — but with De Árvores e Valsas, André shows yet two more fascinating sides to his music and artistry: multi-instrumentalist and composer. Though he had previously shown us those qualities, here in this new release, he spares no surprises. The album is comprised of 16 original compositions (one track is also performed as a solo), mostly instrumental, but a few with lyrics from his distinguished collaborators, namely Luiz Tatit, Sérgio Santos and Rita Altério.
The sound in De Árvores e Valsas at times led me back to Orquestra Popular de Câmera‘s magisterial self-titled debut album. However, one major difference sets this release apart. Almost all the instruments played here are performed beautifully by André himself. We are accustomed to André’s piano excellence, but in this CD he also plays flute, mandolin, clarinet, organ, percussion, drums, samplers, synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic and electric bass, violin, viola, cello, accordion, rabeca, melotron, rhodes, klavier, and also does vocals! Hopefully I have not overlooked any instruments… A few select artists also share André’s musical universe in this album. The poetic verses written by Luiz Tatit for “Modular Paixões” are sung by Zé Miguel Wisnik. Sérgio Santos himself is featured with his lyrics in “Vento Bom.” Also Mônica Salmaso features a beautiful vocalise in “O Espelho.” Special appearance by Gabriel Mirabassi (clarinet) in “Passeio” lends that track a certain Guingaesquefeel, whereas Teco Cardoso (baritone sax) in “Toada” is more jazz filled. In a few other tracks, André also features Neymar Dias and Zé Alexandre Carvalho (acoustic bass) and Sérgio Reze (drums and gongos).
The opening track is dedicated to Hamilton de Holanda’s son Gabriel. “Um Anjo Nasce” is also performed as a piano solo later in the album. Both arrangements are beautiful. Of course, most of the songs here are waltzes, as suggested in the album title, but other genres fill this release with unending audio pleasure. While “Um Anjo Nasce” is a neo-baroque aria, “Os Amores Difíceis” a romantic waltz, “Noturno Espanhol” majestically adds a Spanish acoustic guitar as well as Moorish echoes. It is one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing tracks of the album. “Mairiporã,” André explains, is nature in its fullness: tempestuous, happy, unpredictable and powerful, and so is this music. As suggested in its title, “Modular Paixões” is gorgeous in its modulations. Luiz Tatit’s verses speak for themselves: “And when delirium invades our souls, keep your calm, keep your calm. Without any precipitous acts, all souls know how to modulate passions.” In “Vento Bom,” Sérgio Santos’ verses borrow from nature and take us back to Mairiporã: the mountains, winds and vegetation. As for Mônica Salmaso’s vocalise in “O Espelho,” words are unnecessary. André says “Mônica is poetry,” and no one can deny that in yet another magical moment in the CD.
You can learn more about the artist and music in his web site. Below you can see André Mehmari performing “Um Anjo Nasce.”
…De Árvores e Valsas
Estúdio Monteverdi EM 001 (2008)
All tracks by André Mehmari, except where noted.
- Um Anjo Nasce
- Os Amores Difíceis
- Noturno Espanhol
- Modular Paixões (André Mehmari – Luiz Tatit) – w/ Zé Miguel Wisnik (voice)
- Vento Bom (André Mehmari – Sérgio Santos) – w/ Sérgio Santos (voice)
- Passeio – w/ Gabriel Mirabassi (clarinet)
- O Espelho – w/ Mônica Salmaso (voice)
- Lullaby Zuzu
- Toada – w/ Teco Cardoso (baritone sax)
- Eternamente (André Mehmari – Rita Altério)
- Um Anjo Nasce
- Ouro Preto