A More Than Impressive US Debut
Since he moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1998, the name of bassist André Vasconcellos (Brasília, 1979) started to show up on more and more albums. His solid reputation led to an increasing number of invitations. Among his most recent projects are participations on the latest album from Djavan, Árias, and its promotional tour. Funny enough, André’s first big project in Rio was also with Djavan (the album Bicho Solto XIII; 1999). Since then, André adapted more colors to his musical talent by working in studios and on stage with many of the Brazil’s greatest musicians. Some names on his curriculum are Hermeto Pascoal, Léo Gandelman, Nelson Faria, Paulo Moura and Carlos Malta, along with, as it seems, most MPB and Brazilian pop vocalists… The reputation of André Vasconcellos got another boost during his presence in the Hamilton de Holanda Quintet. Also, it was while touring all over the world with Hamilton, that André found the inspiration for this album. The compositions reflect the impressions André experienced in the places they visited. As the name suggests, 2 or in Brazil Dois, is the second album under his own name. He released his first album, Observatório, in 2002.
The music on 2 is high quality jazz performed in a challenging quintet format. On most tracks that means that we hear Josué Lopez on tenor sax, Marco Vasconcellos (André’s brother) on the electric guitar, David Feldman on piano, Allen Pontes on the drums and of course the leader of the quintet on the acoustic bass. And what a quintet this is! Superb! It’s jazz with muscles but with a nostalgic sensitivity at the same time. These five musicians know what it’s all about. The soloing is inventive and straight to the point. It’s a bassist’s band, no question about it, but not in the way some bassists record their album. There are no endless long solo spots with way too many notes… Here the bassist sets out the lines. André Vasconcellos gets all the respect from his fellow musicians. They perform beautiful around the leading bass lines. In return the bass gives them great support during their wonderful solos. It’s a perfect balance in the clever and often rhythmically complicated compositions. On two tracks (“The Old City Ballad” and “Puerto Madero”) the piano and guitar are played by respectively Renato Fonseca and Torcuato Mariano. The album ends beautifully with the only composition that’s not written by André. “Spiral” is written by his father Ricardo Vasconcellos; André was already intrigued by the song when he was just a kid. We hear a wonderful dedication to the work of his father (also a respected bassist).
2 is a CD to enjoy and shows once again that Brazil and Jazz connect very well together. No wonder, in a country with so many exceptionally talented instrumentalists.
André can be heard on his page at MySpace and he has his own MySpace (under construction but with music).
Adventure Music AM1065 2 (2010)
All compositions by André Vasconcellos, except where noted.
- Signals of Rain
- Balance of Relations
- The Old City Ballad
- Puerto Madero
- The Trip of the Elephant
- Spiral (Ricardo Vasconcellos)