Committed to Excellence
Three years after he last album, Chico Pinheiro returns with a new album that is certainly making waves in the music scene. Brazilian music critic Mauro Ferreira listed “Flor de Fogo” (that’s the album title in Brazil; see cover below) in his top twenty albums of 2010. If you have been following Chico’s career since his remarkable 2003 debut Meia-Noite, Meio-Dia, you know that a musician of his caliber could only make better what was already good. There’s a Storm Inside is living proof of artist’s commitment to excellence!
With a well-balanced repertoire blending the best of American and Brazilian jazz, There’s a Storm Inside is bound to please the most discerning tastes. Except for the Gershwin opener and Stevie Wonder’s “As,” the other ten tracks were all penned by Chico Pinheiro himself with the apt assistance of some heavyweight lyricists, such as Jesse Harris (for the title track), Pedro Luís, Tiago Torres da Silva and Brazil’s great living poet Paulo César Pinheiro. As Chico explains in the liner notes, the original material in the album “was composed recently” and recorded live in the studio. This intimate atmosphere of a studio recording does lead to some great moments with all musicians interacting live with one another. As always, Chico surrounds himself with some of the best musicians in the business. A great addition to Chico’s expert guitar playing is his vocals featured in the album. He does not shy away from bringing in more of his vocals in several tracks. In addition to that, his band is comprised of familiar names from his previous albums. Fábio Torres and Paulo Calasans share the honors on piano, and Paulo also doubles on Fender Rhodes in one track. Paulo Paulelli returns on acoustic bass, whereas Marcelo Mariano plays the electric bass. Edu Ribeiro is on drums and Marco Bosco on percussion. A few other top-notch musicians complete the ensemble, including Nailor “Proveta” Azevedo on clarinet.
Then we have three very special guests. Jazz giants Dianne Reeves and Bob Mintzer make appearances in a few tracks. Dianne’s rendition of the title track is unforgettably beautiful. Here is one example of a memorable connection of U.S. and Brazilian jazz. A subtle string arrangement follows the touching piano introduction in the hands of Fábio Torres. “There Is a Storm Inside” has that quality of timelessness. After Dianne sings all verses, Chico takes center stage building his gorgeous guitar solo slowly and also giving Fábio some time to shine again on piano. It is heaven to my ears! Dianne Reeves returns twice with her supple vocals: once in the vocalise of “Buritizais” — we previously heard that track with Lenine‘s voice in Chico’s debut album — and the other in Stevie Wonder’s “As,” which receives a captivating bossa performance here. “As” also features sax and clarinet player Bob Mintzer, who also guest plays in “Mamulengo” and “Flor de Fogo.”
Another special guest featured in There Is a Storm Inside is Brazilian vocalist Luciana Alves. Her soaring vocals in duet in “Recriando a Criação” are very nice. She and Chico blend in vocally with perfection. This track also showcases Chico’s dazzling guitar solos. Great vocals and solos! Luciana returns in “A Sul do Teu Olhar,” with a magnificent trio accompaniment of acoustic guitar, piano and bass.
There is a Storm Inside is most definitely worth the wait since Chico’s last album, Nova. Chico Pinheiro is keeping a busy touring schedule in Brazil and abroad, but we are fortunate that he makes time to release a great album such as this. Here is an artist that does not sit still. He continues reaching higher and achieving greater fame as attested by the Latin Jazz Corner Awards in 2010: Best Latin Jazz Guitarist, Best Brazilian Jazz Album and Best Latin Jazz Composition (“Sertão Wi Fi”).
You can read more about this release by visiting Chico Pinheiro. Also, in the following video, you can hear Oscar Castro-Neves and Cesar Camargo Mariano talking about the album along with performances by Chico Pinheiro along with Luciana Alves, Bob Mintzer and Dianne Reeves.
There’s a Storm Inside
Sunnyside CT Music SSC 1267 (2010)
- Our Love Is Here to Stay (George Gershwin – Ira Gershwin)
- Boca de Siri (Chico Pinheiro – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- There’s a Storm Inside (Chico Pinheiro – Jesse Harris) – w/ Dianne Reeves
- Mamulengo (Chico Pinheiro) – w/ Bob Mintzer
- Recriando a Criação (Chico Pinheiro – Paulo César Pinheiro) – w/ Luciana Alves
- Flor de Fogo (Chico Pinheiro – Paulo César Pinheiro) – w/ Bob Mintzer
- A Sul do Teu Olhar (Chico Pinheiro – Tiago Torres da Silva) – w/ Luciana Alves
- Sertão Wi Fi (Chico Pinheiro – Pedro Luís)
- Um Filme (Chico Pinheiro)
- As (Stevie Wonder) – w/ Dianne Reeves & Bob Mintzer
- Valsa Nº 8 (Chico Pinheiro)
- Buritizais (Chico Pinheiro) – w/ Dianne Reeves & Otmaro Ruiz