Oct 30 2007

Hamilton de Holanda: Concert Review

Zuiderpershuis – Antwerp, Belgium


Hamilton de HolandaEverywhere Hamilton de Holanda goes, he leaves behind traces of adoration. The mandolin player and composer from Rio (1975) is gifted not only with an amazing technique; he also has a noticeable talent to use that dazzling technique in function of the music he plays. During solos he takes the freedom to tempt fate by running against and ahead the rhythm of the song. On the other hand, when other band members are soloing, he quietly adds the needed chords on which the solo can build up. Hamilton de Holanda has a lot to say. With a new album on the shelves already (Íntimo), he’s still touring with the music of his previous album, Brasilianos. That tour also brought him to Europe this fall.

On October 12th Hamilton and his quintet stopped in Belgium at the wonderful Zuiderpershuis (Antwerp). The place was packed with a mix of people. Of course Brazilian music lovers, but also jazz fans, world music addicts and people who just showed up with their season tickets… It says enough that no one left before Hamilton and his superb quintet played their last notes, an hour and a half after the show started. The quintet was the same as on the album Brasilianos; the music was jazzier then on its studio version though. Guitarist Daniel Santiago can be seen as the musician around whom the music gets shape. He lays down the harmonies and the basic rhythms in a most unselfish way. When given the solo spot Daniel proved to be a gifted soloist too.

Gabriel Grossi & Hamilton de Holanda

Bassist André Vasconcellos performs in the same line with a self confident but unobtrusive style. With a few short but beautiful solos on his electric instrument, he also left his mark on the concert. Gabriel Grossi must have felt extra inspired, performing in the country of the great Toots Thielemans. On his 64-voice chromatic harmonica, Gabriel stole attention with a few impressive stretched out solos. Drummer Márcio Bahia (Niterói, 1958) was the senior member of this very young band (without Márcio the average was well below 30 years). He too delivered a perfect performance with his original touch, a driving force alternated with subtle percussion inspired drumming. His solo on the encore “Hermeto Is Playing” (dedicated to the great Hermeto Pascoal) was of a special quality. Between all these highly talented musicians Hamilton felt as a fish in an ocean of music. Without any problems Hamilton could do his own thing for us to enjoy. His solos are a feast of originality and technique. He gets inspiration from a diverse range of influences and styles and merges that into the unique and recognizable Hamilton de Holanda way of playing. This is at moments funky, then jazzy, at other moments traditional and sometimes romantic. Success is guaranteed when he and his quintet are on stage. Don’t miss them when they’re around!



Hamilton de Holanda Quintet 
Concert Review – October 12, 2007

 André Vasconcellos
Daniel Santiago
 Márcio Bahia
 Gabriel Grossi
 Hamilton de Holanda