Continuing its Piano Masters Series, Adventure Music has now released the fourth installment in the series. This time, the Fazioli piano is played by none other than Jovino Santos Neto. Readers of MB have seen a few of Jovino’s albums featured here. I first wrote about Jovino’s music 10 years ago, when he and Mike Marshall released Serenata – The Music of Hermeto Pascoal. The album has remained one of my favorite tributes to Hermeto’s music. He’s released several other albums, and among those Roda Carioca, Alma do Nordeste, Veja o Som – See the Sound, and Current stand out in his ever-growing, high quality discography. A true who’s-who in jazz and Brazilian music have recorded with Jovino. Names ranging from Mike Marshall, Paquito D’Rivera, Bill Frisell, Airto Moreira and Joe Locke to Mônica Salmaso, João Donato, Hermeto Pascoal, Joyce Moreno, and Ricardo Silveira have appeared in his albums. In a quintet, trio, or duo, Jovino is always at ease with his music.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1954, the three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto was a pianist, keyboardist, flutist and producer of Hermeto Pascoal’s group from 1977 to 1992. Since making his home in Seattle, Jovino has kept busy with concerts both locally and around the world. He also teaches at Cornish College of the Arts.
In previous recordings, Jovino Santos Neto has often or exclusively concentrated on a Brazilian repertoire. This time, although nearly half of the tracks are his original compositions, listeners are given a taste of Jovino’s artistry playing a few U.S. standards by Cole Porter, Hammerstein II-Kern, Hart-Rodgers and even a Lennon-McCartney song! The fact he is a competent pianist in such a variety of musical genres is no surprise. I especially like the subtle Brazilian treatment he gives to those songs. The opener “Blackbird” beautifully adds a refined touch of forró. “All the Things You Are” and “My Funny Valentine” are more direct in their ballad arrangements, while “What Is This Thing Called Love?” takes us back to an Hermeto-ish flavor. Beautiful! On the Brazilian side of the repertoire, the artist excels, too. “Choro Bandido” is sublime, “Samba de Uma Nota Só” (incorrectly credited in the album) is playful and “Nem um Talvez” beautifully closes this collection.
This most recent addition to the Piano Master Series is another hit for Adventure Music. Jovino Santos Neto admirably presents us with a great collection of music superbly performed.
Jovino Santos Neto
Piano Masters Series, Vol. 4
Adventure Music AM1073 2 (2012)
Tracks (all music by Jovino Santos Neto, except where noted):
- Blackbird (John Lennon – Paul McCartney)
- Semente [Seed]
- Hoping For the Day
- Crescendo [Growing]
- All the Things You Are (Oscar Hammerstein II – Jerome Kern)
- Samba Triste [Sad Samba] (Billy Blanco – Baden Powell)
- Surgindo [Sprouting]
- Choro Bandido [Bandit Choro] (Chico Buarque de Holanda)
- Do Solo [From The Earth]
- Samba de Uma Nota Só [One Note Samba] (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Descanso [Rest]
- Amanhã [Tomorrow] (Walter Santos – Tereza Souza)
- What Is This Thing Called Love? (Cole Porter)
- Bebê [Baby] (Hermeto Pascoal)
- Gosto [Flavor]
- My Funny Valentine (Lorenz Hart – Richard Rodgers)
- Sempre [Always]
- Na Batucada da Vida [In the Drumming of Life] (Ary Barroso – Luiz Carlos Peixoto de Castro)
- Muito [Much]
- Nem Um Talvez [Not Even A Maybe] (Hermeto Pascoal)