New Wiz Strikes Again
With each new album Jovino Santos Neto releases, he continues his amazing trajectory to solidify his position as a first-rate Brazilian instrumentalist, and at the same time he stays close to his roots as one of Hermeto Pascoal’s band members. Following his 2003 release with Mike Marshall, Serenata – The Music of Hermeto Pascoal, Jovino wasted no time in coming back even better. It is clear to see that he saved a lot of goodies for Roda Carioca (Rio Circle). This album brings nine dynamite pieces he wrote himself and two other numbers: Moacir Santos’ classic “Nanã” — with Joyce’s unmistakable vocals — and Hermeto Pascoal’s “Juvenal no Grumari.”
The musicians Jovino Santos Neto (piano, melodica, flutes, accordion, percussion) invited to share this wonderful production are right there on top of their game. On bass we have Rogerio Botter Maio — you must remember his 2000 Aprendiz release and the praises he got, including Guinga’s words “suggestive, modern, rich” — and on drums and zabumba Marcio Bahia. To add more spice to the mix, special guests featured are Hermeto Pascoal (voice, melodica, euphonium mouthpiece), Hamilton de Holanda (10-string mandolin), Fabio Pascoal (Hermeto’s son; percussion), Joyce (voice), Marcos Amorim (acoustic guitar) and Gabriel Grossi (harmonica).
Roda Carioca opens with a straightforward jazz number in which Jovino, Rogério and Marcio get down to business right from the start. “Estrela do Mar” sometimes might even make you think of “Take Five,” but make no mistake. Jovino’s piano solos make room for Rogério’s delectable bass lines along with Marcio’s commanding drums performance. Shifting promptly to a bouncy baião, Jovino alternates dazzling solos on the piano, melodica and accordion in “Marfim.” This is a non-stop Brazilian trip. From baião, we go on to an infectious gafieira in “Gente Boa.” Hamilton de Holanda’s featured 10-string mandolin is magical in this number. And what is to say about Moacir Santos’s “Nanã”? If the piece were performed only instrumentally, you would already be satisfied. Nevertheless, Jovino pushed the envelope and added the vocal pirouettes that only Joyce can do without neglecting great instrumental solos throughout this arrangement. Another visit to the Northeast of Brazil comes up with “Coco na Roda,” a nice tribute to the great Jackson do Pandeiro. The trio alone comes back in the gentle samba “Homeopatia,” with a tight melody and just the right amount of swing. Lending a hand in this number, Hermeto’s son, Fabio, takes care of the percussion. Speaking of Hermeto, the Wizard shows what he’s known for in “Juvenal no Grumari.” Performing a euphonium mouthpiece, a chewing gum wrapper, a glass of water and a melodica in this devilish arrangement, Hermeto is absolutely outstanding. The trio meets the master with no hesitation in what is probably the most amazing piece in the album. Naturally, after such a lively piece, it’s only natural that Marcos Amorim’s acoustic guitar takes things down a bit to a soothing march in “Rancho Azul.” Just don’t settle down quite immediately. With the choro “Bach-Te-Vi,” Gabriel Grossi’s harmonica solo will get you going back up again with this nice mixture of Bach and Brazilian choro.
Alluring surprises, infectious rhythms and skilled performances are present in all tracks of Roda Carioca. If you like good instrumental Brazilian music with fresh melodic lines, Jovino Santos Neto has recorded just what you’re looking for with Roda Carioca. Get in the circle and enjoy the Rio sound you have here.
For more about the album and artist, please visit Jovino Santos Neto.
Jovino Santos Neto
Adventure Music AM1023 2 (2006)
All tracks by Jovino Santos Neto, except where noted.
- Estrela do Mar
- Gente Boa – w/ Hamilton de Holanda
- Nanã (Moacir Santos – Mario Telles) w/ Joyce
- Festa de Erê
- Coco na Roda
- Juvenal no Grumari (Hermeto Pascoal) – w/ Hermeto Pascoal
- Rancho Azul – w/ Marcos Amorim
- Cerca do Macaco