May 16 2006

Nicola Stilo & Toninho Horta: Duets



DuetsThough recorded in Rome, Italy, in 1999, Duets finally got its worldwide release in 2005. Intimacy is the operative mood in this soothing recording. Never has Toninho Horta’s sparse vocals blended so beautifully. Stilo’s touching flute solos are paradisiacal as Horta strums his acoustic guitar in rare form. The repertoire is as eclectic as it can be, but there is definitely a strong sampling of U.S. classic jazz pieces, such as Coltrane’s “Naima,” Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” Wood and Mellin’s “My One and Only Love,” Robin, Whiting and Chase’s “My Ideal” with Evans’s “Very Early” closing that set. The other five tracks are divided between Horta’s and Stilo’s original pieces. To get a general idea of what this album is all about, one simply needs to listen to the first track, “Naima.” The first time the melody is played, these artists take it slowly. Then, both artists let loose and truly show how much fun they are having performing these pieces. You will likely join in and agree with Horta’s own “yeah!” as he accompanies Stilo’s dazzling solo in “Naima” or “In a Sentimental Mood.” This intimate recording is full of these interplays between the two artists, as they feed freely from each other’s solos. Though the album is mostly instrumental or with occasional scat by Horta, the introduction of his very own “Bons Amigos” and Robin/Whiting/Chase’s “My Ideal” are definitely welcome breaks. As for Stilo’s own “Illusion,” the Bossa Nova feel is remarkable.



Nicola Stilo & Toninho Horta 
Adventure Music AM1020 2 (2005)
Total time: 40’16”


  1. Naima (John Coltrane)
  2. Meu Canário (Toninho Horta)
  3. In A Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington)
  4. Bibi’s Mood (Nicola Stilo)
  5. Bons Amigos (Toninho Horta)
  6. My One and Only Love (Guy Wood – Robert Mellin)
  7. Illusion (Nicola Stilo)
  8. Vento (Toninho Horta)
  9. My Ideal (Leo Robin – Richard Whiting – Newell Chase)
  10. Very Early (Bill Evans)