Milton Nascimento Revisited on Piano and Acoustic Guitar
Right on the heels of receiving a Latin Grammy nomination for his Noite Clara 2003 release (Adventure Music AM 1003 2), Ricardo Silveira is releasing a live recording with Luiz Avellar (piano) and special guest Robertinho Silva (percussion). With over an hour of glorious music written or performed by Milton Nascimento, Live unites three incredible artists in one unforgettable album recorded at Teatro do Leblon (Rio de Janeiro) in January of 2002.
Since releasing his 1984 Bom de Tocar album, Silveira (Rio de Janeiro, 1956) has been a constant presence in Brazilian music. He is a musician of musicians and has recorded with Milton Nascimento, Elis Regina, Ney Matogrosso and many more. Avellar (Rio de Janeiro, 1956) started his solo career in 1994 with Bons Amigos, an album featuring music by Hermeto Pascoal, Paulo Moura and others. He has also recorded with some of the best names in Brazilian music, including Carol Saboya, João Bosco, Simone, Flora Purim and dozens of others. Rounding up this dream trio, Silva (Rio de Janeiro, 1941) adds his long-standing musical experience to this project. He began his professional career back in the 1960s and has worked with both popular and jazz musicians in Brazil and abroad.
Though I am not a fan of live albums, particularly instrumental ones when audience noise interferes with sound quality, I must say I truly enjoyed this recording. Live revisits well know gems in a very intimate and lively set. To everyone’s delight, you can hear that the audience present at this recording really got into the music and performances without disturbing the artists. All you get is pure music with some applause at the end of each track. “Para Lennon & McCartney” opens the album with Silveira and Avellar taking turns and picking up from each other’s melody lines. After warming up with that number, the artists delve deep into one of Nascimento’s most well known tunes, “Maria, Maria.” Another classic that receives a beautiful arrangement is “Travessia,” which has been performed by names such as Elis Regina and Sarah Vaughan (as “Bridges”). Here “Travessia” starts with a long introduction by Silveira on his nylon guitar. He plays the entire song solo. I am certain that one could hear a pin drop in that hall. The reverence shown in this number was truly deserving. That tune is followed by Avellar in solo doing “Saudade dos Aviões da Panair (Conversando no Bar).” In particular the free solo towards the end of the track is very reinvigorating. When Robertinho Silva joins Silveira and Avellar from track six on, he gives Live a new dimension. The triangle and other percussion instruments used in “Vera Cruz,” for example, give the acoustic nylon guitar and piano a whole new environment to explore. The dynamics of the music changes to a livelier set. In the eight-minute-plus “Fé Cega, Faca Amolada,” the trio is in absolute control of the music — as they have been since the beginning — and overflows with a jubilant arrangement. This track is a perfect vehicle to such a trio of masters, and they show their stuff here one by one in featured solos that will amaze you. Without skipping a beat or losing strength, the trio continues their relentless showcase with “Cravo e Canela,” “Saídas e Bandeiras” and the closing number, “Cor de Rosa.”
Live is uplifting, stimulating and profound. Silveira and Avellar, along with Silva, chose a repertoire that is not new and made it fresh all over again. Their performances are solid.
Ricardo Silveira & Luiz Avellar
Adventure Music AM 1014 2 (2004)
- Para Lennon & McCartney (Lô Borges – Márcio Borges – Fernando Brant)
- Maria, Maria (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Nuvem Cigana (Lô Borges – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Travessia (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Saudade dos Aviões da Panair (Conversando no Bar) (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Vera Cruz (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Fé Cega, Faca Amolada (Milton Nascimento – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Cravo e Canela (Milton Nascimento – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Saídas e Bandeiras (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Cor de Rosa (Nico Assumpção)