The Good Old Days
The career of guitarist Ricardo Silveira is a rock solid one. As an all-round musician he has performed on countless (recording) dates ranging from MPB, Bossa Nova, fusion, jazz, pop, … Ricardo Silveira (Rio de Janeiro, 1956) spent a few years in Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music, where a basis was formed for his future career. In New York he absorbed the jazz scene and certainly didn’t forget the classics: Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Pat Martino, Grant Green and other guitar legends who often found comfort in an organ trio setting. Back in Brazil, Ricardo soon became one of the country’s most wanted guitarists. Most of the time he can be found in the studio or on tour with the finest vocalists in Brazil. But yet, there’s still time for a solo career. Recently we heard him in duet with Vinícius Cantuária (RSVC) and also with guitarist Roberto Taufic (Atlânticos) And now he surprises us with this extraordinary double-album: Organ tRio.
Back to basics: the tradition of the legendary jazz organ trios. A simple line-up: guitar, Hammond B-3 organ and drums. How nostalgic can one get? To add to the nostalgia, the CD package breathes the air of the old jazz labels. In fact: by looking at the old fashioned CD cover, you can already figure what musical sentiment you can expect. The ever attentive package designer Maria Camillo did a respectful job with it!
The first notes of CD 1 confirm it: we’re in for two hours of fine authentic jazz. Ricardo already found a partner in crime with drummer Rafael Barata (Rio de Janeiro, 1980). The drummer seems to be everywhere in the music scene of Brazil. At his young age he performed with a who-is-who in Brazilian music. He was also house drummer in Rio’s premier jazz club, Mistura Fina, where he accompanied a long list of visiting international jazz stars. The third member of the tRio came by surprise. Canadian organist Vanessa Rodrigues introduced herself to Ricardo via email. Because she mentioned that trumpeter Randy Brecker gave her Ricardo’s email address, he got interested and soon discovered the exceptional talent of the organist. She had recently relocated in Rio which made it easy to make Ricardo’s wish come true: an organ trio!
CD 1 was recorded in 2012 in a studio in Niterói, across the bay from Rio. To get in the right mood, the album’s opener is “Cochise,” by Latin music composer Ray Santos (1928, New York). This song ruthlessly brings us back to the atmosphere of the sixties and the seventies when the sound of Hammond B3 organs happily whirred through the air of smoky jazz clubs. Vanessa Rodrigues proves to be the right choice; she’s able to recall the sound of organ traditionalists.
The repertoire covers a wide variety of international styles that were popular in that era; soul jazz, groovy jazz, Bossa Nova, Afro-samba. And most of all some beautiful ballads, like the standards we find on disk 2 (the live recordings). “Body and Soul” (1930, music by Johnny Green) and “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (1941, Gene de Paul and Don Raye) show their immortality in the long renditions by the trio. But there are also many Brazilian compositions that show an unmistakable jazz competence. Along with a few originals by Vanessa and by Ricardo, this set of CDs sounds more than interesting from note one till the very last one. It’s funny to hear to hear Tom Jobim‘s “Polo Pony,” a relatively unknown composition of his. He composed “Polo Pony” in 1970 for the movie “The Adventurers,” but it’s seldom recorded. After the surprising inclusion of the song on Mario Adnet’s Jobim Jazz album (2007, also reviewed here on MúsicaBrasileira) it’s good to hear it here again as a true up-tempo jazz classic.
Ricardo Silveira easily adjusts his guitar style to the songs he’s playing. He’s on top of everything, like we’re used to from him. It’s a joy to hear him stretch out in timeless solo’s which underline his mastership on the instrument. Guess there’s not much more to say than to add a strong advice to listen to this wonderful CD set. To be filed under “very, very good”!
Adventure Music AM1089 2 (2014)
CD 1 (Studio recordings)
- Cochise (Ray Santos)
- A História de Lily Braun (Edu Lobo – Chico Buarque)
- A Medida do Meu Coração (Ricardo Silveira – Pedro Luís)
- Batucada (Marcos Valle – Paulo Sérgio Valle)
- Canto de Ossanha (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Memphis Underground (Herbie Mann)
- No Regrets (Vanessa Rodrigues)
- Reflexões (Ricardo Silveira)
- Amazon River (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
CD 2 (Live recordings)
- Samba e Amor (Chico Buarque)
- Body and Soul (Johnny Green – Edward Heyman – Frank Eyton – Robert Sour)
- Polo Pony (Tom Jobim)
- Francesa (Ricardo Silveira)
- You Don’t Know What Love Is (Gene de Paul – Don Raye)
- One-Eyed Monster (Vanessa Rodrigues)
- Eu e a Brisa (Johnny Alf)