The Story of a Brazilian in the USA
During the time he lived in the USA, guitarist, composer Ricardo Silveira(Rio de Janeiro, 1956) gained quite some success in the fusion-jazz scene. Ricardo studied at the Berklee College of Music where he mixed his bossa nova roots with jazz and fusion. The result were more than successful albums like Long Distance (1988), Sky Light (1989), Amazon Secrets (1990) and Small World (1992). Some of them easily reached the top of the charts in the USA. Just like Storyteller, which was released in 1995, right before Ricardo moved back to Brazil. For decades he’s one of the most respected guitarists in Brazil. You can find his name among the credits on a long list of albums.
Adventure Music decided to re-release Storyteller, a good example of the work he did in the USA. The album was recorded in studios in Los Angeles with the participation of a list of local and international instrumentalists. Although the music is very West Coast fusion, Ricardo manages to include that wonderful Brazilian touch along with his amazing technical skills. After all these years the album still sounds great. Maybe there’s one thing that sounds a bit dated. On some tracks a drum machine is programmed to supposedly keep the rhythm tight. Luckily it disturbs only three songs, but one could wonder what the surplus value of such a device is when Dave Weckl, Mike Shapiro or Joey Heredia (although he’s credited as bassist…) are also on drums on those songs…
The music is fant
astic. Ricardo Silveira is a gifted composer who seems to know what people like to hear, although he claims that it’s not his motivation to compose for success. It’s just one of those extra talents. As a tasteful arranger he polishes his compositions until they sound just the way he wants. On this album the guitarist switches from acoustic to electric guitar. The acoustic guitar often recalls his bossa nova roots in a melodic way. Among the participating musicians it’s fun to hear a young Renato Neto (São Paulo) who, one decade later, found himself a job in the band of Prince. Armand Sabal-Lecco, the bassist from Cameroon, adds his recognizable bass-lines on a couple of songs. Fusion greats Alphonso Johnson and Keith Jones are the other bassists on the album. We also hear Colombian saxophonist Justo Almario, percussionists Meia Noite (or Nailton Bispo Dos Santos from Bahia, Brazil), Luis Conte (percussion, Cuba), Rique Pantoja (keyboards, from Rio de Janeiro) and Walfredo Reyes Jr (drums and percussion from Cuba). They are also responsible for the South American atmosphere on the album.
Storyteller is a wonderful album to hear again after so many years. For Ricardo’s fans it’s the most representative album from his years in the USA. For jazz fans with a sunny fusion preference this album won’t disappoint. In underlines the qualities of the great Ricardo Silveira both as a guitarist and as a composer.
You can visit Ricardo at his (for now Portuguese languaged) website.
Adventure Music AM1058 2 (2012)
All compositions by Ricardo Silveira, except where noted.
- Upon a Time (Interlude)
- Storyteller (Ricardo Silveira – Rique Pantoja)
- Island Magic
- Still Think of You
- After The Rain
- Always There
- That Day in Tahiti
- Upon a Time (Reprise)