Dec 16 2002

Vasco Debritto: Visions

Beautiful Verses


vascovisionsStars, air, blue, sea, love — that is how Vasco Debritto’s kaleidoscope begins in Visions. With a daring gesture, Debritto opens the CD with heavy synthesizers. Even though that is a bit dissonant with the rest of this acoustic CD, the synthesizers somehow fit the theme of this title track. The initial impact transforms into a ballad where Paulo Cesar Gomes’s piano along with ANdy Wulf’s soprano sax soften the introductory instrumentation. From that point on, we can hear and experience a different Vasco Debritto. With strong Caribbean flavor, “Águas” is a lighter tune. The infectious rhythm and Peter Saint Ledger’s brass arrangement are the key that make Debritto’s lyrics even more beautiful. This song is an example of Debritto’s affinity with nature in his lyrics. Nature plays an important role in his verses, and we’ll hear more about that in other tunes. His lyrics move and play with our emotions and tie us to nature. Pain and regrets are cleansed and taken down stream where all sadness disappears, says the lyrics in “Águas.” The next track, the beautiful waltz “A Bailarina,” the listeners enter a world of fantasy where angels and children dance happily. Peter Saint Ledger’s arrangement is one of the most beautiful moments in Visions. The right balance between strings and flute gives the songs a light an breathtaking sound. The ballerina stage comes to life. With “Já Passa da Hora,” the introduction will definitely make you draw a parallel between Vasco Debritto and Tom Jobim. The similarity is remarkable without being banal. The song is in fact a tribute to some of Jobim’s great tunes. The lyrics mention “Amor em Paz,” “Brigas, Nunca Mais” and more directly take us to “Estrada do Sol”:

Aquelas bobagens,
As brigas de amor
Me dê sua mão,
Me faz um favor
Escuta a canção que fala
Da estrada do sol.

That nonsense,
Love fights
Give me your hand,
Do me a favor
Listen to that song about
The Sun path.

Voice, arrangement and harmonies unite in a theme about love to be regained. Debritto shows his many sides here. Besides singer and songwriter, he also has a great guitar solo in this track. We’ll hear more of his guitar artistry throughout the CD. Following this track, we hear a tribute to Rio de Janeiro. The words echo someone’s feelings of being far from and missing the Marvelous City, as Rio is known in Brazil. Besides the natural beauty, the composer misses the sea, the open spaces, the Carioca (Rio native) way of walking and, of course, the woman with suntanned body. “Rio de Janeiros” is a nice bossa and one of these tunes that embellish the beauty of Rio de Janeiro. With “Pressentimento,” the live samba rhythm tries to disguise the sadness someone feels because of the end of a love affair. To be happy, the way out is to dance a samba and “let imagination take wings.” If the purity of the waltz “A Bailarina” was surprising at first, it was merely the prologue for “Longe Daqui.” Think of this song as the twin sister for Tom Jobim’s “Lígia.” The music grows from a simple arrangement of piano, bass and drums. Beautiful! Paulo Cesar Gomes is a master on piano, Kase Toro is moving on bass and Dennis Bradford gives the right beat on drums. Slowly, violins bring a certain melancholy feeling and sensuality to this composition. There is an inevitable sadness to these Quixotic verses mixing happiness and fantasy:

Me faz viajar
Mais longe que eu podia sonhar
Por onde eu nem ousava pisar
Além dos caminhos,
Além dos moinhos.

Make me travel
Farther than what I could dream of
Where I didn’t dare to set foot
Beyond the paths,
Beyond the windmills.

To wrap things up, Peter Saint Ledger (piano) does an instrumental solo on “Somewhere in Tokyo.” However, before that, Debritto once again gives us the samba “Meu Papel” followed by a tranquil duet with Romero Lubambo in “Do Amor,” where love takes center stage one more time.



Vasco Debritto
Koala Records KL-0002 (1999)
Time: 35’20”


All songs by Vasco Debritto.

  1. Visions
  2. Águas
  3. A Bailarina
  4. Já Passa da Hora
  5. Rio de Janeiros
  6. Pressentimento
  7. Longe Daqui
  8. Meu Papel
  9. Do Amor
  10. Somewhere in Tokyo