Featuring Keith Underwood, Paul McCandless, Rogério Botter Maio, Derek Jones and Caíto Marcondes
Pianist and composer Weber Iago (Rio de Janeiro, 1962) started his musical education at age seven. When it was time to attend college, he chose the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he further developed his compositional skills. It was at that university where he garnered the first honors and recognitions in his distinguished career. He graduated in 1985 and soon embarked to the United States to further his studies. Sometimes opening for Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Dianne Reeves while at the same time recording with Romero Lubambo or arranging for Cláudia Villela, Iago solidified his career both as a composer and arranger. Then in 1998, he became the musical director of the legendary Tamba Trio (originally comprised of Luís Eça, Bebeto Castilho and Hélcio Milito). While touring Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium, Iago still finds time to expand his musical horizons by embarking in the world of film scoring.
“Os Filhos do Vento” was commissioned by Peter T. Meckel in 1997. Meckel requested music for flautist Keith Underwood, who is also featured in this beautiful release. Written as a suite in four movements, “Os Filhos do Vento” makes up the bulk (32 minutes) of this brand new release by Iago. Besides Iago on piano, keyboard and voices and Underwood on flute, other artists featured here are Paul McCandless (oboe, English horn, soprano sax, bass-clarinet), Caíto Marcondes (percussion, voices), Rogério Botter Maio (bass, voices), Sanai Nakamaya (flutes), Joanna Blendulf (cello), Paul van Wageningen (drums) and Derek Jones (bass). In order to maintain the harmonious and thematic structure of the entire album, Iago then added more music. All in all, as Iago says, the entire work presented here covers classical, jazz and Brazilian music.
The opening track, “Pelo Mundo Afora,” features McCandless’s haunting oboe alternating with Iago’s beautiful piano solos. The piece has a simple arrangement for a quartet of oboe, piano, bass and percussion leaving it totally uncluttered and providing each artist with ample room to perform beautifully. Even more striking is the entire piano solo in “The Making of a Path.” Nostalgic, profound and at times melancholic, that track brings an aura of serenity thanks to Iago’s gorgeous solo. In an early example of what the central piece will be like, Keith Underwood divides with Iago the solos in “Sonata Brasileira,” a piece just for piano and flute. Movement II here is like a lover’s serenade and shows a nice contrast with the vibrant strength of the third movement. As for “Prologue,” the additional vocals by Marcondes, Maio and Iago mysteriously mix an array of percussion impressively performed by Marcondes to further elaborate the ritual passages featured in this 3-part composition. Piano is sparingly used at the beginning in this track, and what an effect that creates for the whole piece. The remainder of the album is the center piece that gave the album its name, “Os Filhos do Vento.” The three-minute “Opening” is like a tranquil stream of sounds and images. The evolution of each instrument is treated with a beautiful layer of flute solos provided by Underwood and Nakamaya while Blendulf’s cello carries the melody gorgeously. At times classical, at times jazz, this piece has some unforgettable moments. Take, for example, the Bossa Nova theme featured in “Interlude and Bossa” or the splendid Underwood flute solo in “Aura Lilás.” Shades of Mr. Jobim abound in that piece, particularly with Iago’s majestic piano playing along with flute and cello.
Os Filhos do Vento
Adventure Music AM1015 2 (2004)
All compositions by Weber Iago.
- Pelo Mundo Afora (Out There in This World)
- The Making of a Path
- I-II-I Movements
- III Movement
- Ritual I
- Ritual II
- Ritual III
Os Filhos do Vento (Children of the Wind)
Part I – Haven
- Flute Cadenza
- Interlude and Bossa
- Excellence of Being
- Aura Lilás (Purple Aura)
Part IV – Lua Nova (New Moon)
- Piano Cadenza
- Recapitulation and Afterthoughts