Eva Scow & Dusty Brough – Sharon By The Sea – Adventure Music AM 1049 2, 41:27 ****:
I first heard Eva Scow play the mandolin on David Grisman’s 2005 effort, Tone Poets. She was 17 when that came out. Though starting out studying classical piano and violin, Scow went on to play bluegrass and then fell in love with Brazilian choro, absorbing the sounds, colors, and rhythms of the music during a visit to Brazil when she was in high school.
Sharon By The Sea is a reissue of sorts, since Eva Scow and Dusty Brough originally did a small release of this recording on their own label in 2007. The current version indicates a move up to Mike Marshall’s record label, Adventure Music, which usually promotes Brazilian music (especially choro music) and musicians. While only one of the tracks here, “Pica Pica,” is actually a traditional song from Brazil, most of the numbers written either by Scow or Brough, or both, retain a Brazilian flavor to them. For the most part, you could categorize this music as acoustic jazz, though it never leaves its Brazilian roots far behind.
The playing from both Scow on bandolim, the Brazilian mandolin, (and also electric mandolin, violin, and electric piano) and Brough on nylon-stringed guitar (and electric guitar, acoustic bass, and cumbus, a Turkish stringed instrument that resembles a small fretless banjo) is light and facile, coaxing the maximum amount of emotion and vigor out of their instruments. To be sure, this music swings with some measure of energy, but it swings lightly—not that this is a bad thing. This is music that is easy to enjoy and a pleasure to listen to. Impressive though Scow’s playing is, and sometimes it truly is breathtaking on this recording, I get the feeling that Scow’s abilities on the mandolin haven’t even come close to reaching their limits. Sharon By The Sea gives us all a glimpse into the future of the mandolin and Eva Scow, and that future is bright indeed. I can hardly wait until her next recording. Recommended.
1. Bird With Beastlike Qualities
2. Theoretically Speaking
5. Pica Pica
6. Best in Show
7. Sharon By the Sea
8. Gypsy Wagon CRASH
9. Sketches of Terry
10. Gateway Chronicles
– Hermon Joyner