Hamilton de Holanda Quintet – Brasilianos 2 – Adventure Music AM 1055 – CD: 61:48; DVD (PCM stereo): 72:42 *****:
If you haven’t had the pleasure of discovering Hamilton De Holanda and his quintet, “Brasilianos 2” is the perfect way to find out about what is happening to jazz in South America through one of the best musicians living and working in Brazil today. “Brasilianos 2” is also a flat-out stunning achievement and deserves a spot on every jazz enthusiast’s shelf.
De Holanda is a virtuoso on the Brazilian mandolin, the ten-string bandolim, and his quintet is made up of first-rate musicians. Back-up and rhythm is handled by Marcio Bahia on drums, Daniel Santiago on guitar, Thiago Espirito Santo on electric bass on the DVD, and André Vasconcellos on electric bass on the CD. De Holanda shares the lead playing with Gabriel Grossi on harmonica, who is also an amazingly gifted performer. Together, depending on the effect they’re after, they trade off solos, play in unison, or provide harmony to each other. When De Holanda really cuts loose on a solo, he sounds like a fresh take on the free-wheeling bebop riffs of Parker and Gillespie. When heart and soul are needed, the band provides it, and when energy and explosive passion is called for, they deliver it by the truck-load.
While the CD is a very fine recording, and I would have been happy with just that, you also get a pro-quality, live concert videotaped in France in 2008. Instead of getting a DVD that is just a live version of the CD, you get something entirely different. Included on the DVD are two solo numbers that just blew me away, “Nuit en Coutances” and “Adios Nonino.” It is in these two numbers that De Holanda’s virtuosity is fully demonstrated to jaw-dropping results.
“Brasilianos 2” is a thoroughly modern and exceptionally accomplished musical performance. If you are interested in seeing and hearing what other cultures can bring to jazz, this CD/DVD combo beautifully succeeds. Highly recommended.
CD TrackList: Ano Bom; O Mundo Não Acabou; Paz, Paes; Descue O Anjo; Virtude Da Esperanca; Tamanduá; Estrela Negra; Ajaccio; Carolina De Carol; Amor, Saudade Amor; Rafaela; A Vida Tem Dessas Coisas
DVD TrackList: Pedra da Macumba; Baião Brasil; Ano Bom; Paz, Paes; Tamanduá; Estrela Negra; Nuit en Coutances; Adios Nonino; Carolina De Carol; Ponteio; Joyce; A Vida Tem Dessas Coisas
– Hermon Joyner