Jovino Santos Neto – Veja O Som / See the Sound – Adventure Music AM1063 2 – (2 CDs) 56:35, 49:37 *****:
The concept of this CD set, “See the Sound,” is simple and elegant. Pick a bunch of musicians that match your own high level of musicianship and expressiveness—musicians for whom you have a great deal of respect—and allow the musical interactions between each pair to be the focus of each song. For Jovino Santos Neto and his guests, the results are sublime.
The CDs are separated by where they were recorded. On Disc 1, all were recorded in various locations in the U.S., while all the tracks on Disc 2 were recorded in either Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, Brazil. With a couple of exceptions, the guest musicians can be separated out the same way—Disc 1 has U.S. musicians and Disc 2 has Brazilian musicians. Although, Disc 1 does include guests like Danilo Brito and Airto Mereira from Brazil and David Sanchez from Puerto Rico.
I’m a big fan on Brazilian jazz, so it came as no big surprise that nearly every track on these two CDs was a delight. Standout tracks include “Santa Morena” with Mike Marshall, where Marshall plays mandocello through the first half and then switches to mandolin for the last half in a fast and delicate waltz written by Jacob do Bandolim. Gretchen Parlato gives a breathy, hesitant, and pain-filled interpretation of Jobim’s “How Insensitive” that is as flat-out brilliant as it is devastating. Acoustic guitarist Ricardo Silveira plays “Morro Velho” by Milton Nascimento with depth and feeling. The great woodwind player Teco Cardoso performs on a variety of flutes on “Alegre Menina,” creating a seductive and sensual soundscape that tantalizes as it satisfies.
Jovino Santos Neto, the Seattle-based, Brazilian-born pianist and protégé of legendary Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, is a dynamic and fluid pianist. His approach to the arrangements is imaginative and lyrical, at turns sparse and then dense and rhythmic as the music demands. Each track is deeply and personally felt and realized, and the musical collaborations with each of his guests are inventive and sensitive. If you love Brazilian music as I do, pick this up and it will make your day.
Disc 1 – All of Those Things; Dark-skinned Saint; How Insensitive; Bring It On; Crossed Paths; See The Sound; Upside Down; February 1; Gloria; Nature Boy
Disc 2 – Ahiê; Sonorous Drizzle; Old Mountain; Crossing the Hinterland; Street Bazaar; The Dawn Song; April Child; Joana the Frenchwoman; Xangô Chant; Babriela’s Song
– Hermon Joyner