The natural moods and flavors that run through New Adult Contemporary music weave unifying bonds through all countries and all styles. Leaves rustling in the middle of the night, crickets and frogs making themselves significantly heard, lonely warm-blooded animals howling toward the night sky, or dramatic changes in the weather are traits common to most geographical areas. These sounds, when portrayed in music, are able to unify what we listen to, whether it comes from northern Europe, northern Africa, central Europe, South America, or eastern Europe. Marcelo Zarvos combines light timbres in a quasi-chamber music setting to achieve a program that is equal parts jazz, classical, and folk. Soprano saxophone, cello, piano, bass and percussion swing comfortably and easily to place the listener in a concert hall, a dancehall, and a nightclub. All at the same time.
Zarvos’ acoustic piano works from composed impressionism. The session features Peter Epstein’s distinctive flute-like soprano sax with round edges. His interpretation of melody works well alongside swirling brushes on drumheads. There are no sharp edges. Glimpses of vibraphone, the occasional marimba for a walkabout effect... Each provides added proof that Zarvos’ chamber jazz is unique. There are subtle references to music from several different continents.
"Avenida Paulista" stands out as the one piece that’s different from all the rest. It’s drawn from Brazilian folk music. Saxophone, timbales, cello and piano swing with a dance-like charm, as the piece takes purposeful turns, becoming a miniature suite concentrating on Brazil’s folk culture. Recommended, Zarvos’ latest project is an excellent album with classical and world music overtones from a talented ensemble.
Personnel: Marcelo Zarvos- piano, accordion; Peter Epstein- soprano saxophone; Dorothy Lawson- cello; Chris Dahlgren- double bass; Mauro Refosco- mallets, percussion; Satoshi Takeishi- percussion.