Carlos Bernardo: Agua Nova (2002)
Agua Nova is Portuguese for "New Water." The aqueous motif is not plain rubric as this album does model Carlos Bernardo's flowing musical stringed ways. His ways, conversely, are innovative.
Bernardo, using a combination of diverse string instruments, offers the listener ten flowingly melodic, harmoniously strong, and cleverly conceived encounters. All the cuts reveal a range of insight: reflective reasoning, profound models of musical rectitude when organizing such a wide array of musical ethnicities, high aesthetic wits, and perceptive yet firm fingering and strumming techniques.
"Salut le ma'tre" illustrates matters as well as any other cut. Its sweet banjo march is peppered, at a modest yet driving pace, by the rest of the strings and minimal ambient sound enhancements. This musical greeting aims to show a Master what the disciple has to offer. Bernardo has excellent intonation in all instruments. Besides, he suffers from no lack of ideas or good taste in their combination and placement.
Agua Nova is an epigrammatic and appealing musical work that gels very well with multitudinous musical interests. This is first rate stuff, very secure in its refreshingly candid and economic phrasings. Well recorded, arranged, produced and mastered, this CD will engage you in any sound system too.
Listening to it during a sunny South Florida spring afternoon, while looking at a gliding hawk in the sky and Zebra Longwing butterflies fluttering right outside the window-sipping nectar from a purple flowered vine in bloom'as distant thunders hover at the horizon, I am reminded of how serenity can enable a good musician to produce engaged beauty.
Track Listing: 1. Vazio quase escuro (An Almost Dark Emptiness) 2. Salle des miroirs (Room of Mirrors) 3. To chegando (I Am Arriving) 4. Bilhete pra Isabel (Ticket For Isabel) 5. Balladin 6. La maison dieu (The House of God) 7. Eau neuve (New Water) 8. Impro 9. Salut le ma?tre (Hello Master or Greeting to the Master) 10. Kasim canon
Personnel: Carlos Bernardo: Classic, folk, electric and fretless guitar, guitar bass, banjo, cavaco or cavaquinho, Dan Nguyet or Vietnamese lute and the 19 stringed banjo-shamisen.
Record Label: CB
Style: Fringes of Jazz