Marco Figueira: Brazilliance (2007)
Marco Figueira has all the right things going for him on this aptly named recording, where he brings into play several of the streams that flow into Brazilian music. Figueira made New York City his home since 1988, and he's played with several of the best-known musicians of the genre. Some of them join him here, augmenting the core band of Paulo Andre Tavares (acoustic and electric guitars), Sergio Brandao (bass) and Paulo Braga (drums, percussion).
Figueira has a voice that flits into the soul of a song. He knows how to touch on the emotive pulse and wrap himself around the lyrics. He brings in a balmy air on "Corcovado. The warmth that floats from his voice is given impetus, and contrast, by Helio Alves, whose piano takes a brighter lineand by Hendrik Meurkens, who snuggles his harmonica into the pulse set by Figueira.
Besides Jobim, Figueira includes "Fieto Nos, a percussive delight from the songbook of Milton Nascimento. It is a happy rave-up, Figueira singing with carefree passion with Tavares adding sparkling melodic lines on the acoustic guitar. The group carouses on the upbeat "Vem Ca, which sways with a graceful abandon, the hypnotic rhythm flexed by the percussion and Hiram Bullock's fluid electric guitar.
The resonance and the warmth of Brazilian music are winningly captured by Figueira on Brazilliance.
Track Listing: Vem Ca; Minha; Amizade; Olho de Peixe; Preta-Porter de Tafeta; Romance; Dunas; Corcovado; Feito Nos; O Barquinho; Aguas de Marco; Aluamania; Romance.
Personnel: Marco Figueira: vocals; Paulo Andre Tavares: acoustic and electric guitars; Sergio Brandao: bass; Paulo Braga: drums, percussion; Helio Alves: piano; Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica; Claudio Roditi: trumpet; Hiram Bullock: electric guitar; Mauro Refosco: percussion, programming; Oscar Feldman: alto sax, flute; Kerry Linder/Luiz Simas: backing vocals.