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Album Review

Antonio Neves: A Pegada é Essa (The Sway Now)

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Antonio Neves: A Pegada é Essa (The Sway Now)
A Pegada Agora É Essa (The Sway Now) illustrates why multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Antonio Neves creates such commotion in modern Brazilian music.

His second release as a leader, The Sway Now weaves a thick tapestry of Brazil's 2021 musical landscape in bold and brash, overlapping and overflowing colors. It threads together generations of Brazilian musicians, from legendary saxophonist Leo Gandelman to younger lions such as singer Alice Caymmi (Danillo's daughter and Dorival's granddaughter) and double-bassist Andre Vasconcellos, and even Neves' own father Eduardo, a renowned saxophonist, conductor and Julliard professor who contributes flute to the closing "Jongo No Feudo."

"My offer to the musicians was complete freedom to express themselves through the songs I proposed—classics like 'Summertime,' 'Luz Negra' and 'Noite de Temporal' and compositions of my own—creating a space of authorship for the band and the guests," Neves explains. "A space for inventions, purges, delusions, laughter. The idea was to bring the freedom of jazz crossed by Brazilian rhythms."

The Sway Now ripples, crackles and explodes like electricity with freedom, jazz and crossing rhythms. Every track includes the leader on drums and trombone, Joana Queiroz on bass clarinet, and a double-bassist (either Vasconcellos or Alberto Continentino), so this music sounds deep. It also changes directions, keys, time signatures and rhythms so tempestuously that it's impossible to tell where the songs end and the freedom begins. But maybe that's the point...

Baritone sax huskily sighs the first verse to "Summertime" then hands it off for Neves' trombone to moan in that same breathless wobble. Neves sings the third verse like a meowing cat, smearing the melody's notes together then pulling them apart, playfully stretching out.

"Summertime" follows "Lamento De Um Perplexo," which opens with the sound of a striking match and then languidly floats into its blues-ballad, happy to be sad melody, tied up by Gandelman's alto sax and Neves' trombone into pretty ribbons and bows.

Neves paints Alice Caymmi's vocal in "Noite de Temporal" into a dark jungle of rhythm by doubling on trombone her mysterious chants and moans. "Luz Negra" spotlights Ana Frango Elétrico's vocal, leading the melody with a sound so warm and bright that it glows and, while piano and bass swing the rhythm section heavy and deep, her voice like a siren pulls Neves' trombone into echoing her song behind her. (Neves arranged the music on Frango Elétrico's Little Electric Chicken Heart, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy and voted 2019's Brazilian Music Revelation by The Art Critics Association of São Paulo.)

"Jongo No Feudo" closes with Neves' fierce recitation engulfed in an eruption of volcanic sound.

Track Listing

Simba (featuring Leda); A Pegada Agora é Essa (featuring Marcos "Esguleba" Alcides); Noite de Temporal (featuring Alice Caymmi); Luz Negra (featuring Ana Frango Elétrico); Forte Apache (featuring Hamilton de Holanda); Lamento De Um Perplexo (featuring Leo Gandelman); Summertime; Jongo No Feudo (featuring Edu Neves)

Personnel

Antonio Neves: trombone; Alberto Continentino: bass; Andres Vasconcellos: bass; Eduardo Farias: piano; Eduardo Santana: trumpet; Filipe Castro: percussion; Gus Levy: guitar, electric; Luiz Otavio: keyboards; Joana Queiroz: clarinet, bass; Lucas Videla: percussion; Marcelo Costa: percussion; Marcos Alcides Filho: percussion; Marcos Alcides: percussion; Thiago da Serrinha: percussion.

Album information

Title: A Pegada é Essa (The Sway Now) | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Far Out Recordings

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