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Alex Silverio Quartet Americas Society New York, NY July 1, 2010
The Brazil-based quartet (Alex Silverio: bassoon; Neimar Dias: electric guitar; Igor Pimenta: upright bass; Eduardo Guarinon: drums) started off their concert at The Upper East Side's Americas Society with Branislaw Kasper's "Invitation," a straight-ahead piece with touches of samba jazz. The arrangement was built around Dias' effective guitar chords. Silverio immediately began improvising, and at the end there was a thrilling call-and-response between the guitarist and the bandleader.
After the opening number, the group played a selection of Brazilian numbers, which included two original tunes composed by Silverio ("Jaguaribe") and Pimenta ("Um Tango Para Chico"). They also included a Brazilianized take on John Coltrane's "Naima," kicking off with an unaccompanied bassoon solo. The band joined after a few bars. Dias played his guitar like a percussive instrument, while Pimenta and Guarinon kept a steady backbeat.
Also included on the setlist was a downtempo take on Jobim's classic "Once I Loved," which served as a showcase for Pimenta, who played a subtle solo taking advantage of the tune's simple melodic structure, and the maestro's obscure "Magoas de Fagote," a tune specifically written for the bassoon (the title translates loosely as "Bassoon's Blues")
Another great moment came with Hermeto Paschoal's "Chorinho Para Ele," arguably the legendary multi-instrumentalist's best-known composition. The group left the room with a standing ovation, and returned for a very personal take on Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce," which featured individual solos from all bandmembers."
Though the concert was rather short (one 50-minute set), it was a great showcase of these talented musicians. The audience responded well, and one hopes that they will return for a more extended appearance Stateside.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.