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Alex Silverio Quartet at Americas Society, July 1, 2010

Ernest Barteldes By

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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.

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