Oscar Castro-Neves plays classical, pop, Brazilian music, and even a little bit of hip-hop on All One. It's a wide palette, but he succeeds in painting vivid portraits and creating a long-lasting impression.
Castro-Neves plays the guitar with clarity, letting the melody open compositions before creating rich harmonic textures as he goes out to explore. He does not wander far from the centre, but he does tell an interesting tale. He reveals the hues of "Double Rainbow with joyous notes that are clean and crisp in their evocation; they get their snap as he joins voices with Charlie Bisharat, whose violin sways with melodic verve and renders dazzling arcs. This bright, sparkling tune is quite a contrast to "Morrer de Amor, a warm ballad featuring vocalist Luciana Souza. Her voice is the fount of emotion as she embraces each word with a warm, passionate clasp. Bisharat adds to the power with his deep-toned dynamics.
Castro-Neves sings on several tracks. His voice is no great shakes, but he does succeed in giving the lyrics meaning in his own way, as on "The Very Thought of You, where he takes the song into the husky enclave of his voice and makes it relevant. Don Grusin adds sprightly piano, and Gary Meek adds depth with some hard phrases on the tenor saxophone. "Naima evolves most delightfully. There are several shades to the tune and the tempo keeps changing. At first there is a whiff of hip-hop, but that soon dissolves. A Latin air is brought in through sprightly percussion and horns, the lilting atmosphere fanned by Castro-Neves and leavened with notes that flesh the melody. This tune for the ages picks up a welcome new garb from a brash saxophone voice that extends the theme meaningfully.
Double Rainbow; All One; Kurski Funk; Morror De Amor; Holding With an Open Hand; N
Oscar Castro-Neves: guitars, vocals, keyboards: Luciana Souza; vocals (4,6); Don Grusin:
acoustic piano, Rhodes and clavinet; Brian Bromberg: acoustic bass; Alex Acuna: drums
(5,6,9-11,13); Mike Shapiro: drums (1-3,7,8,12,14); Charlie Bisharat: violins and violas; Gary
Meek: flutes, clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet; Kevin Ricard: percussion.
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