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Gui Duvignau: Baden


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Gui Duvignau: Baden
Gui Duvignau has had Baden Powell's sound in his sights for some time now. Born in France and raised in Brazil, the rising-star bassist delved deeply into that legendary Brazilian guitarist's work at the behest of several six-stringer friends. And as he studied guitar too, Duvignau came under the sway of Powell's advanced harmonic concepts, personalized technique and keen ability to skirt easy categorization by blending classical stylings, jazz sensibilities and a broad mixture of Brazilian traditions. Having then performed Powell's music for years, living with the material and learning it from different angles, it made perfect sense to arrive at the idea of a thorough, wide-ranging tribute.

With Baden, Duvignau doesn't simply pull from his inspiration's portfolio. Instead, he lovingly expands on it, honoring Powell's work without aping it. Joining forces with multi-reedist Billy Drewes, pianist Lawrence Fields and drummer Jeff Hirshfield, and adding two notable guests—bassist Ron Carter (on one track) and guitarist Bill Frisell (on four)—Duvignau delivers a spellbinding set that speaks to his own vision while connecting to the legacy of a true luminary.

With the appearance of "Canto de Ossanha" at the front end of the program, Duvignau wastes no time addressing the enormity of Powell's powers. Frisell's guitar and Fields' piano add complex hues, Drewes' supple soprano balances the color temperature (before engaging in sinuous and slippery interplay) and the Duvignau-Hirshfield pairing steers the entire production with good taste. The first of six numbers drawn from Powell's collaborations with Vinicius De Moraes, that piece points not only to the art of possibility but also the potential drawn from artistic association. Spread across the program, the bounding "Canto de Xangô," quietly seductive "Tristeza e Solidão" (for a trio of guitar, bass and drums), starry-eyed "Canto de Iemanjá" (with Fields on Wurlitzer), delightfully gliding "O Astronauta," and hypnotic and happening "Berimbau / Consolação" (for solo bass) further emphasize the fruits of that historic partnership and the chemistry at play in this particular ensemble.

A pair of Powell numbers noting his collaborations with Paulo César Pinheiro—forlorn beauty "Refém Da Solidão" and the reflective-turned-sunny "Lapinha"—add a different element to the album, as do the four originals that Duvignau delivers: "Ao Baden," paying direct tribute to Powell while circling the sounds of hope and promise; "Bluesa Preta," a mellow, down-home duet between Duvignau and Carter that makes easy friends with Luiz Gonzaga and Humberto Teixeira "Asa Branca"; "Mata Adentro," seeing the forest through the trees as it eyes wide spaces and the details that shape them from within; and "For Bill and Baden," a bluesy sign-off featuring and saluting Frisell while nodding to the album's honoree. Baden, elevated by the ideals of imagination and respect, is truly exceptional.

Track Listing

Canto de Ossanha; Canto de Xangô; Tristeza e Solidão; Ao Baden; Bluesa Preta/Asa Branca; Canto de Iemanjá; Refém da Solidão; O Astronauta; Mata Adentro; Berimbau / Consolação; Lapinha; For Bill & Baden.


Gui Duvignau
bass, acoustic
Bill Frisell
guitar, electric
Billy Drewes

Album information

Title: Baden | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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