Carlos Barbosa-Lima has the ability to enrich a song with remarkable grace. He makes each one sing eloquently, bringing out its inherent beauty, not hurrying his passage as he lights a spark underneath. While his technique is undeniable, his creativity is the trump card.
Barbosa-Lima's choice of tunes on Carioca is judicious. He draws from a lineage of Brazilian masters, as well as his contemporaries, using solo, duo and trio settings to project his craft. He builds a bridge with the other musicians, making the centre of the song the meeting point and the emotional tug point. And as they spread their wings and take flight, these players reveal the majesty of each song in marvellous detail.
Barbosa-Lima finds the perfect compatriot in Duduka Da Fonseca, and the the two create spells of magic. "Samba De Orfeu is particularly satisfying not only because of its familiarity, but also for the way in which Barbosa-Lima delineates the infectious melody on the guitar, adding shadings that change the rustle of notes from emphatic to gentle. Da Fonseca whoops it up not only on his array of percussion instruments, but also his voice. The shaker sets the lure for "Desafinado, Nilson Matta lays down the pulse, and Barbosa-Lima adds the final touch with subtle colours.
Even the mandolin fits in well. Marcelio Lopes uses it for the melody, shaping neat, clean lines that become animated in conversation with the guitar, bringing in character and finesse. And Danny Rivera, whose voice throbs with passion, soars into the sky to grab the high notes and then descends with all the agility of a bird in flight on "Entre Guitarra Y Voz.
Cochichando; Passeio No Rio; Carioca; Carinhoso; Samba de Orfeu; Um Amor de Valsa; Um a Zero; Desafinado; Romance; Brejeiro; Renunciar; Entre Guitarra y Voz; Soy; Odeon; Poema de Amor; Samba de uma Nota S
Carlos Barbosa-Lima: acoustic guitar; Duduka da Fonseca: percussion; Nilson Matta: acoustic
bass; Danny Rivera: vocals; Marcelio Lopes: mandolin.