For those who might wonder what is happening in Brazilian popular music these days, this album provides an interesting snapshot. Guitarist, composer and producer Nelson Angelo is probably as close to a living legend as exists in Brazilian contemporary music. Such compositions as “Tiro Cruzado” and Canoa, Canoa” have become Brazilian standards. During his career, he has worked with Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, Chico Buarque, Ithamara Koorax, Nana Vasconcelos, and Joyce and Luiz Eça, among others. This CD is Angelo’s debut on a U.S. label.
A varied assortment it is, ranging from Angelo’s lush, vibrato-less ballad (“Dona Maria”) to sultry Marcia Maria’s seductive temptations from the sea (“Delírios do Mar Nelson Angelo”); and from delightful rhythmic dances (the lively “Vera’s Frevo” and the mellow ”Ligerinho” and “Trombone”) to the haunting “Cateretê”; otherworldly, McLaughlin/Scofield-like “Radio Universe Pedal”; and out-of-tempo, wistful, musing “Your Hands.” While illustrating the breadth of Angelo’s talent and his ability to reach out to a younger audience, these latter two selections are personally less satisfying for me. The entire album wears well, however; its pacing, haunting melodies, and poignancy are indicative of this artist’s deep creative wellspring.
Track Listing: Vera
Personnel: Nelson Angelo (guitarist and composer), with guest artists Edison Machado, Dom Um Rom