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Ricardo Bacelar: Concerto para Moviola

Edward Blanco By

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Brazilian pianist and composer Ricardo Bacelar delivers his second album as leader on Concerto para Moviola, documenting his long-time interest in the jazz fusion music of the '70s and '80s presenting a varied selection of tunes by the Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny, Weather Report and Antonio Carlos Jobim among others. Also included in the expansive seventeen-piece repertoire, are five originals and jazz standards from the likes of Bob Mintzer, Benny Golson and Horace Silver making for an exceptional blend of contemporary jazz and fusion all lumped together in one exciting musical package.

Adding to the unusual flavor of the project is, the fact that the music was recorded live during the Guaramiranga Jazz and Blues Festival at the Via Sul Theater in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil featuring an octet employing a mix of analog synthesizers with Brazilian-styled music and the acoustic piano to produce an enjoyable atmospheric sound. The opening original "Cordihiera" is folksy warm up tune and not an indicator of what's in store as the piece leads right into a fusion-tinged interpretation of Joe Zawinul's familiar "Birdland." Golson's classic "Killer Joe" gets a swinging brassy arrangement showcasing the power of the band on one of the liveliest tracks of the set.

A long-time fan of guitarist Pat Metheny, Bacelar re-imagines the classic "So May It Secretly Begin" with a gorgeous take on the familiar melody resulting in perhaps, one of the finest renditions of the tune around. Michel Legrand's oft-recorded and one of his most recognized compositions, "The Windmills of Your Mind," features saxophonist Marcio C Resende and the leader on the keyboards while though brief, still beautiful. A jazz standard and one of Horace Silver's defining compositions, "Senor Blues" come out in swinging fashion with a percussive Afro jazz feel that's quite inviting.

Several original Bacelar songs like the title piece, "Enquanto isso, chove..." and "Apartheid Blues," all have a balladic quality to them, are soft and warm songs with an intimate introspective feel about them. Being of Brazilian decent, you cannot ignore the music of Jobim on a Brazilian album and of course, the pianist does not with a superb version of the icon's "Agua de Beber" which Bacelar states is a "Jewel of Brazilian music." One of the most percussive tunes on the live set is "Nana," from Brazilian maestro Moacir Santos highlighting percussionist Hoto Junior and drummer Luizinho Duarte.

The piano man and crew let it all hang out on the Brian Culbertson tune "The Groove" blending the essence of fusion with the hard beats of funk in a shoulder-moving treatment that works quite well here. The live set ends on a hard-driving swinging rendition of Chick Corea's "Blue Miles" featuring an animated leader on the keys, rock-style riffs from guitarist Ronaldo Pessoa and feisty solos from the saxophonist concluding the concert with an explosive bang. Concerto para Moviola is a rhythmically-rich gem of a recording, an impressive concert led by an equally impressive pianist paying tribute to music of the past, with a touch of class.

Track Listing: Cordiheira; Birdland; Killer Joe; So May It Secretly Begin; March Majestic; The Windmills of Your Mind; Senor Blues; Moviola; Enquanto isso, chove...; Sabia; Palhaco; Apartheid Blues; Setembro; Agua de Beber; Nana; The Groove; Blue Miles.

Personnel: Ricardo Bacelar: piano, acoustic piano, keyboards, synthesizer; Ronaldo Pessoa: guitar; Marcio Resende: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Luizinho Duarte: drums; Miqueias dos Santos: bass; Marcus Vinicus Cardoso: violin; Maria Helena Lage Pessoa: keyboards, percussion; Hoto Junior: percussion.

Title: Concerto para Moviola | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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