8

Emilio Santiago: Emilio Santiago

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Emilio Santiago: Emilio Santiago
In 1975, vocalist Emilio Santiago was riding high as "The Nat King Cole of Brazil" and recording this eponymous full-length debut with some of that verdant musical nation's leading jazz composers and instrumentalists, including Joao Donato (keyboards), Danilo Caymmi (flute), Wilson das Neves (drums) and Victor Assis Brasil (saxophone). The four decades which have since passed have not tarnished this debut's warm and mellow glow.

In the opening "Bananeira" (jointly composed by Donato and Gilberto Gil), the sheer sound of Santiago's mellow voice—warm and rich and dark as gourmet coffee—immediately suggests Brazil. He delivers some notes so softly that, like butterfly wings, they seem to barely disturb the air, and swings other notes with such grace that they land near the jazz end of Nat King Cole's smooth style. He sings the lines to "Quero Alegria" so subtly that they sound almost spoken, and the gorgeous arrangement pulls in strings to dance at the end of each line, and then wrap up and close around them like a sleeping flower. It's not difficult to imagine Cole and Santiago dueting through the elegantly orchestrated pop of "Depois."

Afro-Cuban percussion and Latin jazz piano pop right up to kick out "La Mulata" as a chic little cha-cha, a rhythmic bounce continued in "Nega Dina," which strongly foreshadows contemporary Brazilian jazzsters BossaCucaNova. The only English lyric of the set, "Brother" rumbles on a swaying, R&B horn chart to wonder and sing about universal love, unity, and the friendship of one very special soul brother.

Emilio Santiago saves its two most extended pieces for last. "Doa A Quem Doer" radiates a sunny glow and optimistic sense of summer that your ears can once again easily imagine Cole swinging through. "Sessão Das Dez" reflects the face of Antonio Carlos Jobim's lushly romantic "Bonita." It opens with quiet acoustic guitar and voice, and the absence of bass or drums allows these opening verses to feel like they're floating; then, piano, saxophone and guitar slowly convene and hover around Santiago's voice like whispering ghosts, before the rhythm section and pianist walk out the ending in a bluesy jazz stroll.

The short playing time of this set makes it no less sweet.

Track Listing

Bananeira; Quero Alegria; Porque Somos Iguais; Batendo a Porta; Depois; Brother; La Mulata; Nega Dina; Doa a quem doer; Sessao das dez.

Personnel

Emilio Santiago: vocals; João Donato: electric piano; Aurino Ferreira: baritone saxophone; Carlos Roberto Rocha: guitar, vocals; Durval Ferreira: guitar; Ariovaldo Contesini: percussion; Orlandivo: percussion; Vitor Assis Brasil: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Zé Bodega: tenor saxophone; Edson Maciel: trombone; Formiga: trumpet; Marcio Montarroyos: trumpet; Novelli: bass; Wilson Das Neves: drums; Peter Dauelsberg: strings; Dori Caymmi: electric piano; Alexandre: bass; Botello: clarinet; Ivan “Mamão” Conti: drums; Celso Woltzenlogel: flute; Danilo Caymmi: flute; Helio Delmiro: guitar; Edmundo Maciel: trombone; Jesse Sadoc: trombone; João Luiz Maciel: trombone; Paulinho: drums; Copinha: flute; Modo Livre: bass; João Pinheiro: strings; Chacal: percussion; Azimuth: bass; Jaime: vocals; Jurema: vocals; Lucia Lins: vocals; Marcio Lott: vocals; Marcos: vocals; Nair: vocals; Gilson: electric piano; Ricardo: flute; Laercio De Freitas: electric piano; Tita: guitar.

Album information

Title: Emilio Santiago | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Far Out Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Listen

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Improdimensions
Improdimensions
Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas
Read In Baltimore
In Baltimore
George Coleman
Read Escape The Flames
Escape The Flames
Binker and Moses

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.