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Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida

Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida
Brazilian-born bassist Marcelo Bonfim is relatively new on the scene. This is his debut recording, and it is a good one. Based in Chicago, Bonfin entitles one of his compositions "When I First Met You." One thinks it must have been some first date, because the tune is a bit more frantic than most on this recording. It is the atmosphere rather than striking melodies that come through. Whether or not the harmonies and time evoke John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner is a matter of a listener's vintage, although the piano comping of Casey Dahl certainly suggests resonances. At all odds, this is a surprisingly mature first recording. One expects to hear good things in the future about Bonfim. Nevertheless, Bonfim appears to have the usual mixed feelings about any really distant foreign home: some up, some down. Major to minor.

On the opening track, "Casa Forte/Zanzibar," Bonfim is accompanied by vocalist Ana Catharina Oliveira. There is a nice sax outing by Gerald Martinez. The whole production has a distinctively 1960s lilt to it, which makes for a good introduction. "Sister (Irmã)" is solo acoustic bass, then the band enters in an odd meter, the tune a tribute to Bonfim's sister. "Alvorada" sounds like a minor blues with more sax accompaniment. "Farewell/Despedida" is, again, evocative, with Bonfim playing mostly upper register acoustic bass. "Going Home"? Well, what would one expect? It is upbeat, of course.

A capable drummer, Jonathan Wenzel, rounds out the cast. If any word might characterize the entire production, it is "honest," because any expat or emigrant will admit to a similar blend of mixed emotions on arrival and departure. It is a measure of Bonfim's skill as a writer and instrumentalist that those feelings come through so clearly.

Track Listing

Casa Forte/Zanzibar; Intro–Sister (Irmã); Sister (Irmã); Alvorada’ Farewell (Despedida); By Myself; When I First Met You; Going Home; Berimbau.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Farewell/Despedida | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Shifting Paradigm Records


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