490

Huw Warren: Hermeto +

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Huw Warren has been inspired by the music of Hermeto Pascoal for over 25 years, and Hermeto + is a fitting tribute to the idiosyncratic Brazilian composer. The tunes—half of them written by Pascoal, half written by Warren—move from lyrical ballads to up-tempo dance tunes via occasional experimental pieces, demonstrating the range of both composers' styles as well as the technical ability of Warren's trio.

The album is bookended by two Warren tunes: "The End Is Also the Beginning" and "The Beginning Is Also the End." In fact, the former is a short re-working of the central melody of the latter (or vice versa), a more complex composition which opens with some free-form interplay between Warren and Martin France on drums. Between these two tunes, the album alternates between Warren and Pascoal's compositions.

Pascoal's tunes are mostly up-tempo, joyous and danceable affairs; they lift the spirits with their warmth and humanity. The musicians approach them with respect, but with creativity and understanding as well—they are rethinking, not simply reproducing, these tunes. Warren's piano playing is especially outstanding on "Briguinha de Musicos Malacos." The tempo and precision of his playing gives the tune an energetic—indeed breathless—feel, particularly in the final minute when Warren raises the tempo even further. On the delightful "Harmonia sem Chronologia," Warren doubles on piano and accordion, creating a beautifully rich and irresistible sound. By contrast, "Desencontro Certo" is a ballad, performed as a piano solo. Warren's delicate and precise style is well-suited to this piece and his performance is engaging and affecting.

Warren's own compositions are more experimental and abstract than Pascoal's for the most part, but still rewarding. Two exceptions to this rule are among the best tracks on the album. "Nos da Good Knight" is one of the simplest and most immediately engaging tunes in this collection. Written by Warren, this is an instrumental version of a song with lyrics by his fellow Welshman Aled Jones Williams ("Nos da" is Welsh for "good night"). "DP & C" is a hard-bop-style tune driven by Peter Herbert's tight, forceful bass and France's exceptional drumming.

Hermeto + is thought-provoking, original, beautifully arranged and beautifully played. It re-affirms Pascoal's talents as a composer, and will hopefully bring Warren's own compositional skills to a wider audience. The musical talents of the trio complement the tunes with a freshness and vibrancy that extends their possibilities, and the result is a pleasure from beginning to end.

Track Listing: The End Is Also the Beginning; Santo Antonio; DP & C; Harmonia sem Chronologia; Desencontro Certo; Cowbois and Shepherds; Santa Caterina; Jegue; All is Sound; Briguinha de Musicos Malacos; Nos da Good Knight; All Is Music; All Is Life; Frevo en Maceio; The Beginning Is Also the End.

Personnel: Huw Warren: piano, accordion, keyboards; Peter Herbert: double bass; Martin France: drums, Simmons drums.

Title: Hermeto + | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Basho Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Float Upstream CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Extremophile CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2017
Read The Source CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Setembro CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Just Left of Center" CD/LP/Track Review Just Left of Center
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.