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Yamandu Costa: Ida E Volta

Elliott Simon By

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Brazilian music boasts a variety of genres that combine African rhythms with Brazilian and Portuguese instrumentation, harmony and melody. Choro is one such style, whose quick tempos, improvisation and complex structure demands virtuosity. The Brazilian nylon 7-string guitar, with its additional bass string, has become standard in Choro ensembles, enabling the intricately structured harmonics. Yamandu Costa is a young guitarist who astounds with his technique; with the multifaceted Ida e Volta (Coming and Going) he intertwines choro with jazz and world musics for an exhilarating session.

Joining Costa are bassist Guto Wirtti and violinist Nicola Krassik, to round out a string-based power trio that beautifully commingles the sonorities of each instrument. With selections divided among solo guitar, trio performance and a gorgeous guitar/bass ballad entitled "O Sapo E O Grilo (The Frog and the Cricket), Costa elegantly exposes commonalities among disparate genres. A hint of Appalachia, flamenco and guitarists Leo Kottke and Django Reinhardt are but a few influences that happily coexist in Costa's 7-string. "Bonitinha (Pretty Little Thing) has Costa stretching out his instrument's harmonics to a fullness one usually ascribes to a 12-string.

Amazingly, the Brazilian core of this music is never far from center and emotive subtlety is not sacrificed for technical flash. Touchingly emotive guitar soloing, as in the ballad "Se Ela Perguntar (If I Asked Her), fiery rhythmical precision present in the trio pieces and an exceptionally textural full sound are at the heart of these performances. These aspects combined with original compositions and cross-genre sensibility allow Costa to weave together a new Brazilian music that is modern in feel yet anchored in tradition. Ida e Volta showcases a young guitar virtuoso who is advancing Brazilian music for a contemporary world audience through technique, composition and stylistic innovation.

Track Listing: Temporal;O Sapo e o Grilo; Ida e Volta; Cebol

Personnel: Yamando Costa: 7-string guitar; Guto Wirty: double-bass; Nicolas Krassik: violin.

Title: Ida E Volta | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: GHA Records

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