If you like the piano, and appreciate the softer-flowing melodies of Latin America, you'll love Molambo, on which Guilherme Vergueiro plays unaccompanied. If you don't, you won't. It's about as simple as that. There are no up-tempo numbers here, nor are there any improvisations to speak of. Vergueiro simply plays 11 Latin tunes, almost all of which are ballads, in an unembellished style that owes as much to classical music as it does to Jazz. Tempos are slow to even more so, the mood warm and introspective. I kept hoping Vergueiro might shift gears, turn up the heat and toss in a spicy mambo, samba, bossa or two, but he doesn't. As a result, even though the music is lovely, the sameness of each number can become rather tedious. On a more positive note, Vergueiro is clearly a capable, well-schooled player who knows this music well and interprets it with insight and affection. All of the tunes - the last three of which, "Promises," "Dedicated to You" and "Alone" - were written by Vergueiro, were new to me. Each one is charming, albeit exceedingly subdued, and several seem almost interchangeable (that is, they sound almost alike to me). I spelled out earlier the criteria for enjoyment here; if the shoe fits, you'll fancy wearing it. Otherwise, you may want to consider a flashier model.
Molambo; Carinhoso; Ronda; Eu Sonhei Que Tu Estavas T
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.