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Guitarist/Composer Flavio Silva Explores Multiple Dimensions Of Electric Guitar With The June 7 Release Of 'Eko' On Break Free Records

Guitarist/Composer Flavio Silva Explores Multiple Dimensions Of Electric Guitar With The June 7 Release Of 'Eko' On Break Free Records

Courtesy Bill Douthart


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This is an electric album. Even though there's double bass, the aesthetic is way more toward the electric side.
—Flavio Silva
Flávio Silva
Guitarist Flávio Silva gives his beloved Brazilian jazz a new electrical charge with Eko, set to arrive June 7 on his own Break Free Records. The follow-up to 2018’s Break Free, Silva’s third album digs deeper into the fusion sound that has always been a simmering ingredient in his heady brew of various jazz and Brazilian flavors.

Brazilian rhythms have, of course, been an indispensable piece of the jazz fusion puzzle ever since percussionist Airto Moreira played on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew sessions. With Eko, Silva drives home the hand-in-glove relationship of those sonic palettes. “This is an electric album,” Silva affirms. “Even though there’s double bass, the aesthetic is way more toward the electric side.”

That much is certain. The album’s opening “Motaba” is a veritable whiplash of rock-infused power and attitude. In addition, the title track and the closing “Sunflower”are nothing if not hard-driving, plugged-in stuff, irradiated as much by keyboardist Gabriel Gaiardo’s Fender Rhodes and synths as by Silva’s sinewy but crystalline guitar tone.

With that said, there’s no question but that more traditional Brazilian and jazz musics also exert a powerful influence within these seven tracks. “Pare de Saranhar Meu Cabelo Menino” is remarkably lilting and delicate, driven by Cuca Teixeira’s brushwork on the cymbals and Sidiel Vieira’s stolid upright bass; both Milton Nascimento’s “Dom Quixote” and Silva’s “To Blade and Cowherd” exhibit a lighter, post-bop-oriented touch; and “Heroes and Friends,” for all its scalding electric textures, is ultimately a full-on swinger.

This says as much about Silva’s collaborators on Eko as it does about the guitarist himself. Gaiardo, Teixeira, and Vieira are three of the most acclaimed and in-demand players on the scene in the musically rich city of São Paulo, where they’ve cultivated a repertoire as wide as it is deep, thus establishing themselves as Silva’s peers by any measure. You can hear it in the music.

Flavio Silva was born February 11, 1985 in in São Paulo, Brazil.His was a household immersed in music, whether in the northeastern folk music that his father loved or the more contemporary MPB that his mother favored. Silva himself preferred the sounds of Black American pop music: funk and R&B, which inspired him to try his hand at the guitar he grew up hearing his father’s friends play.

When he was 13, Silva’s guitar teacher bent his ear toward jazz fusion guitarists; a later teacher introduced him to acoustic jazz. The discovery literally changed his life. It started him on the course to earn a degree in jazz, which in turn led him to the professional jazz circles of São Paulo—and later to Europe. He spent six years in Belgium and the Netherlands, honing his craft and recording his eponymous first album with fellow Brazilian expats (including drummer Cuca Teixeira).

The next stop was New York, where Silva matriculated at Queens College in 2015 to earn a master’s in jazz studies. His teachers included fellow guitarists Paul Bollenback and Mike Moreno, as well as alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, who turned Silva loose on the endlessly fecund New York scene. He was soon a first-call guitarist among the jazz elite, several of whom joined him to record his second album, Break Free—an important breakthrough for the young guitarist.

The 2018 release of Break Free, however, more or less coincided with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and Silva chose to wait out the lockdowns in his hometown of São Paulo. His return and two-year stay in the Brazilian metropolis led him to reconnect with his colleagues there. The bounty of that reconnection is Eko, whichreflects everything that the guitarist has done and learned in his accomplished musical career.

Paulistas can catch Flavio Silva this month at the following São Paulo venues: Thurs 5/2 Let’s Beer Brewery; Sat 5/18 O Picco; Thurs 5/23 Cine Clube Cortina.

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Track Listing

Motaba; Heroes and Friends; Dom Quixote; Pare de Saranhar Meu Cabelo Menino; To Blade and Cowherd; Sunflower.


Album information

Title: Eko | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Break Free





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