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Hermeto Pascoal: No Mundo Dos Sons

Harry S. Pariser By

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The packaging for the two-CD set from Brazil's Hermeto Pascoal, an 81-year-old multi-instrumentalist, shines of its own accord. Its trifold paper cover, unfolds like a lotus to reveal two CDs and a sleeve containing a large fold-out glossy paper. The insert unfolds to read "Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo," along with the title No Mundo Dos Sons. The reverse side has the details of each track in Portuguese. Homage is paid, in terms of song titles (a type of "shout out"), to artists as diverse as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis, Sivuca (the late a Brazilian accordionist and guitarist), Astor Piazzolla, Chick Corea, Thad Jones and Ron Carter. Spin either of the two CDs and you are in for a treat.

Wide ranging and eclectic, Pascoal is known as "The Wizard" because he can extract a sound from anything. While one cannot always be sure exactly what instrument in his arsenal he is deploying at any particular point in time, the results are marvelous, defying easy (or any) categorization. The 18 tracks, each of which have their own distinct personality and character, include elements of traditional jazz Brazilian jazz, traditional Brazilian music, pop, African, symphonic element, as well as music from Pascoal's cerebrum. All are imbued with Pascoal's tools of the trade—whistles, screams, scales, keyboard, kettles, spoons, squeeze toys, children's voices, prepared piano and geese calls.

Band members—whose ranks include such standouts as João Paulo Ramos Barbosa ("Jota P") and Itiberê Zwarg —add Brazil's pandeiro, surdo, caixa, apitos, bonecos and agogos, as well as more conventional Western instruments such as soprano and tenor saxophones, flute, electric piano, electric bass and other instruments. Musicians and genres such as Terry Riley, Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Javanese gamelan and Indonesian kulintang, Philip Glass and others come to mind, but there is no real overlap: Pascoal has his own special brew.

No Mundo Dos Sons (Selo Sesc, 2017) is Pascoal's first recording with his band in 15 years. He recently told Brazil's Anoticia that "My music is not commercial; it's not like selling bananas or soap. I'm not in a hurry to record. My whole life is to do shows.... I have a frightening amount of music, almost 9,000 compositions on paper. But do not confuse quantity with quality, see? I always worry about quality."

Track Listing: CD1: Vivo Säo Paulo!; Vinícius Dorin Em Búzios; Para Thad Jones; Para Miles Davis; Mazinho Tocando No Coreto; Viva Piazzolla!; Forró Da Gota Para Sivuca; Carlos Malta Tupizando; Som Da Aura.

CD2: Entrando Pelos Canos; Para Tom Jobim; Ilza Nova; Salve, Pernambuco Percussão!; Viva Edu Lobo!; Para Ron Carter; De Fabio Para Jovino Santos; Um Abraço Chick Corea; Rafael Amor Eterno; Rafael Accioli Pascoal.

Personnel: Hermeto Pascoal: percussion, piano; Ajurinhã Zwarg: drums; Itiberê Zwarg: bass; Fabio Pascoal: percussion; Jota P.: woodwinds; André Marques: piano

Title: No Mundo Dos Sons | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Selo Sesc


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