, from saxophonist/flutist Sigurdur Flosason and guitarist Hans Olding
, when compared to the authentic and stunningly beautiful Porto da Madama
, seems rather tame. But, one cannot fault a project for not being what it cannot be, and never tried to be.
What Flosason and Olding have created is a tribute to the music of Brazil which put it on the map -that from the '60s and '70s. The songs of the giants of that era, Antonio Carlos Jobim
, Milton Nascimento
and Vinicius De Moraes
are represented, while avoiding those most well-known, and Flosason and Olding each have contributed an original in that style.
Of course, this music has been filtered through Nordic sensibilities with the result being deeply felt as well as extremely attractive. Rather than just play through the lead sheets for the tunes, Flosason and Olding have created full-blown arrangements to be the vehicle by which they put their personal stamp on the music. In particular, the addition of cello to the mix adds immensely to the originality and success of this album.
Each track becomes a miniature story which develops a core feature of the tune at hand. All of the playing is first rate and tied directly to the emotions present within the tune. Although Olding and Flosason are the leaders, each group member's part is equally important, which the two tracks, "Modinha" and "Chovendo na roseira" at the center of the album demonstrate.
The originals, Flosason's "Tom" and Olding's "For Milton," the former upbeat and cooking, while the latter is more introspective, show how well the players have internalized the Brazilian aesthetic, and made it a part their musical experience and expression.
Moraes' "Serenata do adeus," which ends the album, says it all. Lush and atmospheric, sexy and mysterious, the arrangement and performance is musical storytelling perfection.
Existing in its own hybrid world, Projeto Brasil!
is wonderful listening experience.
Tom; Cais; Rancho nas nuvens; Modinha; Chovendo na roseira; For Milton; Retrato
em branco e preto; Brigas nunca mais; Serenata do adeus.
Sigurdur Flosason: alto saxophone, alto flute; Hans Olding: guitar; Pordis Gerdur
Jonsdottir: cello; Morten Ankarfeldt: bass; Ola Bothzen: drums, percussion.