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This album might not be perfect, but it's pretty damned gooddefinitely good enough that we should all sit up and take notice of Thiago Esp'irito Santo, a young Brazilian who plays the electric bass like Jaco Pastorius, except without all the drugs and angst.
Some tracks are solo, or solo enough that his bass is the lead voice. He's okay enough when he's showing offthe first track combines preludes from J.S. Bach and Hector Villa Lobosbut he really shines on songs like Jobim's "Caminhos Cruzados," where his high bass notes seem to hum the melody over his own electric guitar accompaniment.
He duets well with others, too. He acquits himself nobly in a showdown against his own father, the bassist Arismar do Esp'irito Santo, "Ma Rapaiz!" And in the track "Vó Luiza," he plays two bass tracks against the twin guitars of Chico Pinheiro to create a song of almost unbearable lushness.
Esp'irito Santo is an extremely competent bandleader and composer, to say the least. A lot of musicians show up here, but the effect is still unified by his light, clean, fearless approach. Whether he's writing two-step tributes to forró master Neném (and facing off against accordion master Dominguinhos), taking things in a flamenco direction ("As de Bombacha!"), or getting funky (closer "Tocar," fueled by impeccable samba singing from Zé Renato), all the tracks still sound unified and cool.
This might just be due to the fact that he's a great casting directorone cannot go wrong with Bia Góes singing wordless vocals (the title track and "Fizê") or with a Daniel D'Alcântara trumpet solo. Edu Ribeiro makes for a swinging drummer, and Raphael Ferreira's tenor solo on "Bárbaro" is sharp and tight. But I think there's something more to it; Thiago's songs have a feel and a presence that some people have to work decades to achieve.
You might as well jump on the bandwagon now. Thiago is going to be a huge breakout star in about a minute... this disc is proof of that.
Track Listing: O cravo bem temperado: Prelúdio II / Prelúdio No. 3; Caminhos
Cruzados; Bárbaro; Thiago; Fizê; Vó Luiza; Baiao No. 1 /
Niloplitano; Neném no Forró; As de Bombacha!; Théo; Sacha;
Toapé...; Má Rapaiz!; Tocar.
Personnel: Thiago Espirito Santo: electric bass, electric guitar; Edu Ribeiro: drums; Daniel D'Alcntara:
trumpet, flugelhorn; Raphael
Ferreira: tenor, soprano sax; Chico Pinheiro: acoustic guitar;
Arismar do Espirito Santo: guitar, seven string guitar, bass;
Silvia Ges: electric piano; Bia Gos: vocals; Amoy Ribas: percussion; Cuca Teixeira: drums;
Vainer: vocals; Liv Moraes: vocals; Edson Montenegro: vocals; Dominguinhos: accordion;
Sandro Haick: guitar; Di de Arajo: percussion; Fuba de
Tapero: percussion; La Freire: flute; Djalma Lima: guitar;
Alex Buck: drums; Z Renato: vocals; Rogrio Caetano: seven
string guitar; Guelo: percussion.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.