Mauricio Pessoa: Without You

Dan Bilawsky By

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There's an urbane aura surrounding the music of Mauricio Pessoa. From the mournful string strains that introduce a dewy-eyed "Saudade I" on through to the high society swing of the "Without You" closer, his writing proves evocative both in drawing attention to times past and highlighting the influence of past masters—Moacir Santos, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Lindolpho Gaya, and Egberto Gismonti, to mention a few. However, it need be noted that, despite those backward glances and nods, his compositions aren't mired in the nostalgia they project. Pessoa plugs into a feeling of immediacy through these works, channeling his thoughts through an ensemble of twenty-plus which paints one stimulating and colorful canvas after another.

While it's true that there's not a lot of music here—the whole thing is over and done in twenty-three minutes—the details presented within make the album seem longer and make up for the truncated nature of the project. With "Quem é do Mar," for example, we have principled pizzicato work, sweeping tides, a brief shift to odd-time, and an upbeat send-off. And all of that in less than four minutes. Other numbers, while not as quick to shift character, rise above in terms of sound and sensation. Orchestrator Daniel Ott took all of the colors on his palette—a full spectrum of woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion—and put them to excellent use, ultimately proving to be Without You's greatest asset.

All of these concise and emotive performances, including the bounding "Valsa" (co-written with Ott), speak directly to Pessoa's personality and passions, lending the listener a sense of what he's really all about. An air of cultivation, an appreciation for pure beauty, and a positively sentimental streak inform these attractive performances.

Track Listing: Saudade I; Quem é do Mar; Ana Luiza; Saudade II; Valso; Lullaby; Without You.

Personnel: Paulo Guimaraes Ferreira: flute; Maria Fernando Goncalves: oboe, English horn; Marcio Costa: clarinet; Thiago Tavares: clarinet; Levi Chaves: saxophone; Andrey Cruz: saxophone; Eliezer Conrado: horn; Waleska Beltrami: horn; Altair Martins: trumpet; Nelson Olivieira: trumpet; Nilson Coelho: trumpet; Ricardo Santos: trombone; Raphael Campos da Paixao: trombone; Rodrigo Foti: timpani, percussion; Pedrinho Ferreira: percussion; Andre Tandeta: drums; Marco Antonio Correa Monteiro: harp; Ana Azevedo: piano; Nikolay Sapoundjiev: violin; William Isaac: violin; Samuel Passos: viola; Emilia Ivova Valova: cello; Lipe Portinho: bass.

Title: Without You | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Produzido No Polo Industrial De Manaus

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