5

Andre Fernandes: Wonder Wheel

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Andre Fernandes: Wonder Wheel André Fernandes, guitarist with the Orquestra Jazz De Matosinhos, one of Portugal's most dynamic big bands, is an accomplished musician and was obviously hoping for great things with this one. He commissioned Maria Bouza Pinto, an artist who is the epitome of " le cool Lisboa" to design the cover. And he recruited Ines Sousa from the up-and-coming rock band Julie And The Carjackers to handle vocals.

So far, so good, but at this point Fernandes forgot something rather important. He really should have come up with a few decent songs for Sousa to sing.

Instead, obviously hoping that it would be "all right on the night," the idea was that she would scat wordless vocals as his quartet improvised their way around a few "head" arrangements.

It works for a few minutes. On "300 Pessoas (300 People)," Sousa copes well, there's a good solo by Argentinian bassist Demian Cabaud, some interesting keyboard work by Mario Laginha, and a well constructed, gently rocking break by the leader.

The second track, "A Menina Que Tinha Asas (The Little Girl Who Had Wings)," features more excellent piano but by now the wordless vocal is starting to pall. By the third number, " Campo Del Cielo (Sky Field)," penned by Cabaud, it's becoming downright irritating.

On "Down The Road" relief should be to hand. Sousa sings actual words, written by Akiko Pavolka, a Japanese musician based in New York. Unfortunately Fernandes could only come up with a singularly plodding, uninspired score to put behind them.

But then—Hallelujah!—a miracle. Sousa sings a stunning, keenly felt, low key interpretation of the 1950 James Shelton song "Lilac Wine." It ranks up there with the 1978 version by Britain's Elkie Brooks and only ever so slightly below the superbly accomplished revival Miley Cyrus has included in her Backyard Sessions.

Unfortunately, triumph though this is, "Lilac Wine" comes too late. There's another tedious wordless vocal on "Salto Para Lado Nenhum (Jump To Nowhere)" before the title song, a second, undistinguished Fernandes/Pavolka composition. It's all over. Only the hypnotic strains of Shelton's song linger—a sad reminder of what might have been.

Track Listing: 300 Pessoas; A Menina Que Tina Asas; Campo Del Cielo; Canc'ao No.2; Down The Road; Lilac Wine; Salto Para Lado Nenhum; Wonder Wheel.

Personnel: André Fernandes: guitar; Ines Sousa: vocals; Mario Laginha: keyboards; Damian Cabaud: bass; Alex Frazao: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tone of a Pitch Music | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Soulmation CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Feather CD/LP/Track Review Feather
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Lookin' East CD/LP/Track Review Lookin' East
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Voice of Robert Desnos CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "The Unity Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Unity Sessions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Celestial Blues: Cosmic, Political and Spiritual Jazz 1970 to 1974" CD/LP/Track Review Celestial Blues: Cosmic, Political and Spiritual Jazz 1970...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!