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11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

CD Review: Ricardo Peixoto - Scary Beautiful

(Review by Steve T)

Back in the days of jazz-funk, I was really into acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh though - in hindsight - as a disciple of George Benson and his association with Bob James they were always going to condemn him to the scorn that would subsequently be heaped on smooth jazz.

On first hearing this, I was immediately reminded of Mr Klugh, though those who summarily dismiss smooth jazz need not be put off. Like everything else, the boundaries of what constitutes smooth jazz is not a fixed point but is fluid amongst listeners and many who generally hate the sub-genre may find lots to enjoy.

Although his native Brazil permeates everything here, he's classically trained and also studied at Berklee alongside Pat Metheny and Gary Burton and has played and recorded with Airto, Flora Purim, Dom Um Romao and others.

Circles features an acoustic guitar. soprano sax front-line.

Santos E Demonios has an acoustic guitar/ flute front-line - and the flute will play a prominent role throughout - with percussion well to the fore.

The title track features more flute and a classical string quartet.

Nereids follows and, at a little over a minute long, features fine choral vocals from Claudia Villela.

Morro da Paixao is my favourite track, featuring a prolific three piece horn section giving propulsion and a slight big band feel, a flugelhorn solo following the guitar solo, the leader comping behind it with the sax and trombone chipping in.

Simpatica is an acoustic guitar, piano duet and I've recently had my head turned to the possibilities of this line-up.

Pixinguinga returns to a classical format, heavy on woodwinds (flute, bass clarinet and oboe) and no rhythm section.

Velha Amizade returns a standard rhythm section plus under-stated percussion, flute and Peixoto switching between acoustic and electric, though firmly on the acoustic side of semi-acoustic.

The penultimate track is Noturna and is a solo acoustic guitar piece which could have been Steve Howe on an early Yes album.

Finally, it's back to some oomph with Balao De Tres, with a great catchy melody, flute coming in for the second run through.  

At forty six minutes, it's a nice length for an album and, with plenty of variety on offer, this is the best album I've reviewed in some time and by a long way.
Already available on CD and digital. 
Steve T.

Ricardo Peixoto - acoustic and electric guitars.

Ken Cook, Marcus Silva (piano); Cliff Hugo, Scott Thompson, Aaron Germain (bass); Rafael Barata, Kendrick Freeman, Mike Shapiro (drums); Bob Afifi (flute); Paul McCandless (soprano sax); Harvey Wainapel (bass clarinet); Jesse Sadoc (flugelhorn); Marcelo Martins (tenor sax); Aldivas Ayres (trombone); Paul Hanson ( bassoon); Kyle Bruchman (oboe), Rob Reich (accordion); Luiz Brasil (tenor guitar, percussion); John Santos, Brian Rice, Ricardo Guerra (percussion); Bernardo Bessler, Priscilla Platea Rato (violins); Marie Christine Bessler (viola); Marcus Ribeiro de Oliveira (cello); Claudia Villela (voice). 

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