Jazz CD Reviews

Ricardo Silveira – Noite Clara – Adventure Music

What at first seems a rather ordinary excursion into Brazilian jazz eventually yields rich musical rewards

Published on December 3, 2008

Ricardo Silveira – Noite Clara – Adventure Music
Ricardo Silveira – Noite Clara – Adventure Music AM1003 2, 44:03 ****:

(Ricardo Silveira – acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards; Carlos Balla – drums; Renato “Massa” Calmon – drums; Armando Marçal – percussion; Rhodes piano – Sasha Amback; Jorge Helder -  acoustic bass; John Leftwich – acoustic bass; Luis Alves – acoustic bass; André Rodrigues – acoustic bass; Gilson Peranzzetta – accordion)

Leader Ricardo Silveira plays and composes deceptively simple melodies.  His playing, mainly on acoustic guitar, belies a musical depth that only gradually reveals itself.  Don’t be deceived, however.  Simple vehicles, such as the opening number, “Rio Texas,” with what sounds like fairly generic acoustic finger picked guitar, slowly morph into statements of musical and emotional significance.  Not one to rip off lightening fast single-note runs, Silveira typically establishes a mood and atmosphere that provides the basis for tasty if restrained soloing: he seems more concerned to create a particular feeling than to showcase outrageous chops.  Thus, many of his numbers require close listening that in the end reveals a heartfelt sentiment that more virtuoso players strive for but seldom achieve.  In this respect, he resembles Ralph Towner, another acoustic guitar player of highest accomplishment that somehow seems to fly below the radar.

Small wonder, then, that Noite Clara was nominated for a Grammy for best instrumental disc in the year of its release: it is simply jam-packed with intelligent playing and attractive tunes.

One small caveat: Silveira relies on electric guitar overdubs for sonic variety.  Why not employ another guitarist and get some really hot exchanges instead of taking the safer course of playing off his own riffs? Despite this minor reservation, Noite Clara is a disc of considerable accomplishment, one that will provide many moments of pleasant listening for discerning listeners.

TrackList:
Rio Texas, Lua No Mar (Moon on the Sea), Com a Tempo (As Time Goes By), Tango Carioca, Consolação (Consolation), Bom Partido (from a certain kind of samba), Noite Clara (Clear Night), Olhando a Chuva (Watching the Rain), Ingênua (Naïve), País Tropical (Tropical Country)

- Jan P. Dennis
 




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