RICARDO PEIXOTO — Scary Beautiful (review)

RICARDO PEIXOTO — Scary Beautiful album cover Album · 2019 · Latin Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
I don’t know if it is just coincidence, but lately I have received several new CDs that mix Brazilian jazz with contemporary classical composition. If this is a ‘new thing’, its really working well as borne out in the latest album I was sent along these lines, Ricardo Peixoto’s “Scary Beautiful”. Ricardo is an acoustic guitarist who has worked with some top names including, Flora Purim, Bud Shank, Dom Um Romao, Arturo Sandoval and many more. “Scary Beautiful” is his third album and it finds him presenting ten original compositions, each with its own unique sound and flavor. No two tracks on here feature the same backing musicians as Ricardo moves from large ensembles to intimate duets and everything in between. The many guests on here include some well known artists such as Paul McCandless, John Santos and Marcos Silva.

Album opener “Circles” recalls early Oregon, so its no surprise to find that group’s McCandless on soprano sax. “Morro de Paixao” is a lively samba that will remind many of the celebratory nature of much Brazilian music. This track also features a horn section whose rhythmic accents recall a salsa band or even the Earth Wind and Fire horns. Title track, “Scary Beautiful” shows Ricardo’s compositional side with interlocking minimalist rhythms that build momentum throughout the piece. “Pixinguina” features a chamber woodwind ensemble and more contemporary composition. The relatively short “Nereids” is one of the more striking tracks with its floating wordless vocals from Claudia Villela that create a movie soundtrack like atmosphere. Although each of the cuts on "Scary Beautiful" feature a different sound, the whole album flows together nicely like a Brazilian contemporary tone poem.
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