JazzTimes - p.108
"The veteran pianist continues his sunny passion for the lovely, softer side of bossa nova and light jazz..."
Personnel: Marcos Ariel (keyboards); Joao Baptista (double bass, contrabaja); Ricardo Silveira (strings); Jurim Moreira (drums).
Audio Mixers: Joao Baptista; Marco Antonio.
Recording information: Studio Up, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
4 Friends is a pleasant set of happy jazz, with each of keyboardist Marcos Ariel's 11 originals being quite cheerful and largely uneventful. All of the selections clock in between 3:37 and 4:48, neither Ariel or guitarist Ricardo Silveira sound like they are taking any chances in their solos (if they made an error, no doubt it would be "corrected" in the mix), and everything sounds so mellow. Some of the music is taken at a medium-tempo groove, some numbers are more bossa nova-oriented, and there are some pretty ballads. The musicianship is impeccable and all of the music sounds "perfect," but predictable and lacking any real spontaneity. Clearly, this release is aimed toward the commercial market and lite-jazz radio airplay, succeeding at its apparent goal of being pleasant background music. ~ Scott Yanow