Marcos Amorim Trio: Marcos Amorim (acoustic & electric guitars); Ney Conceicao (4-, 5- & 6-string basses); Robertinho Silva (drums, percussion).
Recorded at the Cheese Factory, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on April 4-6, 2001.
Personnel: Marcos Amorim (guitar); Robertinho Silva (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Daniel Cheese.
Recording information: The Cheese Factory Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (03/??/2001-04/06/2001).
On his first release stateside, Brazilian guitarist Marcos Amorim sets the bar high. Cris on the Farm is a trio date that showcases not only Amorim's deft and often amazing playing skills, but also reveals the considerable mettle of his compositional talent and his alacrity as a bandleader. With bassist Ney Concei‡ao and Robertinho Silva on drums, Amorim takes listeners for a gentle yet instrumentally compelling journey though the intersections between samba and jazz without trying to blur their divisions. Deeply influenced stylistically by Baden Powell, Pat Metheny, and Charlie Byrd, Amorim is one of the most elegant and graceful guitarists to come from Rio in a long time. He is a master of counterpoint and tonal invention. His fluidity, like Powell's, runs across the plectrum/chord-voicing boundary and into the space where both occur simultaneously. Like Metheny, he looks for the space in melody where it opens up to a euphoric edge and consciously reaches for the seam, and like Byrd, his sense of rhythmic dynamic is uncanny as even as a soloist he is an ensemble player. The interplay between Amorim and Concei‡ao (who should be leading his own band) is nothing short of symbiotic -- check tunes like "Cristina Na Fazenda" or "Juca e Helena," where counterpoint and melody are executed, exchanged, and incorporated in lightning-quick harmonic changes and rhythmic invention turns on a dime, allowing Silva to roam over the proceedings and bring beats in to accent the depth and complexity of what is happening on the front line. All of this said, however, Cris on the Farm is a gentle, soul-stirring album full of blessed-out textures, gloriously pastoral moments, and stunning solo interludes. Highly recommended. ~ Thom Jurek