Sunday, June 15, 2014

Marcel Camargo The Brasil You Never Heard Behind Jobim

Perhaps the most refreshing look at some of the greatest music the world has ever known.

Brent Black /

First things first, who is Marcel Camargo? Michael Buble, Sergio Mendes, and Gretchen Parlato have all utilized the amazing services of Marcel Camargo. Now moving out on his own, Camargo is now able to have audiences focus on his multi-dimensional talents as guitarist, vocalist and composer. The debut release of The Brasil You Never Heard Behind Jobim is an almost scholarly look at the music of the great Antonio Carlos Jobim and the possibilities that can still be found within these textured melodies and deceptively subtle nuanced flavor of the Brazilian master. Behind Jobim answers the musical question, "What if?"

The ingenious hook with this release is that Camargo also sought to find that harmonic tie in to some of the major influences of Antonio Carlos Jobim. One of the highlights on this first in a series of EPs is the duet "I Fall In Love Too Easily" with Gretchen Parlato and Camargo on guitar. Intimate, elegant and amazingly sophisticated. "Lamento" makes exquisite use of a Choro written by the great Pixinguinha, contemporary by most standards but losing nothing in authenticity.

Brazilian music in general and the music of Jobim is often unfairly stereotyped. The styles of music in Brazil are as varied as the regions and Jobim's influences included classical, Brazilian popular and folk as well as the improvisational music of North America. Marcel Camargo has the innate ability and vision to take music that would be considered eclectic by many and forge a cohesive contemporary mosaic of sound that pays tribute not only to the great Jobim but the various cultures this music represents.

There is nothing predictable here, this auspicious release should be a welcome addition to any library of music.

Tracks: Lamentos do Moro; Lamento; Prellude / Insensatez; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Imagina.
Personnel: Voices: Gretchen Parlato, Marcel Camargo; Woodwinds: Kaisse Buckingham (flute), Brian Walsh (clarinet) and Miguel Gandelman (Bari Sax); Brass: Amy Sanchez (French horn) and Garrett Smith (trombone); Harp: Alison Bjorkedal; Strings: Daphne Chen, Marisa Kuney, Kate Sloan (violins), Thomas Lea, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (violas); Artom Manukian and Claire Courchene (cellos); Rhythm Section: Marcel Camargo (guitar, celeste) Andre de Sant Anna: (bass); Leo Costa: (drums and percussion); Marcos "Gibi" dos Santos (percussion) and Alberto Lopez (percussion).