There's a great deal to take in on the double CD from Seattle-based Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto. Although divided into the U.S.A. on one disc and Brazil on the other, the boundaries aren't so neatly drawn. All the material is Brazilian (a couple are improvisations) and Brazilian artists do infiltrate the first disc. The duets, all first takes, are quite inspirational, and on occasion transcendent (such as the singing of Joyce Moreno
and Paula Morelenbaum
, or the wild harmonica attack of Gabriel Grossi
). Some are full of surprises: the pairing with Airto Moreira
, for example, is a glorious extemporization that features bamboo flute and bird calls. In addition to depth there are also moments of playfulness, as with Bill Frisell
on "Caminhos Cruzados." That Neto is a wonderful pianist is already known, but this also has him on melodica and bamboo flute, and also exploring lesser-known pieces from the canon of glorious composers or giving the light of day to unfamiliar names. There's real empathy between the musicians here, in some cases so simpatico it's scary (step up, Danilo Brito
and Teco Cardosa). All in all, a beautiful and successful experiment.