So Brazilian Essence / Romero Lubambo
Label: Sunnyside Communications
Catalog: SSD 1381
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1955 and resident of the United States for the past 30 years, Romero Lubambo is an accomplished Brazilian and American jazz guitarist. Sometimes in the studio, sometimes on tour with such artists as Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Al Jarreau, Ivan Lins, and Luciana Souza, his style is a blend of both styles. He also records with his Trio da Paz. This particular album is his second solo effort and one limited to the acoustic guitar. Fast runs and jazz chords flash over familiar Brazilian melodies. The album was engineered with close-in microphone and unedited for any fingering defects in performance. Its tunes are of mainly Brazilian composers (Vinicius de Moraes, Tom Jobim, Ary Barroso, Cesar Camargo Mariano) but also include his own compositions and the American standard, Laura, by Raksin and Mercer. To think of Brazilian guitar brings to mind the early work of Laurindo Almeida, Bola Sete, João Gilberto, and especially Baden Powell de Aquino; the more recent bosso nova and samba guitar styles of Celso Fonseca and Roberto Menescal may also be familiar. Now, we should include Romero Lubambo. Só/Brazilian Essence is a relaxed but bright album. His arrangements of these Brazlian standards, including the anthem Aquarela Do Brasil, are always interesting, and Lubambo ventures with success to sing on the tune Coisa Mais Linda by Carlos Lyra and de Moraes. The listener can imagine his complex fingering as his hand roams up and down the guitar neck, giving us fine, often unexpected harmonies and rhythms. This fascinating and exciting music is evidence why American and Brazilian musicians appreciate his contributions to their concerts and recordings. A fan of classical, folk, or any acoustic guitar music will find much to enjoy here. 57 minutes.