Danca Dos Tempos
Now Again Records
Fabiano Do Nascimento has been building a reputation across recent years and that’s set to be cemented with this, his debut international release, a record that pulses and surges with his dextrous guitar work across a range of Afro-Brazilian grooves that cross all manner of world-music terrains with jazz, always, at the heart of the journey.
It’s as much about the dance between the guitarist and the percussion – here assisted/enabled by his own long-time drumming star, Richard “Tiki” Pasillas on the trap-set and the legendary bandleader/percussionist/producer Airto.
An early highlight is O Ovo, Nascimento working a strong folk rhythm with his thumb while picking beneath and it’s the samba-sway of Pasillas that gives the song its huge lift. He’s Steve Gadd and Chris “Daddy’ Dave all at once as he guides the song along one minute, jazzy, propulsive and then finds ways to ‘third arm’ a sharp tom fill or to double-down on 32nd notes and triplet-feels between the hi-hat and snare. It never feels too much though as Nascimento’s guitar continue to find a way to wind around and through the drum rhythms.
Elsewhere there are gorgeous ballad-tempo pieces (Iemanja) and further drum-set workouts (Primeira Estrella). What links it all is the spirit in the playing and the obvious joy that is conjured. Impressive, too, is the fact that this is a set of live-in-the-studio moments, no overdubs and subtle mastering. It feels as close to a live performance – you almost imagine a hushed, mouth-agape audience (until you realise that’s exactly the role you fulfil). Etude has a Villa-Lobos vibe, Tocatta Em Ritmo De Samba reworks the popular dance as Nascimento threads his needlepoint guitar through the spaces always granted by Airto and Se Ela Preguntar will have you thinking of Julian Bream’s precision as we leave the jazzy notions for a moment and move more deeply toward classical.
Danca Dos Tempos is a masterpiece, sublime playing, a simply gorgeous album; a favourite of 2015 for me. A favourite, most likely, across 2016 and many years to come…