Chico Pinheiro & Anthony Wilson: Alla Chitarra
Nova (Goat Hill Recordings)
Swami Jr. (7-string acoustic guitar).
Composed by Anthony Wilson.
Recorded: date unknown; released 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Nova is a mixture of Brazilian music and jazz. The full ensemble playing is quite good. But as is often the case, music can be best when pared down. The most rewarding cut on the album is "Alla Chitarra." The music itself is not simplified. In fact it is quite intricate. But the two main protagonists, Chico Pinheiro and Anthony Wilson, go at it without the rhythm section. They are joined by Swami Jr. who plays the Brazilian 7-string guitar. His task is to offer a textural bed for the other two players. Pinheiro and Wilson are nothing short of fantastic. The tune, written by Wilson, gives the players many opportunities to be as expressive as hell. This isn't Paco De Lucia meets John McLaughlin or Al Di Meola, but a Latin flavor permeates the jazz, and the calls and responses are reminiscent of the Guitar Trio. (Certain sections of the piece also sound very much in structure and intent like "Rene's Theme" on Larry Coryell's 1974 album Spaces.) Excepting the acoustic guitar of Swami Jr., the sound is electric. At least that is what the liner notes say. Both Pinheiro and Wilson are plugged in. From time to time you can tell this. But the sound each gets mimics the gut string in a very evocative way. The tune turns straight-ahead jazz for a spell before ending with some interesting counterpoints. Pinheiro and Wilson are simpatico. Their unison playing is especially rewarding. This is very enjoyable music performed with a knowing precision.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky
Tags: 2000s jazz. guitar