by: Brian Gall
December 05, 2008
Brazilian pianist Heloisa Fernandes can tickle both the hearts of those with a quieter, more elegant classical palette and those whose survival is reliant upon jazz. Even without a team of dynamic percussionists and fine string accompaniment, Fruto is a feat of arrangement and composition.
Vocal beats in "Colheita" create an epic, fundamental sound featuring piano and multiple musicians creating choral rhythms together.
Bottomless, dark violin tones change the character of Fruto during the fourth number, "Crianca." Assuming the entire record will be set in a cheerful scene becomes a fleeting thought as a string duo stabs away with sorrow before Fernandes re-enters and stylishly brings spirits back up as the piece interestingly spirals through its nine minutes.
Fernandes pounds her way along the keys and through the record's most apocalyptic track on the Caetano Veloso-penned "Trilhos Urbanos," one of only two songs not written by the pianist. The piece lets loose and devastates the quite casual sound of the album.
Two drummers, a percussionist and a guest percussionist (Nana Vasconcelos) do get their rest time, allowing for Zeca Assumpcao (contrabass) to guide the pianist to another levelone of a jazz duo. After a challenging, genre-splitting ride, a 90 second finale called "Rita" serves as a simple goodbye.
The seven-part "Suite das Meninas" moves quickly along through entirely improvisational material and, juxtaposed against the creatively crafted first half of the CD, begs for more to be heard.
On the strength of Heloisa Fernandes, hopefully a solo recording is in the air. Alone, her arrangements stand-up strongly. With this group of musicians behind her the sound is determined and complete, making for magnificent Brazilian flavored modern music with jazz in its soul.
Visit Heloisa Fernandes on the web.
Track listing: Voo; Rosa; Colheita; Crianca; Fruto; Trilhos Urbanos; Jasmim; Suite das Meninas (Ana); Suite das Meninas (Beatriz); Suite das Meninas (Isabel); Suite das Meninas (Maria); Suite das Meninas (Laura); Suite das Meninas (Ines); Suite das Meninas (Rita).
Personnel: Ari Colares: percussion; Sergio Reze: drums and percussion; Andre Magalhaes: drums and percussion; Nana Vasconcelos: perscussion; Claudio Cruz: violin; Alceu Reis: cello; Teco Cardoso: flutes; Zeca Assumpcao: contrabass; Heloisa Fernandes: piano; Gil Jardim: musical director.