The Loro Project by a quartet led by Brasilian guitarist Vitor Garbelotto and French violinist Henrik André features some of the most spirited and eloquently ornamented playing of largely Brasilian music. The programme is framed by compositions by the work of legendary Brasilian composers such as Radamés Gnatalli, Tom Jobim, Jacob do Bandolim, Moacir Santos, Hermeto Pascoal, Baden Powell and Egberto Gismonti – after whose composition “Loro” the album has been titled. It also contains two pieces by Mr André and one by Chick Corea as well. The music certainly lends itself to the liquid pizzicato gestures of Mr Garbelotto’s guitar, but also evokes the ephemeral feeling of saudade in the playing of Mr André’s playing which is exquisite whether he plays pizzicato or con arco.
Add to all of that the delicious gravitas of Rémy Hervo’s contrabass and Gabor Turi’s masterful drumming and we have music that possesses immense energy whether in soli or in ensemble playing. Mr Garbelotto’s performance infectiously realises an energy that requires immense virtuosity as does Mr André’s and the contrasting lyricism of both players finds an elegant reflection in the playing of their rhythmists, who play a far greater role than that of mere time-keepers, contributing harmonically as well as melodically – especially in the breathtakingly beautiful arrangement of Moacir Santos’ “Coisa n°10” and, of course Mr Gismonti’s “Loro”. Both pieces are redolent of their composers’ idiosyncratic and exploratory styles, thematically challenging and boldly expressive.
We can also grasp the challenges – both in delicate complexity and lyricism – found in the rest of the repertoire and thus find much that is praiseworthy in the performance of the work of Mr Gnatalli and Mr Pascoal (the legendary O Bruxo), both of whom were mavericks in their own special way.
Track list – 1: Assanhado; 2: Radamés y Pelé; 3: Rhumba Flamenco; 4: Chorinho Mec; 5: Coisa n°10; 6: Loro; 7: Milonga en la Luna; 8: É de Lei; 9: Despierto; 10: Caminho da Saudade
Personnel – Henrik André: violin; Vitor Garbelotto: guitar; Rémy Hervo: contrabass; Gabor Turi: drums
Released – 2018
Label – Independent
Runtime – 39:44