This viscerally exciting recording with the young Brasilian drummer, Igor Willcox at the helm of affairs bodes well for the new generation of musicians emerging from one of the great musical havens of South America. And it’s not only because of the virtuoso drumming that is quite evident from this debut record, simply entitled #1. There is a truly fine sense of musicianship throughout the hour-long musical sojourn, with extraordinarily thoughtful and mature contributions from some enormously talented musicians who ought to be – as a result – much better recognized than they currently are. Chief among them is, of course, the drummer – Igor Willcox – himself.
Thanks to crowd-funding programmes such as Indegogo and others, musicians such as Igor Willcox are no longer chaffing at the bit, but able to raise funds to produce their own studio recordings. In the case of #1, of course, this is good news because Mr Willcox’s is a voice that demands to be heard. He has a lion’s roar in his musical voice. It not only sounds forthright and confident, but is at once dynamic and animated, but can also sound more subtle in his sometimes whisper-soft articulation on the snare drum and cymbals. Mostly, however, he is bursting with enthusiasm to be heard and often roars loudly and yet melodically. Best of all Igor Willcox is also a composer of fine music, and his idiomatic writing is wonderfully realized by this outstanding group of young musicians – especially key members of his long-standing quartet – saxophonist and flutist Clayton Sousa, pianist and Vini Morales, and bassist Glecio Nascimento.
There are many more musicians who are here to share the joy of music with Igor Willcox on #1 and among them is Erik Escobar, who also happens to be a very talented writer as well; his contributions to that effect – “Old Friends” and “Thankful” are wonderful examples of this talent. The other keyboards player, Vini Morales, has also written an affecting song, “Brad Vibe” for this outing. Interestingly in all of the music we hear not just a rush to be heard, but thoughtfully constructed melodies that also sound immediate and beguiling. This is principally why it does not require much to be drawn into the music itself. And while all of the artists here display a keen sense of musicality, each is also uniquely attuned to Igor Willcox’s vision and artistry. And although each of the songs is impressive the ballad, “Waltz for My Love” is singularly breathtaking.
Track list – 1: Brotherhood; 2: The Scare; 3: Old Friends; 4: Julie´s Blues; 5: Brad Vibe; 6: Thankful; 7: Room 73; 8: Waltz For My Love; 9: Lifetime
Personnel – Clayton Sousa: saxophone (1, 2, 4, 6, 7), flute (8); Erik Escobar: keyboards (1, 3, 6); Vini Morales: keyboards (2, 7, 9), piano (5), Hammond B3 (4); Bruno Alves: keyboards (8); Carlos Tomati: guitar (3, 9); Bocato: trombone (4)Jj Frannco: bass (1); Rubem Farias: bass (2, 3, 6, 8); Glecio Nascimento: contrabass (4,5,9); Fernando Rosa: bass (7); Igor Willcox: drums, Hammond B3 (1), synthesizer (2); Marcus Cesar: percussion (6)
Released – 2017
Label – Room 73 Records
Runtime – 1:03:28