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Sergio Pereira, Bossa+ Review

by Brice BoormanMay 16, 2024

Sergio Pereira, Bossa+ Review

Sergio-Pereira-cdSergio Pereira’s Bossa+ is a world music journey through time, cultures, and musical landscapes, all influenced by the beautiful rhythms of Brazil. Born in the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, Pereira’s musical journey began at the tender age of 8, with an acoustic guitar under the tutelage of his older brother. His immersion in the rich cultural milieu of Rio during the transformative 60s and 70s laid the groundwork for a lifelong devotion to guitar music, deeply influenced by bossa nova titans like João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, and Carlos Lyra.

Pereira’s subsequent move to New York in the 1980s marked a pivotal turn, blending his bossa nova roots with jazz’s complex harmonies and improvisational freedom. Under the mentorship of jazz luminaries such as Chuck Wayne and Joe Carter, Pereira broadened his musical vocabulary, enriching his artistry with a blend of genres and styles. His global odyssey through the 90s, sharing stages with world-renowned musicians like Mark Egan and Filo Machado, further cemented his reputation as a consummate musician.

Bossa+, co-produced by Mauricio Zottarelli, is seven songs featuring Pereira’s rich musical heritage and hisSergio-Pereira-2 continuous exploration of new sonic settings. Featuring a stellar lineup of musicians, including Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo and Cuban-born pianist Ivan “Melon” Lewis, the album captures the spontaneity and vibrant energy of live studio recordings. Each track reflects Pereira’s life experiences, travels, and musical influences, inviting listeners into a world where every note tells a story.

The album opens with “Bossa,” a relaxed bossa nova piece that immediately sets a warm, inviting tone. Pereira’s nylon-strung guitar and Chipi Chacón’s flügelhorn create a soothing and lyrical melody. Pereira’s guitar solo is melodic and elegant, displaying rhythmic clarity that perfectly complements the track’s light and airy feel.

“Sea of Love” shifts to a contemporary straight-eight funk feel. Ariel Ramirez and Mauricio Zottarelli establish a groove that Luis Guerra embellishes with well-voiced chords, while Chacon’s muted trumpet adds a romantic color. Pereira’s vocals mirror the warm and pure timbre of his guitar, seamlessly blending funk and Latin rhythms.

“One for Pat” introduces a new ensemble, featuring Ivan “Melon” Lewis on piano, Ivan Ruiz Machado on bass, and José San Martin on drums. Romero Lubambo’s violão adds a special touch, while Pereira’s voice blends beautifully with his guitar. Machado’s elegant bass solo transitions smoothly into Lubambo’s expressive violão solo, creating a cohesive and compelling narrative.

“Montgo” opens with energetic band hits and a swaying Latin feel that invites listeners to dance. The composition’s multiple sections provide a sense of development and forward momentum. Guerra’s passionate and energetic piano solo stands out, adding to the track’s dynamic feel.

“Saudades” features Pereira’s guitar chords and Guerra’s piano, filling the spaces around Pereira and Chacón’s lyrical melody. Zottarelli’s drumming and percussion add rich texture and flowing energy. Lubambo’s solo balances lyrical elegance with exciting figures, showcasing his graceful technique. The trading of phrases between Pereira and Lubambo highlights their technical prowess and passion.

“Desamor (Verão Boreal)” has a moody Latin feel. Pereira’s expressive vocals deliver the melody, and Chacón’s trumpet provides complementary fills. Chacón’s solo is particularly noteworthy, adding depth and emotion to the track.

The album closes with a vibrant rendition of the jazz standard “There Will Never Be Another You.” The ensemble blends straight-ahead jazz with Latin jazz, performing with passion and deep listening. Zottarelli’s rousing drum solo, filled with energy and cross-rhythms, is a fitting conclusion to this musical journey.

Sergio-Pereira-2Bossa+ is an immersive experience, showcasing the fusion of bossa nova with other Brazilian rhythms, all infused with the improvisational spirit of jazz. The album stands as a bridge between the rich legacy of Brazilian music and its contemporary expressions, making it a pivotal contribution to listeners who love a musical dialogue based on Brazilian roots. Through Bossa+, Sergio Pereira invites listeners to join him on a journey that transcends borders and genres, celebrating the timeless beauty of music.

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