Manufactured and marketed by ECM, the Carmo label is strongly associated with Brazilian guitar master Egberto Gismonti, who invited compatriot Wirtti (v) and Argentinian eight-string guitarist Arriazu to participate in a Buenos Aires concert he gave in 2017 – and then went on to produce the current album.
The result is music of both intimate cast and irresistible Latin drive and vocal incantation (Iarare, Candombe Santo), of yearning, exquisitely turned form and feeling (El Duce Gavilan, Eu Vou Pro Céu).
The delicious shape-shifting whole is rendered with the sort of overall élan of poetic conception and tempo-twisting finesse (Gira Com Jurema, O Ronco Da Cuica) which will be familiar to anyone who has relished Gismonti’s work on such classic cliché-busting ECM albums as Danca Das Cabecas (with Nana Vasconcelos) or Solo – not that the music here is any mere simulacrum, far from it.
Occasional double tracking of the vocals lends added impact to some tracks, but while there is a printed passage of Portuguese poetry in the packaging, there are unfortunately no English translations of the lyrics, simply a brief and somewhat “characterful” explanation in English of the album’s genesis.
Moleca Saci; Cacador De Infancia; Fuga De Trem; El Duce Gavilan; Iarare; Memorias De Valparaiso; Gira Com Jurema; Verde Limao; O Ronco Da Cuica; Eu Vou Pro Ceu; Candombe Santo (40.39)
Wirtti (v); Arriazu (g). Rio de Janeiro, 19 September 2018.
Carmo / 17