Fado em Si Bemol,
QB (Quanto Baste)
(Vidisco, 2012)

The first thing you have to know about this Portugese quintet is that they are very, very good. Consisting of two guitarists, a bass player and a percussionist, along with a vocalist, they play Latin-American jazz and folk music -- world music, if you will. Since the singing is in Portugese, the singer sounds -- to the monolinguists among us -- like another instrument in the mix, an interesting and unusual one that adds depth and richness to the authenticity that characterizes Fado em Si Bemol's music.

And rich this music is. All of the members of the band have a history of teaching in university or conservatory music departments, so all are classically trained and highly skilled on their instruments, but they're also able to cook; they haven't had the soul trained out of them, they get dirty in a uniquely clean way. Their songs know just where they are going but have their own way of getting there.

If you want to hear Portugese jazz that goes out of its way to avoid the cliches we associate with Latin-American jazz, if you want to hear original music that respects its tradition, beautifully played, this album is for you.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

9 February 2013

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