Fabiano do Nascimento ‘Prelúdio’ LP/CD (Now-Again) 5/5

Prelúdio is Fabiano do Nascimento’s third album to be released by Now-Again Records, following the excellent Dança dos Tempos and Tempo dos Mestres. The young Brazilian guitarist once again teams up with long-term collaborator, drummer/percussionist Ricardo ‘Tiki’ Pasillas. Whilst continuing to follow familiar territory, that of Brazilian folkloric, jazz, bossa-nova and samba music, this release, however, is the first album to focus entirely on do Nascimento’s own compositions.

The music recorded here is stunning. I loved the guitarist’s previous releases, but to my mind, Prelúdio is on a different level. do Nascimento’s compositions show a clear maturity and confidence, whilst retaining a joyous youthfulness and energy. There’s a warmth and understated feel to the whole session that exudes class, with the guitar and drums duo appearing to relish working together on this wonderful original material.

More refined than its preceding releases, Prelúdio sparkles with invention. do Nascimento plays 8 string, 7 string, 6 string and soprano guitars and also provides vocals. The subtlety of his vocals perfectly complement his guitar playing, as indeed do the drums and percussion. 10 original tunes grace this album and I have found myself playing it over and over again, utterly enthralled by what I’m hearing.

do Nascimento’s music is obviously steeped in the heritage and tradition of Brazilian music, bringing to mind the likes of Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti and Baden Powell, but he clearly has his own voice, imaginatively, thoughtfully and intelligently bringing a new era of Brazilian guitar to the ears of the waiting world.

The dialogue between guitar and drums sounds so intuitive that the vibe created throughout the whole session is one of musical friendship and togetherness, the perfect marriage of virtuoso instrumentalists. From the lyrical, lively, awe-inspiring opener “Rio Tapajós” through to the mesmerising melancholia of the closing piece “Trem-Bala”, the journey is intoxicating, exquisite and compellingly beautiful.

This album is sublime. Beautifully crafted music performed with warmth, skill and maturity. Fabiano do Nascimento has quite simply created a quietly assured and inspiring masterpiece. It’s fair to say this one won’t be leaving my turntable for a fair old while.

Mike Gates

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Fabiano do Nascimento ‘Dança dos Tempos’ LP/CD (Now-Again) 4/5