Pierre Aderne ‘Caboclo’ (Abacateiro Musica/The Orchard) 4/5

pierre-aderneFrench-born, but raised in Brazil and now resident in Portugal, singer-songwriter and guitarist Pierre Aderne is the real deal and offers a refreshing take on the well-worn territory of neo-bossa music. There is a lightness of touch and immediacy to the music here that makes this album stand out from the rest and equally a maturity to the recording in that nothing is rushed, while the delivery is that of an experienced singer. The instantly catchy opener ‘Tristeza Sai Pra Là’ is classic bossa terrain and the piano vamps and guitar make for a wonderfully uplifting start to the album. This is continued on an inventive re-working of ‘Berimbau’ with a quasi-classical feel in the piano intro, but the tempo gently goes up a gear with some subtle percussive work. The voice hints at Joao Gilberto without ever attempting to replicate. In a more intimate vein, ‘Deixa Voar’ reduces the sound to merely the piano and guitar plus voice which works extremely well whereas the whole band including accordion are deployed on the uptempo ‘Astrolàbio’ which is another album highlight. Guest singers feature elsewhere with Melody Gardot duetting in both English and Portugese on the 1950s style ‘Limoeiro’ while for a change of emphasis altogether. old-time jazz is evoked on ‘Should I happen to come by’ which includes some jazzy acoustic double bass playing and this song was co-written by Melody Gardot and Madeleine Peyroux. Two fusions of Brazilian and Portugese music are successfully negotiated on ‘Fado do Ladarão Enamorado’ that features Cristina Águas and on the samba-influenced ‘Fado dos Barcos’. Although there are shades of both the young Caetano Veloso (post-Tropicalia) and Vinicius Cantuária in Pierre Aderne’s music, he is very much his own man and if this debut album is anything to go by, he is destined for a highly successful career.

Tim Stenhouse