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Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins
Simbiose (May 12, 2017)

Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins — Simbiose (May 12, 2017)

                Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins — Simbiose Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins — Simbiose (May 12, 2017)°°       Simbiose is an exquisite guitar album by two of Brazil’s finest guitarists: Daniel Santiago and Pedro Martins. It’s a delightful set of interactions between acoustic and electric guitars with the addition of mesmerizing wordless vocals.
°°       Most of the compositions are by Daniel Santiago except for one, where Pedro Martins takes the lead. The captivating music contains contemporary acoustic, jazz, classical and Brazilian traditional music elements.
°°       Daniel and Pedro are friends, who grew up Brasilia. Daniel Santiago plays the acoustic guitar and Pedro Martins is on electric guitar. Both musicians provide vocals as well. Pedro Martins, 22, is a self~taught guitarist and composer chosen by Kurt Rosenwinkel and John McLaughlin as the winner of Montreux socar guitar competition 2015. He has worked, among others, with Milton Nascimento. His first studio album, Dreaming High (Adventure Music, 2012), Received glowing criticism both on the web and in high~profile jazz magazines. Pedro Martins grabs the attention of his listeners by his Brazil~inflected playing style, his refined technique, and a true talent for improvisation and composition.
°°       Simbiose is a masterfully constructed album filled with emotion and virtuosity.      
Location: Gama, Brazil
Album release: May 12, 2017
Record Label: Adventure Music
Duration:     40:21
01 Retrato [Portrait]     5:17
02 Simbiose [Symbiosis]     2:07
03 Distância [Distance]     3:50
04 Terra Molhada [Wet Soil]     4:32
05 Caravela [Caravel]     2:17
06 Paz [Peace]     4:54
07 Terra de Ninguém [No One’s Land]     5:21
08 Refletindo [Reflecting]     6:24
09 Chorando E Sorrindo [Crying & Smiling]     5:39
→    Daniel Santiago: acoustic guitar, vocals;
→    Pedro Martins: electric guitar, vocals.
By DAN BILAWSKY, April 18, 2018; Score: ****½
°°       Symbiosis, referring to a mutually advantageous connection between two parties, is most certainly the proper word to sum up this duo date. Back in the summer of 2015, Brazilian guitarists Daniel Santiago and Pedro Martins took to the quiet confines of a studio in São Paulo and spun out these nine organic beauties. To hear their patient developments, gorgeously entwined lines, fluid rhythmic strumming, and wordless vocals merge from different angles is to hear life unfolding through the art of communication.
°°       There’s a marriage of gossamer grace and needlepoint focus to be found in these subdued stunners. From the dreamy “Retrato” opener, with sotto voce shadings, on through to the “Stardust”~sprinkled “Chorando E Sorrindo” closer, this duo demonstrates that mastery isn’t always defined by age, and virtuosity isn’t measured by how many notes you can cram into a bar. There are moments where this pair opens up its stride — on the steeplechase~esque title track, for example — but the athleticism in their hands and fingers is a natural byproduct of the music, not something that’s simply flaunted. The two guitarists can impress just as easily with an open embrace like “Paz” as they can with sprinting and darting lines.
°°       Eight of these nine numbers come from Santiago’s pen, creating a consistency in language across the entire program. But the one contribution from Martins — a controlled yet wired “Refletindo,” placed in the penultimate slot — also sits perfectly in the mix. Hearing that makes clear that the tonal congruence from song to song has more to do with how these two men connect than with who wrote what. Songs simply flower under the light of the synergistic spells cast by Daniel Santiago and Pedro Martins.   °°       https://www.allaboutjazz.com/
Daniel Santiago — Metropole
°°       Daniel Santiago comes from a long and continuing line of renowned Brasilian guitarists. He has a lively and probing mind and the language of his guitar resonates with sparkling phrases, unusual syntax and an almost full~formed musical ideology. On Metropole, a thoughtful, questioning record, Santiago employs the distinct nature of being “Brasileiro” to explore his environment from a unique perspective: an urbane, worldly vision with a truly pastoral sensibility.
°°       The music of Metropole is all about living in a contemporary world full of old colonial baggage, disturbance and conflict and a genuine concern for the future of humanity. This view, as the title of the record suggests, is one fraught with colonial and ecclesiastical overtones. “Metropole” in Portuguese colonial culture once referred to the “European part” of that colonial power. As Santiago’s fingers play with gentle irony on the strings of his guitars, the idea translates into a brilliantly conceived “colonized perspective.” Now the song titles — even the not~so~obvious ones — reflect loaded thoughts. Here are three examples: “Letter to the World,” “Children of War” and “Angola’s Dance.” The titles of other songs may be more suggestive, nevertheless they all work together to reflect the overall conception of the record. This is executed through well~crafted sound design and superior musicianship.
°°       The music is densely textured. This appears to be deliberate and works well as the idea is to provoke thoughts using just sound, without words. It helps immensely that Santiago and his group is so in tune with what is required of the music that they seem to have an almost telepathic connection as far as tone is concerned. Further, the instrumental textures add an interesting and almost choral aspect to the music as individual voices express singular and plural aspects of the music. Interestingly — from the rhythm~driven Brasilian musical point of view, the two drummers play perhaps the most important role in the music.
°°       Both Márcio Bahia and Edu Ribeiro create a unique percussive coloration — the magic carpet on which the music glides and slides as it moves in an ever~forward motion. The two men do not drum together but somehow each is able to create a dense “Amazonian” feel that swirls around the music. There is a constant ricka~ticka~rat~a~tat and more, a constant swish, splash and tempestuous working of the brass and bronze of the cymbals. The underlying rhythmic motifs are always “samba,” “maracatú,” “xote” and others — both hidden and exposed. It is as if the drummers are speaking for the ancient trees in the Amazonian jungles of the “real” Brasil. What they say in turn is an actual reaction to the dissonant march of urban progress — globally. The often~neglected rural cultures of Brasil are given unique squeeze room here to react through this wonderful and committed music group.
°°       With the rhythmic bed created, Santiago with his electric and acoustic guitars, tenor and soprano saxophonist, Josue Lopez, pianist, Vitor Gonçalves and acoustic bassist, Guto Wirtti get to work, creating multi dimensional voices and choral music soundscapes. The record unfolds like a visual drama. Beginning with the song, “Old City,” there is an obvious reference to the cultured remains of the city, in urban conflict with the pull of time marching on without much reason. The odd and shifting rhythmic pulse keeps the tension going until the end. Santiago is the lead voice and he plays a clear~thinking protagonist as he expresses himself with lines and augmented notes, while the saxophone piano and bass meld together in an agitated musical underbelly. Yet nothing is resolved.   °°       https://latinjazznet.com/ / FB: https://www.facebook.com/pedrofrh/ /  Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/pedromartinsmusic

Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins
Simbiose (May 12, 2017)



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