Fusion fantasy from a six-string aficionado who lets the music do the talking in a multitude of voices.
Berklee associate Assis-Brasil may make a musicology point in the title of his first full-fledged studio effort, but that shouldn’t scare an occasional listener because, for all its academic context, this is as emotional a record as a conversation with a friend can be. Nuanced ensemble interplay on the likes of “C.C.” aside, there are kindred spirits Gustavo gets to speak to on an instrumental level, but if an angular “Dialogue 4 (About Allan)” is an obvious nod towards Holdsworth, the sparse riff of opener “Gee” and the piece’s light bounce, alternately translucent and mysteriously misty, reflect on simple joys of life. Another sort of contrast applied to “S.M.” – elegiac jazz to sharp rock – will stop any romantic in their tracks, whereas a few shorter cuts reveal experimental madness to the overall well-tempered method.
Tender and unhurried as a lover’s caress, “Always Here (Prenda Minha)” demonstrates the artist’s ability to bring out unusual in traditional, Vardan Ovsepian’s synthesizer adding adventurousness to the Tropicália tropes, while piano ripples render “Olivia” an observational study of abstract, baroque-tinctured beauty. “Pro Sapo” is passing melodic passion to José Pienasola’s bass and Mauricio Zottarelli’s drums for the groove to bulge, yet the soft tones of “Dialogue 3 (Ola Rob)” envelope one’s ears into a lullaby calm, which would be a logical finale to a most interesting heart-to-heart.
It’s impossible to not relate to this little chat – a master class and a masterpiece.