Kirk Albrecht from Minor 7th reviews Odair Assad’s solo album. // Kirk Albrecht do Minor 7th elogia o solo álbum do Odair Assad.
What can I say? “El Caminante” by Odair Assad is a majestic sweep of classical guitar playing of mostly modern composers. Assad brings to the disc decades of startling interpretation, and “El Caminante” further cements his place as one of the masters of nylon string guitar. The opening and title track “Sonata del caminante” was written by the marvelous Leo Brouwer, who, according to the excellent liner notes, composed the piece “in a few days.” Like many Brouwer pieces, it careens seemingly out of control in passion and force, only to come lilting down where we can find breath and drink in the rich aural textures of a composer who finds his match in the power and grace of Odair Assad to bring his notes to vivid life. This is music at its most sublime and most exhilarating, and Assad inhabits it with a rare occupation. The disc is half of a premiere for pieces Assad performs, including Brouwer’s wonder. Egberto Gismonti contributes “Memoria e fado,” a melancholic tussle juxtaposing ascending and descending scales. On “Red Fantasy” by Kevin Callahan, odd meter meets numerous changes in tempo and style, and Assad delivers each nuance with musicality. Odair debuts “Seis brevidades” by brother Sergio, his long-time playing partner, and a first-rate composer in his own right. The “brevidades” are brief glimpses into the world of Latin music. The disc also includes pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Pixinguinha and Agustin Barrios Mangore’s well-known “choro de saudade” homage to the lyrical traditional music of Brazil. Who better than the Brazilian Assad to weave its meandering melody? Throughout every piece, Assad’s playing is technically brilliant and stylistically sensitive, passionate yet not sentimental. This is a disc you will find yourself listening to over and over again, because there is always more to find from the fingers of Odair Assad.
Listen to “Memoria e Fado“