Music Reviews

Gili Lopes


Gili-Lopes-Algures album review

Burning Tree Road

Formats available: CD, Download

There is something intoxicating about Algures, it has a gentle lilt that places it among albums that can be described as exploding with talent but are nevertheless charming. Algures is the creation of Brazilian-born composer, bassist, and bandleader Gili Lopes who says that the album is a sonic portrait of his travels around the world and of the places he has visited and lived in.

Some of the titles hint at these places, they refer to Turkey and Brazil, but the hour-long album draws most of its influences from straight jazz in a sublime form. There is as one might expect the influence of the lyrical and melodious music of Brazil throughout, but it is used as a subtext, there is very little if anything in way of samba.

Lopes says that he looks at his native country’s immensely rich tapestry of music through a unique personal lens and recalls one of his earliest musical memories of hearing brief snippets of a Batucada rehearsals coming through the windows of his childhood home. Evidently this formative experience has helped him in the creation of this intimate and gentle album.

Lopes is partnered by John Ellis (sax), Vinicius Gomes (guitar), Helio Alves (piano), Rogerio Boccato (percussion) and Ari Hoenig (drums). The chemistry and symbiotic interaction between these talented musicians is evident in every track.

Algures the track is led by the tenor sax of John Ellis, his style is fluid, expressive, melodious and gentle throughout, around him is an immense contrast of power and gentle musical expression. Two of the tracks pay tribute to giants that influenced Lopes, one is an original arrangement of Wayne Shorter’s Infant Eyes, the other is Outubro by one of Brazil’s most revered troubadours, the 81 year old Milton Nascimento. Here the band’s ability to bridge Nascimento’s gentle original voice and soulful presentation and weave it effortlessly with contemporary jazz is brilliant.

Stand out tracks: Famara, Outubro
Album link

Reuben Klein

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