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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Sebastiana'
Artist - Richard Bacelar

For those not in the know, Brazilian composer and pianist Ricardo Bacelar first came to the music world's attention when he released his debut album In Natura in 2001.

An album with classical impression and manifestation, his sophomore effort, Concerto para Moviola (Concerto for Moviola), was a live album, recorded in 2015 during the Guaramiranga Jazz and Blues Festival at the Via Sul Theater, Fortalezea, Ceara, Brazil.

Just released this past March 30th, 2018 (via Bacelar Productions), Richard Bacelar now brings us his third album, and most ambitious yet, the beautiful, and stunningly creative Sebastiana.

1. 'A Volta da Asa Branca' (4:06)
2. 'Suco Verde' (4:13)
3. 'Nothing Will Be as It Was' (feat. Maye Osorio) (4:05)
4. 'River of Emotions' (0:45)
5. 'Menina Baiana' (4:21)
6. 'Somewhere in the Hills' (feat. Andrea Mangiamarchi) (3:57)
7. 'Partido Alto' (4:06)
8. 'Parts of Me' (0:41)
9. 'Sambadouro' (feat. Rose Max & Ramatis Moraes) (4:05)
10. 'Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir (Caicó Cantiga)' (4:19)
11. 'Sebastiana' (4:57)
12. 'Depois dos Temporais' (5:01)
13. 'Vento de Maio' (4:01)
14. 'Sernambetiba, 1992' (feat. Cesar Lemos) (4:46)
15. 'The Best Years' (1:10)

We begin with the freeflowing 'A Volta da Asa Branca' (The White Wing Tour), and that's backed seamlessly by both the drum centric 'Suco Verde' (Green Juice), and then the truly beautiful 'Nothing Will Be as It Was'. Featuring the smooth, sultry, soulful vocalist Maye Osorzio and pedal steel guitarist Steve Hinson, they combine to bring us the most perfect, loving cover of a song by Brazilian artist Milton Nascimento.

The .45 second interlude entitled 'River of Emotions' has you begging for more the moment it comes to its short end, and is backed by the upbeat jazz styling of 'Menina Baiana'. A song originally by Gilberto Gil, the original samba rhythm has been tempered down here by Bacelar, to allow his piano to redefine those once more overly playful moments.

Up next is one of my favorites on this delightful and rather charming new album, the stunning jazz classic 'Somewhere in the Hills.' Performed in the past by Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Sergio Mendez, et al, Bacelar's version is sung by vocalist Andrea Mangiamarchi. Allowing it to breathe nicely with a '40s vibe, Mangiamarchi's vocals are spot on and allow the song to ooze that still adored styling of a decade long since gone.

Next up is the trumpetlicious rendition of 'Partido Alto' (High Party). Featuring Jose Sibaja's trumpet, it's followed by another quick .41 second piano interlude ('Parts of Me'), before the hipsway of 'Sambadouro' is unleashed. Featuring Brazilian vocalists Rose Max and Ramatis Moraes, it is backed by the cool vocal approach of Bacelar on 'Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir (Caicó Cantiga).' A song with an amazing musical history, and originally a simple classical piano moment, Bacelar now gives it a more contemporary jazz feel; which works tremendously well.

The fast-paced, yet lovingly contained title track 'Sebastiana' is up next. Written in 1953 by Rosil Cavalcanti in partnership with Jackson do Pandeiro, here Bacelar has seemingly done everything he can to alter the DNA of it, and yet still allows the track's originality to shine through. Ergo, this beautiful, well known, much adored track's new arrangement allows it to have, in my humble opinion, a new lease of life also.

The melodies incorporated within 'Depois dos Temporais' (After the Storms) are delightful also. A more methodical Brazilian song, this version features Gabriel Fernandez on Bandoneón and that's backed by 'Vento de Maio (Wind of May)', a track composed by Brazilian songwriter, singer and guitarist Lô Borges.

'Sernambetiba, 1992' brings together the creative forces of both Bacelar in conjunction with Cesar Lemos, and then the album rounds out with the summer garden sounds, birds tweeting, piano interlude. A mighty fine, and contemplative final epilogue of just over one minute, 'The Best Years' is the most perfect way to end this new musical project.

For his Brazilian reinterpretations and originals, Bacelar assembled an International crew of musicians from Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the United States.

From Brazil Cesar Lemos (bass, guitar), Maria and Sara Queiroz Bacelar (percussion), vocalists Rose Max, and Ramatis Moraes, from USA vocalist Maye Osorio and guitarist Steve Hinson, from Venezuela Anderson Quintero (drums, percussion) and vocalist Andrea Mangiamarchi, from Cuba Yoel Del Sol (percussion), from Colombia Channo Tierra (accordion) and Jose Sibaja (trumpet, flugelhorn), from Peru Jesus Rodriguez (percussion and Charango), from Argentina Gabriel Fernandez (Bandoneón).

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