In a multi-faceted four decade career that has included stints with countless jazz legends (Herbie Mann, Michael Brecker, Sadao Watanabe) and a solo discography that dates back to his Polygram debut Bom De Tocar in 1984, Brazilian born guitarist Ricardo Silveira has become something of a legendary and influential figure himself.
After countless projects featuring full ensembles, an organ trio and collaborations with the likes of John Leftwich and Latin/Brazilian greats Vinicius Cantuaria, Luis Avellar and Roberto Taufic, the endlessly inventive and adventurous Silveira strips away his customary ensemble action and invites us to experience the intimacy, vulnerability and exquisite precision of Solo – which, true to its title, marks his first ever solo guitar collection.
The answer to the most obvious question is yes, this grand collection – which rolls gracefully and rhythmically (not to mention ambiently/romantically) from the tenderly reflective “Rio Texas” to the lilting and sweetly whimsical “Amazon Secrets” - evolved out of the pandemic quarantine era, so let’s count our blessings for continued musical linings. The good news is, while Silveira’s first inclination was to just post tracks to YouTube, he decided to release everything commercially via Juan Carlos Quintero’s newly relaunched Moondo Music.
Having the opportunity to put together a complete album narrative, Silveira creates a soulful, sensual and moody but sometimes high spirited flow featuring re-imaginings of six previously released originals (“That Day In Tahiti,” “Tango Carioca,” “Francesca,” etc.) intermingled with fresh, starkly arranged interpretations of classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Luiza”), Johnny Alf (“Eu e Brisa”) and Rogers & Hart (“My Romance”).
One of Solo’s centerpiece tunes finds Silveira paying homage to two of his country’s legends via a medley of Jobim’s “Zingaro” and Chico Buarque’s “Retrato en Branco e Preto.” Here’s hoping that even as gigs pick up again and full studio ensembles are possible, Silveira will continue to find time to explore this deeper side of his artistry.
Listen to Solo here: Ricardo Silveira | Spotify