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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DAVIDE GIOVANNI

Minas Project

PATHWAY RECORDS
LC2353/PBCD 0104

 

 

Egberto

Espelho D’Agua

The Tide

Baianero

Por Amor

Desert Glass

Ainda

Momento de Abril

Peace

 

Davide Giovannini (vocals, drums, keyboards); Neil Angilley (piano, synth); Guillermo Hill (guitar); Paul Booth (soprano sax, bass clarinet); Davide Mantovani (bass); Bosco De Oliveira (percussion): Chico Chagas (accordion); Diana Popoff (flute, vocal); Stefano Muscovi (harmonica): Rudi Berger (violin); Adriana Vasques (vocals)

Recorded Studio Porco, London [57:30]

 

There is no nice way to put this so let me be straight: I found this a real disappointment. This tribute to Minas Gerais is, for me, so mired in music-painting-by-numbers that I found little sign of any real creativity. The vibe is relentlessly rocky, with predictable voicings and a monotonous unvaried approach to the material, which is hardly of the most robust kind in the first place. The more players there are, the more unappealing I found it, despite some good names amidst the personnel listing. Giovannini himself is a tedious drummer and percussionist and his rhythmic insistence devitalises even those good instrumental solos – accordion, guitar, sax – that crop up.

I can’t get worked up over even so pretty a song as Por Amor which is pure pop because the solos tend to the light rock and watery and the fade-out ending is hardly an advertisement for structural security. Desert Glass is plain boring and Ainda is TV movie mood music. Momento de Abril has more gusto, but the vocal is wet and the pipy soprano sax solo lacks imagination.

Best to stop here; this is more pop-rock than anything penetratingly to do with ‘the land of great artists like Toninho Horta, Milton Mascimento’ etc. Just didn’t do it for me. Sorry.

Jonathan Woolf



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