Santi_debriano-circlechant_span3
December 1999

Santi Debriano
Circlechant
HighNote Records

Panamanian bassist Debriano continues to show a talent for assembling just the right mix of musicians to express his musical ideas. Here he is joined by the brilliant Brazilian pianist Helio Alves, trap drummer extraordinaire Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Brazilian percussionist and vocalist Valtinho Anastacio, and the impressive Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari. The whole is produced by Houston Person. The opener, "Mano a Mano," with its samba beat in pursuit of Alves' piano, introduces the Brazilian tinge heard throughout. On the Piazzolla tango, "Prelude to the Cyclical Night," Ben-Ari gets a bandoneon-like sound from her violin, while on "Cubanola," her violin stands in for the two staple instruments of the charanga group, violin and flute. The dramatic title cut pairs Ben-Ari with Valtinho, whose wordless chanting reminds me of Dori Caymmi. With all the Pan American influences, Debriano's bass playing and his musical conceptions remain firmly rooted in a jazz sensibility.

Originally published in December 1999
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