Stilonicola_span3
January/February 2006

Nicola Stilo and Toninho Horta
Duets
Adventure

Originally available only as a pricey import and long since out of print, this fawn-soft, transcontinental pairing of Italian flutist Nicola Stilo, best known as a pillar of Chet Baker's quartet throughout the '80s, and Luis Bonfa-esque Brazilian guitarist Toninho Horta, recorded in Rome in 1999, has finally been released domestically. A treat for those who like their jazz gelato-smooth, Duets can only be partially credited as a vocal album, with a light dusting of Horta's dusky voice on only half of the album's 10 standards and originals.

Sweetest is "Bons Amigos," a heartfelt Horta-penned tribute to his friendship with Stilo. Most energetic is a lively reworking of "My Ideal" that Stilo dedicates to Baker. Vocals aside, it is the disc's bookend tracks--the dewy dawn awakening of Coltrane's "Naima" and the slow-fading afternoon sunniness of Bill Evans' "Very Early"--that together delight best.

Originally published in January/February 2006
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