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July/August 2006

Marcos Amorim
Sete Capelas
Seven Chapels

Guitarist Marcos Amorim follows up his 2003 release, Cris on the Farm, with this offering of original pieces, featuring Brazilian flutist Nivaldo Ornelas on several tracks. For the most part, this album feels like pretty wallpaper: nice to put on in the background while having a massage, but not much else to sink one’s teeth into.

Amorim’s overdubbed lead solo guitar over the New Agey sonic beds ends up sounding like rhythm tracks in need of a lead vocal, and several solo guitar pieces completely disappear into the background; it seems the record button was on while Amorim was warming up.

The most interesting track is “Sonhos Indianos (Indian Dreams),” a lovely world-fusion piece featuring Amorim’s steel-guitar lead overlapping his custom-made nylon-string instrument, punctuated by a mesmerizing moringa percussion instrument throughout. The largely improvisational nature of the piece makes for one of the more complete “tunes” in this otherwise meandering and melodically challenged album.

A refreshing change comes by way of a jazz waltz in “Mr. Z,” which features a lyrical flute solo by Ornelas, and the album closes with a bright (and much-needed) samba entitled “Homenagiando Garoto (Garoto’s Homage),” which finally feels like the musicians were having some fun—and had awoken from their background-music slumber.

Originally published in July/August 2006
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