Miguel Kertsman: Amazonica

Capturing the unique mestizo spirit of Brazilian music is a seductive and ultimately elusive prospect, which pretty well sums up the concept album Amazonica (Sony Classical 62882; 48:19). At the helm is composer-arranger Miguel Kertsman, who wrote a 23-part suite of music drawing, directly and indirectly, on the musics of Brazil, and, by association, its European and South American wellsprings. The folkloric groups Angaatanamu and Camerata Cantione Antiqua lend indigenous ambience to the project, which is well-intentioned even though it sometimes comes across a bit stiff and mannered.