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January/February 2001

Guilherme Vergueiro/Carlos Dos Santos
Espiritu
Naim Label

Espiritu is majestic. Brazilian pianist Guilherme Vergueiro teams up with seven-string guitarist Carlos dos Santos for this timeless album. From the opening track, a 10-minute, glorious rendition of K-Ximbinho's "Ternura (Tenderness)," the union of piano and guitar is perfect in every way and the notes flow smoothly as if coming from a single celestial instrument. The music's ethereal feel is what every musician longs to accomplish when playing classic works by Pixinguinha, Ary Barroso, Lupiscinio Rodrigues and Nelson Cavaquinho. Sometimes Vergueiro and Santos are simple and pure in their renditions, as with Pixinguinha's "Ingenuo (Naive)." At other times, however, these two virtuosos astound your senses: Rodrigues' "Se Acaso Voce Chegasse (In Case You Came By)" quietly moves from its unison introduction to a whirlwind performance of guitar excellence.

The album showcases six original pieces by Vergueiro and one by Santos amidst the other classics. For the listener, however, there is absolutely no rough transition from track to track. As if by magic, all you experience is superb musicianship by two consummate artists whose sole intent seems to be to lift your spirits with their magnificent artistic gift.

Originally published in January/February 2001
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