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Jovino Santos Neto & Weber Iago: Live at Caramoor

A studio recording cannot capture the tone of an occasion like a live recording. The tone of this occasion sounds ecstatic.

There is a category of consumer that needs to own this record: audiophile piano addicts. Live at Caramoor is an immersion in the aural gratifications of pianism. Jovino Santos Neto and Weber Iago are both from Brazil but their musical mindsets are global. Their performance at the Caramoor Jazz Festival in Katonah, N.Y., in July of 2007 was the first time that two hand-made Fazioli D308 concert grand pianos were on the same stage. The rich, complex sonorities of those two Faziolis ring out and sing.

They play individually and together. Iago’s “Navegante” has oscillating left-hand chords quite independent of his classical, percussive right-hand densities. Santos Neto’s “Lamentos” (composed by Pixinguinha) is also classically ornate and but only briefly formal. The title means “laments.” Santos Neto does not sound sad as he pummels the melody and gleefully pursues its variations.

The lushest piano extravagances occur when they play together. On “Desafinado” Santos Neto keens and whines the famous theme on his second instrument, the melodica, then returns to piano where he and Iago overwhelm the tune, fourhanded. Joe Lovano joins on “Wave,” the final track, his soprano saxophone wheeling over a surging piano sea.

Originally Published