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Mike Marshall: Brasil (Duets)

Continuing the label’s exploration of world music, this album presents the Brazilian musical amalgam known as “choro,” which evolved much like jazz. Mandolinist Mike Marshall of the David Grisman Quartet, Montreaux and the Modern Mandolin Quartet, works with guest artists to interpret this meld of European folk and classical music with African and Brazilian rhythms.

Most of the 14 selections are titled in Portuguese and translated into English with brief background information. The most effective duo features Venezuelan cuatro player Jackie Rago, but the 20 fleet fingers of Marshall and banjo whiz BŽla Fleck offer an amazing take on the French musette form of “Indifference.”

Caribbean steel drummer Andy Narell puts his percussive skills to work on piano for “1 x 0” and three other tracks. Pianist Jovino Santos Neto contributes rippling intensity to two ballads and another chart. Spirited tempos are propelled by bassists Edgar Meyer, who wrote the choro hit “Tico Tico” for Carmen Miranda, and Michael Manring of Montreaux, plus percussionist Michael Spiro.

Originally Published