Friday, 15 July 2016

Egberto Gismonti - Circense (1980)

Last stopoff in Brazil for the moment - although there's a handful of others that I'll scatter into the mix in the weeks/months to come.  This one will appeal to the ECM-ers among you; Egberto Gismonti has appeared on the label on and off since the mid 70s, and most famously worked with Jan Garbarek and Charlie Haden, with a couple of that trio's most famous Gismonti compositions repeated here.  On Circense though, the cross-continental summits of ECM are replaced by an all-Brazillian crack team of great musicians, and a lusher production.

A vague concept album of sorts, in as much as it was intended to a evoke a circus atmosphere that was both universal and also unmistakably Brazillian, Circense kicks off with the dizzying rhythms of Karaté.  Tá Boa, Santa and Equilibrista are equally uptempo, with Gismonti's guitar virtuosity to the fore.  He's also on fine form on Cego Aderaldo, duetting with Indian violinist Lakshminarayana Shankar, a singular ECM artist in the 80s but one who didn't cross paths with Gismonti in that context.  The best tracks here as far as I'm concerned though are the gorgeous ballads Mágico, with its haunting wall of wordless voices and orchestration, and the timeless Palhaço.  The latter is arguably the highlight of the whole album, with saxophonist Mauro Senise doubling the gorgeous melody in place of Garbarek.



  1. First the music made my Monday, now it's made my Friday, too. "Magico" really is special. Respect!

  2. Light and breezy is the Brazillian way. Thx!

  3. Thanks folks. Will definitely dig deeper into my Brazilian collection on occasion in future posts. Back to stranger territory on Monday, but will keep mixing things up as much as poss!