There's a Storm Inside Review at All about Jazz

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by Mark Turner

There's A Storm Inside reaffirms Brazilian music as still one of the most romantic and vivacious genres in the world. While the rich lineage of enticing vocals and exotic rhythms remains intact, guitarist/vocalist Chico Pinheiro expands the tradition and infuses it with modernistic touches. A consummate artist, his voice is as sultry as Vinicius Cantuária, along with fret board and fingering magic that reaches the mastery of Romero Lubambo.
The pristine sound and high production values are enhanced by Pinheiro's first-rate ensemble and special guests, which include jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves and veteran saxophonist Bob Mintzer. The inclusion of strings creates a luxurious backdrop to the fine rendition of Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here To Stay." The title track is the perfect canvas for Reeves' colorful singing, where the blending of her gorgeous voice, the elegant waltz of strings, and the ensemble's prowess, are simply divine.

"Mamulengo" is where Pinheiro begins to expose a contemporary flavor with circuitous lines, wordless lyrics and stimulating improvisation, further aided by Mintzer, who cooks on both tenor sax and bass clarinet. Pinheiro is equally proficient on electric and acoustic guitar, as on the riveting "Recriando A Criacao," where his style is both funky and smooth, or "A Sul Do Teu Olhar," where his blissful acoustic accompaniment for singer Luciana Alves surrounds her lovely voice like a soft shroud.

Mintzer and Reeves join forces on a remake of Stevie Wonder's "As," from his classic Songs In The Key Of Life (Motown, 1976). Other memorable tracks include: the clever "Sertao Wi Fi," which tells a story of old and new world ideas; the festive dance of "Um Filme"; and the spellbinding "Buritizais," which completes the set. The change at its half-way mark— featuring Pinheiro and Reeves' transcending voices—is unforgettable. The entire project is respectful of tradition yet forward-thinking; pleasurable with consistency, and ultimately like relaxing on a perfect beach that you don't want to leave.

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