Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Latin Music
Stunning album from Uilsses Rocha
Gordon Hanley | Brisbane, Australia | 12/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was extremely fortunate to receive this CD from a friend who imported some from a stand at the American Jazz Convention. It is on the Brazilian Jazz label, which contains in it's catalogue some interesting work from a wide range of styles within the genre. Ulisses Rocha's recording is quite simply one of the finest examples of Latin jazz guitar work it has been my privelege to listen to. Many guitarists can boast a high degree of technical accomplishment, but Rocha has all this and more, never allowing his considerable virtuosity to overshadow good taste. I have listened to this album for over a year now, and still find new things in it. One can only marvel at the sheer beauty of this work, and I can only assume that the reason he is not so well known is that he has recorded on a relatively obscure label. A stunning debut: 5 stars."
Conversations in a new language - Ulisses Rocha
B. Lehmann | Massachussets, USA | 12/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ulisses Rocha's debut recording "Moleque" is part of a series of first releases by recently launched Malandro - Records, so far focusing mainly on current guitar-oriented Brazilian Music, but scheduled to cover the talents of a wide spectrum of contemporary brazilian artists, including the well-known Trio da Paz, woodwindplayer Carlos Malta and a series dedicated exclusively to legends of Brazilian Music. Rocha's music, "a mixture of languages" as he calls it, defies classification but pays reverence to the influences that he has encountered on his artistic path, first as an accomplished classical player, then as an autodidactic fan of progressive rock while only later diving into jazz and his country's native music. During his long association in the 1980's with the reknown guitar trio D'Alma he found himself discovering that "... it is difficult to attain a personal sound on the (electric) guitar - with the acoustic, it's natural", and since has made the acoustic guitar his main voice of expression, performing with artists such as Gal Costa, Hermeto Pascoal, Eliane Elias, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Al di Meola while also keeping busy as an educator. On "Moleque" Ulisses Rocha has distilled the essence of his musical talent into an original, fascinating sound that points to a new era in Brazilian instrumental music. Relying solely on the exquisite, understated support of bassist Pedro Ivo and minimalist percussionist João Parahyba, he has expanded his instrument's potential beyond its traditional role of accompaniment, evolving what he explains as a new "guitar syntax" designed to match the harmonic and melodic independence of the piano. Tom Jobim's opening "Agua de Beber", set to the funky pulse of Samba-Reggae, as well as the lyrical "Bye Bye Brasil" by Roberto Menescal, are tasteful modern treatments of these classic brazilian songs; Edu Lobo's driving "Ponteio" is a particularily intoxicating feature of Rocha's virtuoso capacities and crisp articulation, rising from a rapidly oscilating ostinato pattern indigenous to the music of Brazil's Northeast. Yet, transcending period or genre, this trio's accoustic transparency lends "Moleque" a refreshing sonic simplicity that seems to impart a wonderful timelessness onto Ulisses Rocha's six original compositions, especially the graceful "Patagonia" , "Manhã" ( an intimate little ballad dedicated to his daughter ), the unplugged Hip-Hop of "Negro" or the delicate spaciousness of "Nós E As Horas". This is a recording of great depth - Brazilian at heart, global in spirit - an age-old sound ( guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves contributes historically insightful notes ) forged by the eclecticism of a new generation."