A classical-Latin music blend
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yo Yo Ma and his fellow musicians make beautiful music in this mellow adaptation of melodies that have their origin in Latin America.
The opening track is a version of "Libertango", heard in the fabulous soundtrack of the film "The Tango Lesson", and one of the three compositions by Astor Piazzolla, in this concert that was recorded live at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in 2003. The group of assorted and marvelous musicians toured the world with this music, and there is a cohesion between the performers and the material they are playing that is evident, and a pleasure to hear. One hears the applause, but it is not obtrusive, and the sound is excellent for a live recording.
Very impressive is the clarinet of 6 time Grammy Award winner and composer Paquito D'Rivera, who wrote 3 of the tracks, and shows his virtuosity and Cuban soul in 7 pieces, and I especially like his "Merengue".
Rosa Passos sings and plays guitar on 4 tracks, and has a soft, clear, and pleasing voice, and 3 of the songs she interprets so well are by her fellow countryman and Brazilian bossa nova artist Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Other musicians are Sergio and Odair Assad on guitars, Kathryn Scott on piano, Nilson Matta on bass, and Cyro Baptista on percussion. Yo Yo Ma is of course the household name among them, and is masterful in his interpretations throughout; I especially like him in D'Rivera's "Afro", a fascinating piece with some experimental sounds.
Other favorites for me are D'Rivera's "Wapango", and "Cristal" (Camargo Mariano), a rhythmic duet between Ma and Scott that is terrific.
This CD has the feel of a classical chamber concert, with the warmth of melodious Latin compositions, and is a nice and unique musical treat.
The foldout insert has liner notes by D'Rivera, recording info, and mini bios of Ma's 7 fellow musicians; total playing time is 72'07.
This package contains a bonus DVD, that includes 3 videos:
1. Piazzolla's "Libertango", from the original soundtrack of Sally Potter's film "The Tango Lesson", with clips of the great tango dancer Pablo Veron.
2. "Brasileirinho", by Waldir Azevedo, featuring Paquito D'Rivera, from the "Obrigado Brazil" CD.
3. Jobim's "Chega de Saudage" interpreted by Rosa Passos, from the "Obrigado Brazil" CD.
It also includes a very short interview with Yo Yo Ma.
Good music, engineering could be better
J. Parker | Holland, MI USA | 05/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the disk after hearing about the colaboration on NPR. The songs and performances are impecable, the variety is satisfying and fun. My only complaint is that the quality of the recording leaves something to be desired. Several times the recording level is not balanced between the instruments so that when listening to YoYo Ma playing, when joined by the saxaphone, it comes in too loud and ruins the mood.
I almost always prefer the live perfomances when the energy of the audience carries over to the performers. This is one case when I wish I had gotten the studio version."
D. Lam | WA | 06/27/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's not a bad quality CD but the music is variable and different. Even though I like most types of music, I think the composition is just average."