Morello and Barth is a partnership between guitarist and saxophonist/flutist that found its full expression in the land of the Bossa Nova. In 2001 the two went to Rio with the intent to be close to the music. Their experience, the hospitality, the collaboration, the creativity became “Fim De Semana Em Eldorado” (Weekend in Eldorado). This truly wonderful recording of Samba and Bossa Nova compositions bridges the old with the new. Two young musicians come together with the music of a country through two of its greatest and most beloved spokespersons. Alaíde Costa and Johnny Alf are legends of Brazilian music and vocalists in the finest Brazilian tradition.
With new compositions and some older classics, two of the world’s best bossa singers, the duo only needed to put a band behind their creations. They did so by bringing together an “A-List” of Brazilian players including Kiko Continentino, Hammond B3 and electronic piano, Alberto Continentino on bass, Cacá Colon on drums, Reginaldo Vargas on percussion, Jorge Continentino on pífano flute. I mention these players because the combined presence of Morello and Barth among these great Brazilian players is the foundation for the excellent recording. This quality ensemble put their stamp of authenticity on this recording that very few first-time Brazilian music recordings can claim.
Paulo Morello is a fine guitarist, one who has absorbed the essence of bossa styling and injected into it a sense of the solo that propels this recording to the top of contemporary bossa and jazz collections. Kim Barth commands the Brazilian subtleties on both flute and saxophone. He delivers timeless and sensitive flute solos while adding be-bop energies to his sax solos. Combined, the two deliver impressive performances in the company of legends.
The wonder of this CD is how comfortable Morello and Barth appear to be amidst this music. They provide the perfect, almost native backdrop to the vocals of Alf and Costa. On O Que É Amar, one of Alf’s own compositions, the flutes and guitar are well executed as to be native to the song as it was originally recorded. Barth’s flute playing is fresh and rich with expressiveness as demonstrated on "Luciana". Costa is brilliant in her mellow tones on "Outra Vez", a Jobim classic.
This CD is a masterpiece of Brazilian music, featuring brilliant musicians and legendary vocalists. The song selection provides a diverse sampling of old and new, Bossa and Samba. The playing by Morello and Barth is commendable and wonderfully fresh while being traditional in its attempt to capture the essence of a “Weekend in Eldorado”. In the ever expanding library of Brazilian jazz recordings, this is a front runner and worthy of a serious listen. It may very well be a collector’s item from the standpoint of featuring the likes of Johnny Alf and Alaíde Costa, together. Kudos to Paulo Morello and Kim Barth for putting together a first quality recording of some classic Brazilian jazz.