Not wasting any time getting to the core description of his music through actual demonstration, Rabih Abou-Khalil, steps out front and center with his heralded vocalist, Ricardo Ribeiro, and a new project, Em Portugues, as he explores the interesting musical culture of Portugal. Having very little to do with jazz as we know it, this still qualifies as a pretty competent work perhaps better framed in a new age library. It has all the markings of bravery, as the rhythms and melodies can get quite complex and challenging.
Without having heard Em Portugues, and having never visited Portugal, it would have been hard for me to imagine just how the mood of this music would apply itself to the lifestyle and ambience of Portugal. This album allows one to "visit" the country and explore, along with Abou-Khalil, the richness of it all.
The vocals, while not extraordinary, are a necessary element here, brightly painting the pictures of the uniqueness of this undertaking. Having said all that, as the melodies are shaped in ways that are, by and large, a bit too complex and somewhat unappealing. To someone experienced with this style, it may have broad appeal, as it is very esoteric, as is evidenced on cuts like "Beijos Ateus" and "Adolescencia Perdida."