Jazz guitarist Tony Romano provides the rhythmic markings for flutist Michel Gentile to quilt his mellifluous patterns and soaring scores on the duo’s latest release, Flesh And Steel. The flute is like putty in Gentile’s hands as he shapes the notes into beautifully sculpted images, and Romano plays the guitar like it is the partner who firmly holds the dancing notes of Gentile’s flute. Produced by Gentile and Romano, the melodies are sparse, but so entrancing like the sweet rumba sounds of vocalist Rosa Passos. Witnessing the guitar and flute playing off of each other is like watching how the Moon’s touch affects the movements of the ocean’s tide. They are partners, though they are made of different substances and function on different planes. They speak to each other in a language that understands what the other one is saying and acquiesces in accordance.
The tracks on Flesh And Steel display the flute and guitar in such a calmly and organic manner that the music transcends musical tastes, genre preferences, and society’s generational gaps. The music has the potential to bring the world together with its dancing flutters displayed in "Tristeza," and its lullaby voicing embossed on "Moon And Sand." The layering of the flute and guitar seem so simplistic, and yet, the intertwining phrases create majestic landscapes that cover everything from the gentle flapping of green fields and rolling valleys to the sounds of the birds flying overhead. The steel strings of the guitar have a Brazilian-jazz touch in "Displicente" while the springy notes of the flute hop around like a leap frog frolicking in the grass. The intervals along "A Felicidade" are brewed with ascending notes in the flute and nimbly roving guitar chords producing a heavenly smoothness, and the duo’s playful exhibition in their chord patterns along "Chorinha pra Ele" project a joyful vibrancy that grids American and Brazilian jazz into ebullient trestles.
Flesh And Steel is an album that has no expiration date. It is music that is pleasing for any time of the day and attractive to any age group. The songs soothe away the stress and tension that pile up in the body. The looseness in the music and the freedom expressed in the dancing notes invite listeners to join in the activity. The compositions show a vivid imagination that is timeless as Gentile and Romano’s work their organic trysts into one melodic peak after another.