On the artistic path of Sergio Pereira, a Brazilian guitar player and composer, one can see milestones as if placed decade after decade. The sixties and seventies of the last century were the time of study when the young Carioca (that is how residents of Rio de Janeiro call themselves) learned the joy of art, absorbed the rhythms and melodies of Bossa Nova, and from the age of eight started playing the acoustic guitar prompted by his elder brother. In the eighties Pereira moved to New York and found himself under the powerful influence of the world capital's energy, also that of music and jazz. The nineties was the time of travels when Sergio Pereira went over the world playing with various bands and getting the taste of life filled with concerts and guest performances. In the first decade of the 21st century Pereira sets his anchor in the Netherlands, cooperating for almost 10 years with Amsterdam musicians and founding a band called Malandros. Now, mid-way through the current decade Sergio has recorded, in Brazil and New York, his debut album entitled Swingando that we are presenting here today to the public.If you like Brazilian coffee, then I recommend that once your cup is ready, drink it with some cream, like the cream of Brazilian jazz that has recorded the above-mentioned disk. I think that Pereira's and his friends' music would be an excellent addition to the fragrant drink. Sergio Pereira has managed to bring together for his project several remarkable musicians, both in his home country and in New York.
Here you will find a brilliant pianist Helio Alves, then Marcus Teixeira, a guitarist who had given Sergio guitar lessons in Sao Paulo, and drummer Duduka de Fonseca who is perhaps the most popular Brazilian musician in the Big Apple, and other experts. And most certainly Sergio himself, not only playing both electric and traditional Spanish guitars, but also singing and on top of it presenting himself as a composer and the author of all seven compositions of the album.
It is not easy to draw a distinction line between jazz and contemporary Brazilian songs in such tracks as ChegaAi or Ela, as they are simply inseparable. The instrumental Let It Out and, in particular Leblon attract us by the mastery of the guitar player, as well as by their brightness and the intensity of feelings. But the top vocal number of the album, in my opinion, is My Girls with Claudia Villela's soul-touching voice. Helio Alves is also particularly good here with his piano solo. And, finally, the title song Swingando, the quintessence of the album. The composition appears to have assembled in a focus all the merits of the previously mentioned tracks, so it is clear why Pereira so precisely selected it for the album title: also in my view this is his most colorful piece.
-Leonid Auskren, Jazzquad Russia