The Room

15/02/2024Brazilian Guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento & American Saxophonist Sam Gendel Release Sublime Instrumental Album

One of a kind, is the sentiment that instantly runs trough our mind as we tune into the brand-new instrumental album by Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento and American saxophonist Sam Gendel. And yes, besides the fact that American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto had previously gathered worldwide acclaim for their 1964-released bossa nova connection, this modern-day pairing of two groundbreaking talents is nonetheless a unique and noteworthy occurrence. Recently released on Real World Records, "The Room" brings listeners a stirring ten-track collaboration, "rendered remarkable by originality, mastery and singular beauty, by technical precision, shared creative vision and the players’ empathetic, even telepathic, coming together."

As much as this record caught us off guard and as serendipitous as this synthesis may at first appear, the musical union of Nascimento's seven-string guitar and Gendel's soprano saxophone was a long time coming. Each based in L.A., the two had originally crossed paths in 2011 and eventually discovered they had quite a few things in common. For instance, "both had travelled extensively throughout Brazil and Colombia, were into environmentalism and ecology. Both were super fans of Hermeto Pascoal, the iconic experimentalist from Northeast Brazil, and had grown up with relatives who had the 1964 albums 'Baden Powell A Vontade' by guitarist Baden Powell, and [the aforementioned] ‘Getz/Gilberto' on repeat." It is also worth mentioning, that both Nascimento and Gendel have a penchant for pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box.

Enter "The Room", which sees these two savants thinking inside the box and creating a spellbinding musical space of their own. Recorded in the intimate subterranean setting of a basement studio in just two days, this opus is quite literally 'chamber music' at its best. Marked by a rare elegance, fluidity and virtuosity, both players are fully engrossed in the exchange, each going on runs of their own though never breaking away entirely. Instead, this here joint venture sees these two having an inspired conversation while playing off each other almost instinctively and communicating without words, Nascimento's guitar weaving an intricate tapestry as Gendel's flute-like saxophone stylings add colourful flourishes to the mix and vice versa. There is a genuine connection between these two and that is what makes this tête-à-tête so thoroughly engaging and utterly sublime.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom