When three exceptional talented instrumentalists join together and record an album, the music often bogs down in endless showcases of technique. On Vento Bravo the musicians are bigger than that; they dedicate their talents to music. Nosso Trio (our trio) was born in 2002, when bassist Ney Conceição joined guitarist Nelson Faria and drummer Kiko Freitas. They recorded with singer João Bosco and also went on tour with him. João Bosco's DVD Obrigado Gente! shows why Bosco is so crazy about the trio.
After studying in Brazil's capital Brasília, guitarist Nelson Faria (Belo Horizonte [Minas Gerais], 1963) moved to Los Angeles, USA, to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Los Angeles. He studied with guitarists Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale (among others). Back in Brazil, Nelson performed with a real "who is who" of Brazilian music. He can be found on a hundred cds, including 5 under his own name.
Bassist Ney Conceição (Belém [Pará], 1972) performed and recorded as much as he could with local artists in his native state of Pará until he moved to Rio in 1996. There he took part of the jazz scene, playing with artists like Sebastião Tapajós and Robertinho Silva. He recently released his first DVD.
Drummer Kiko Freitas (Porto Alegre [Rio Grande do Sul], 1969) is a self-made man with a musical family background. His first instrument was the Bombo legüero, a Creole Argentinean drum, on which he accompanied his father, the gaucho poet, composer Telmo de Lima Freitas. At age 8 he played the acoustic guitar, switched over to the bass when he was only 12 until he kind of accidentally landed behind the drum kit in a family band. He focused on drums ever since and studied the works over legendary jazz drummers like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Joe Morello. In Brazilian music the drummers Milton Banana, Edson Machado, Robertinho Silva, Nenê, Carlos Bala, Pascoal Meirelles are among his interests. Kiko ended up with an amazing technique, sounding like a drummer and percussionist at the same time. This trio of geniuses became João Bosco accompanying musicians and are also the favourites of Dutch bossa nova singer Josee Koning, with whom they also recorded and toured.
On their own work, Vento Bravo, Nosso Trio shows its own face. Of course there are technical tour de forces, but the music always dominates. The cd opens with the Brazilian classic "O Barquinho." The arrangement is dedicated to the dazzling talents of the three musicians. Even before the song's theme, Kiko Freitas sets a percussive tempo, Ney Conceição pays tribute to the late great bassist Nico Assumpção and Nelson Faria shows why he studied with Joe Diorio. It sets the sentiment for the whole cd. After this impressive short prelude, "O Barquinho" proves to have the qualities of a true jazz standard with the smooth guitar solo and an obstinate bass solo. On Nelson Faria's composition "Partindo pro Alto" the trio shows how technique can serve a complicated piece of music. The three musicians take the solo spot in an amazing way without losing contact with the relaxed but challenging theme. The beautiful ballad "Balada p'a Nadia" brings a moment of peace before the title track "Vento Bravo" demands full attention with a complicated rhythm scheme on which Kiko Freitas works his way towards a dazzling drum solo. The song is followed by another rhythmical tour de force on which the three musicians improvise around the simple sounding theme. "Fala Negão" is again a wonderful ballad on which Nelson Faria performs one of his outstanding solos, perfectly accompanied by his two fellow musicians.
Vento Bravo is another example of good and intelligent Brazilian jazz that deserves much more attention than it gets. There's also a DVD under the same name with a somewhat different repertoire.