Nando Carneiro acoustic guitars, piano, voice
Egberto Gismonti synthesizers, percussion, flute
Andre Geraissati guitar (solo on “Juliana” and “Paranóia”)
Beth Goulart voice (on “João Gabriel”)
Recorded February 1983 at Studio Porão
Engineer: Filipe Cavalieri
Mixed by Egberto Gismonti and Filipe Cavalieri
Produced by Carmo Produções Artísticas Ltda
Production assistant: Dulce Bressane
Release date: May 1, 1991
Though the CARMO label is primarily an Egberto Gismonti showcase, he occasionally welcomes other, equally authentic talents to share their experiences. Hence CARMO’s third 1991 reissue, this of a classic 1983 album by Nando Carneiro. As the first of two solo albums by the venerated Brazilian guitarist, it draws from a unassumingly different palette than Gismonti (who joins him on synthesizers, percussion, and flute) and paints a wide range of original material.
The title suite, over the course of three sections, centers on the classical guitar for which it is named. In spite of the nylon that welcomes us into “Espelho” (Mirror), which to my ears evokes swarms of gnats in morning sunlight, the sound of a drum machine breaks the mood. Thankfully, that feeling is minimal and gives way to relatively organic renderings. In Carneiro’s hands, the guitar opens its loving arms, especially in “Companheiro,” for which Gismonti’s hands are put to more effective use on a warmer synthesizer. On “João Gabriel,” actress Beth Goulart (married that year to Carneiro) stitches her vocal thread into the backdrop.
In the wake of “Charada,” a brief excursion for two guitars, the album’s highest achievement—“Poromim”—paints a cosmic portrait of time. Replete with the sounds of a cooing infant, it expresses the mystery of life without pretense. And in “Juliana,” a nocturnal undertone gives guest guitarist Andre Geraissati more than enough room to solo, as also in the two-part “As Gralhas” that follows.
Things turn sour when the kitschy drum machine returns in “G.R.E.S. Luxo: Artezenal,” but the guitar playing is so exquisite that one barely notices it. This blends into “O Campones,” in which Carneiro sings over synth lines and fluttering guitar with redemption close at hand. In the final “Liza,” he shows us that our waking dream has only just begun.
Original vinyl cover: