By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A U.S. jazz musician with a longstanding obsession with Brazilian rhythms, Scott Feiner celebrates the release of his latest CD “A View From Below” with a show at Ipanema’s Studio RJ on October 1st. A heady combination of pandeiro, guitar and keys entirely composed by Feiner, the expressive hand drum takes the place of vocals to thrilling effect.
The New York-born former jazz guitarist has been in and out of Rio de Janeiro since 2001, at the same time pioneering a new jazz style with an intense and melodic sound. On this, his fourth album, he is joined once more by collaborator and pianist Rafael Vernet and guitarist Guilherme Monteiro.
“There are two big differences [to the previous albums]. This one is comprised of only original compositions of mine, while my other three CDs had some covers on them. The other is the instrumentation. “A View from Below” features a trio that isn’t often seen – pandeiro, guitar, keyboards. It’s a more electric sound than the other albums,” Feiner told The Rio Times.
The absence of bass and saxophone allow the record’s lower tones to be taken over by the pandeiro or the keyboards and the melodies to be shared between the guitar and the keyboard, creating an unusually rich sound texture.
Scott Feiner has been heavily inspired by the city of Rio de Janeiro, as evidenced in track “O Forno”, dedicated to the summer heat and the title song “A View from Below”, inspired by the hilly landscape of the Cidade Maravilhosa, wh’s peaks dominate the skyline.
Studio RJ’s Joca Vidal told The Rio Times that “A View from Below” was one of the most interesting jazz albums he had heard in recent months. “I thought this formation of a trio with the pandeiro gave an extra charm to the compositions and I hope that at the shows it conveys the same intensity – or even more – on stage. Scott is a super talented musician […] and I hope with this CD he has more chances to show his work to the world,” Vidal explained.
The pandeiro, half tambourine, half drum, is symbolic of Brazilian music. “The pandeiro is part of the framedrum family, which originally comes from Arabia,” explains Feiner. “It arrived in Brazil via the Portuguese around the late 1800s or so. Then the former slaves got their hands on it and made it truly a Brazilian instrument.”
It’s marriage with jazz was something of a happy accident, however. “It just kind of happened on a trip back to NYC. I used to be a jazz guitarist, so that’s a big part of my musical story. I just wanted to see what it would be like to put the two together… and it worked,” Feiner told The Rio Times.
The release of “A View from Below”, the production of which was largely supported through crowdfunding, takes place at Studio RJ in Arpoador on October 1st as part of the regular Jazzmania series, where the album will be exclusively available before it hits stores on October 29th. Listen to a preview of the record on Scott Feiner’s official website (scottfeiner.com).
What: Scott Feiner CD release “A View from Below”
Where: Studio RJ, Av. Vieira Souto 110, Ipanema
When: October 1st, doors open at 8:30 PM, show starts at 9:30 PM
Entrance: R$50, lista amiga R$25