ANDRE MEHMARI / “Andre Mehmari Covers Mixtape”
All three of this week’s featured artists have an element in common that may not be obvious on a first listen. They all employ influences from classical music. It is less apparent in Ahmad Jamal’s work and immediately apparent in the work of Andre Mehmari. You can hear it in some of McFerrin’s arrangements, plus he has done straight classical recordings. What all three also have in common is jazz.
One of the major beauties of jazz is its flexibility—anyone from any culture can use jazz to express themselves and, at the same time, remain true to their own culture.
I remember when I first heard Andre Mehmari I was impressed by his lyrical sense, particularly his phrasing of melodies. Born in 1977 in Brazil, Mehmari is considered a wunderkind. He composes, arranges and is a multi-instrumentalist. The piano is his main instrument but he is also proficient on clarinet, viola, violin, cello, guitar, bass, flute, percussion and voice. He tours with a jazz trio, frequently records with vocalists (by the way, that’s Monica Salmaso featured on the last track, Milton Nascimento’s “Francisco”), Mehmari has also extensively worked with symphony orchestras.
This Mixtape focuses on Mehmari’s interpretations of compositions by others. I’ve included mainly compositions from Milton Nascimento and The Beatles because I like the sensitivity he brings to compositions with which many of us are familiar and really like that Mehmari brings something different in how he arranges and re-arranges the familiar.
I have a proclivity towards the blues, which is not Mehmari’s strong suit, nevertheless I am won over by Mehmari’s lyricism and his unhurried flow. Mehari’s music is great for meditation. Andre is adept at developing a melodic line. His solos develop, sort of like a flower blossoming.
There is no surprise that he is also a fine composer with a well-developed narrative flow—his music always seems to headed somewhere and not just meandering in search of a hook. Keep an eye (and ear) out for this young man.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Andre Mehmari Covers Mixtape Playlist
Clube da Esquina
02 “Clube da Esquina”
03 “Trem Azul”
Prêmio Visa - Andre Mehmari & C. Barros
04 “San Vicente”
05 “Hello, Goodbye”
06 “Here Comes The Sun”
09 “Só Louco”
10 “Pra Dizer Adeus”
This entry was posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 7:37 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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