He's from Brazil, where people are making great music left and right these days, but Marcio Faraco insists that he had to move to France to make a record. "I was like a rat, begging in the gutter," he complains in the liner notes to his recent debut album, Ciranda (Blue Thumb). "A Brazilian artist's life is a hard existence." He left Brasilia for Paris in 1992, and perhaps as a result his music sometimes has a bland international flavor--he seems to equate jazz fusion with sophistication. His lovely, gentle voice bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the great Brazilian singer Chico Buarque--who duets with him on the weak title track--and it's on pure sambas and bossa novas that he sounds best. The album was produced by Wagner Tiso, a superb Brazilian arranger whose work has turned up on albums by Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento, and it's got a gorgeous sound; unfortunately, Faraco wrote his own arrangements and they don't always sound right. The horn- and cavaquinho-kissed samba "Meu juramento" is appropriately jaunty, but the woozy accordion on "Flores pra lemanja"--an ill-considered lift from the French chanson tradition--sounds lugubrious. And when soprano saxophonist Glaucus de Oliveira steps up to imitate Stan Getz on "Baile de mascaras," his saccharine tone evokes Kenny G instead. Hopefully some of the more precious flourishes will be stripped away live. Friday, November 24, 7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln; 773-728-6000.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Maxime Ruiz.