Since moving to New York from Brazil in the mid-90s, guitarist and singer Vinicius Cantuaria has been messing around with bossa nova. On his first American album he stripped the instrumentation down to the essentials, then for the next two recruited a slew of downtown jazzers--including guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Joey Baron--to add their own idiosyncratic textures. The brand-new Horse and Fish (Bar/None) contains its share of beautiful straight-ahead bossa, but on much of the record Cantuaria continues to crossbreed it with introspective jazz. There aren't many solos here, though: Cantuaria and trumpeter Michael Leonhart each take a turn on a shuffling fusion adaptation of Gilberto Gil's "Procissao" (originally cut with wiggy psych rockers Os Mutantes in 1968), employing electronic effects on both the guitar and the horn; on "Tokyo" Cantuaria patiently embroiders the melody, changing it subtly every time he repeats it. The jazz influence is more apparent in the deceptively casual interactions within the band--the album was mostly recorded live in the studio. Cantuaria articulates a rapturous matrix of sound with his guitar, playing against earlier notes still hanging in the air; he uses his voice as an instrument too, beginning "Quase choro" with a nasal flutter and ending "Perritos" with a bit of wordless improvisation. Here he'll be joined by drummer Paulo Braga and bassist Paul Socolow, who both play on the album, and percussionist Marivaldo Dos Santos. Scottinho & Cash open, with guest vocalist Mari Anne Jayme. Friday, May 21, 9 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lars Klove.