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Benchimol, Sergio: Ciclos Imaginarios

On this, his second solo album, Brazilian symphonic progressive composer and guitarist, Sergio Benchimol, is joined by a large array of friends. Ciclos Imaginarios is an excellent selection of mostly classically styled progressive instrumentals, typical of the style made so famous by Quaterna Requiem, Semente (of which Sergio was a member), Bacamarte and Sagrado. The album follows a Brazilian tradition for richly embroidered musical tapestries woven with acoustic and electric guitars, flute, sax, strings and keyboards.

The pastoral "Terral 2" is followed by the lilting and playful, summery composition that is "Oregon Mountains". David Ganc's jittery flute creates images of dancing butterflies while the violin and acoustic guitar evoke pollen and seeds floating through sunny skies. "Daqui Prali", a beautiful wistful song, features a crystalline acoustic guitar, soft vocal and eloquently expressive viola and violin. Breathy flute joins in later as the song changes to a smoochy romantic air.

Some of the jazz influences on his first release appear on "Depois da Praia" as David Ganc switches to sax for a slow burning opening. A sudden tempo switch midway brings in violin as a rockier beat develops with the violin, sax and, later, Carlos Prazeras' oboe hopping in and out in a delightful exchange of leads. Shadow Valley has a moderately darker feel to its rather film-track styled orchestral arrangement although there is a healthy drop of humour to the piece as if the composer were poking fun at people's unnecessary fears of the unknown.

A pretty piano glissando starts the final, and longest, composition "Ciclos". Violin and oboe join in as the instruments merge and cool in a cauldron of sound. A beat develops and the instrumental brew comes to the boil. This is the most complex and interesting work on this album and highlights the cleverness of composition as well as the artistic beauty of which Sergio is capable. The track makes use of semitones and adventurous chord progressions amid more of a jazz framework than its predecessors with a number of deft time changes and tempo variations. As with most of the album, it is the work of David Ganc and Carlos Prazeras which is the most dominant with Sergios's guitar being understated if not completely absent as he takes on piano on this piece. Anyway, a brilliant finish to a top notch album.

Track Listing
1. Terral 2
2. Oregon Mountains
3. Daqui Prali
4. Depois da Praia
5. Shadow Valley
6. Ciclos

Added: June 10th 2008
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Artist My Space Page
Hits: 2386
Language: english

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