Marcos De Ros is a Brazilian guitar virtuoso without question. He might not be that well known up here in the States but I think that might change. With this CD/DVD package the abilities of this master guitarist are on full display and will surely turn some heads. While he may be one of the most talented guitarists I have ever seen or heard this is an album that will leave you scratching your head at times. Accompanied by Eder Bergozza on piano, some of the disc and the live performance caught on DVD meanders around and seems to loose its punch by becoming a showcase for Marcos to highlight all of the different techniques at his disposal. This is too bad because when he is on, De Ros is one mighty player who will mesmerize you with his talent. When he forgets the golden rule and sacrifices melody to show off he helps define the term doodling. Such as on the song "Palhacada tem Hora (e a hora é essa)" which shows off Marcos' amazing dexterity but is more suited for one of his instructional videos as it really wanders around and becomes nothing more than a series of frantic fretboard maneuvers. It is really something to watch him perform these finger calisthenics but it would be much better in small doses within a more melodic structure.
The album leans heavily toward classical music with a dose of Latin flavor and a touch of jazz with just a smidge of what would be called rock and roll. The majority of the disc is De Ros leading the way with Bergozza adding the background flavoring. This works extremely well for the most part but when Eder is let loose he also proves to be a magnificent musician. His piano work within the classical vein they perform in is fantastic. Bergozza gets his best chance to shine on the closer of the disc "Ponteio Marciano". This is one of the times where their combined efforts make for a spectacular union. Breathtaking guitar playing by De Ros is interwoven with the stunning keyboard work of Bergozza. Simply put, this is one of the moments that will show you just what this pair is capable of and being the last song on here will leave you wanting more.
I am not sure what they were going for here but the opening credits make it seem like a silent movie and the guys are trying to put a soundtrack to it. This is another way to look at what they are doing and songs like "A Vinganca do Seu Madruga" and especially "The Little Tramp" have this movie soundtrack quality. This is not a bad thing necessarily as "The Little Tramp" is clearly one of the highlights of the disc.
Speaking of highlights, you do not have to go far into the CD to find them. "Que Venga el Toro" is a magical song where the melody is meticulously woven into a fierce piece that really has the Spanish flavor of "Facing The Bull" as the title translates into. "Inverno de 2009" is another example that will go good with a cup of coffee on a chilly morning. It is a lovely tune that became one of my favorites even though it doesn't necessarily have De Ros showing off his speed and technical prowess, instead it highlights his songwriting ability. "Danca da Lagartixa" with a slightly jazzy feel showcases Marcos' amazing talent along with a delightful melody that is just a whole lot of fun. "Paganiniana" is a dramatic work that pays homage to one of the classical masters. De Ros is absolutely stunning as he captures all that is good about this composer and delivers it in a way that I am sure would make Nicolo proud.
I might sound like I am down on this disc. Believe me when I tell you this is a truly special performance. He is a master of the six string no doubt about it. The only aspect is that he does wander away from the melodic and it comes off not as a plus to what he is doing but rather a case of see what I can do that you can't! Other than the few times that this hits you, I would have to say that this could have been a perfect album. The man is serious about his music and it shows. Like I said at the start, I have never heard of him before but I will be checking out everything that he has done for sure. I only hope I get a chance to see him do this someday, it is a treat for a fledgling guitarist like me to see and hear how it really is suppose to be done!
The DVD and CD have the same track listing and the main difference is that the CD is a studio recording with some percussion added. The DVD is a live performance with just the two main characters. Let me suggest this, first listen to the CD a few times and get familiar with it. When you put the DVD in after that you will be astonished at how fluid and how he can play this with such ease. It is a real treat. The bonus material on the DVD is hard for me to comment on. There is a section that is the two of them talking about the CD I presume but it is not in English so I have no idea what they are saying. There is also a slide show of the recording of the album that is O.K. but I doubt if you look at it more than once. Not matter, if you are a fan of great guitar and/or classical music this is a must have disc. The amazing work he does on here overwhelms the few shortcomings.
1. A Vinganca do Seu Madruga
2. Que Venga el Toro
3. Corrida de Calango
4. Inverno de 2009
5. Capricho Infernal
6. Danca da Lagartixa
7. O Vento Encanado
8. The Little Tramp
9. Milonga de Fúria
10. Dona Rú (Chorinho de Máira)
11. Os Cacadores de Saci
12. Marcha Turca Brasileira
15. Senta a Pua
16. Palhacada tem Hora( e a hora é essa)
17. Ponteio Marciano