Saxophonist Livio Almeida blends melodic elegance with creative imaginings on his latest recording, Action & Reaction. Produced by Arturo O’Farrill, the tracks echo a nostalgic bebop essence reminiscent of such classic bop performers as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. The music is made to be enjoyed after hours in the dim ambience of moonlit nights.
“Just Memories” is trimmed in frilly saxophone swirls framed in Vitor Gonçalves’s lounging keys, creating an ambient suite that induces images in the listener’s mind of walks on the beach under a moonlit sky with a balmy breeze sweeping across the calming waves. The atmospherics incite solace and joyful reflections. “Bluesbao” has a bopping beat in its carriage as a cotillion of horns shimmy and flail with a New Orleans-style flare that ensues fun and frolic from start to finish, while “Sambasus” is garbed in samba-encrusted beats as the keys and horns bubble and splay with a freedom that elicits the same in its audience.
The freestyle etchings of Eduardo Belo’s bass pulls along “Living in the Dark” are joined by the mournful moans of Almeida’s sax resounding a hymn-like prose. The subdued mood of the number profoundly affects the listener as the instruments transcribe a gloomy narrative through musical notes. The gentle flapping of Almeida’s sax in “Those (Not So Infant) Eyes” caresses the pensive keys, producing a calming effect and switch to ringlets of splashing toots through the title track as Zack O’Farrill’s drumsticks pound on the skins.
With all tunes composed by Livio Almeida, the recording exhibits structured motifs alongside improvised movements. The frills and moans of Almeida’s saxophone have a bebop chicness, whipping up a modern day look at a vintage art form.
Livio Almeida: tenor and soprano saxophones, Vitor Gonçalves: piano, Eduardo Belo: bass, Zack O’Farrill: drums, and featuring Adam O’Farrill: trumpet
“Sambasus,” “Agony,” “Just Memories,” “Bluesbao,” “Living in the Dark,” “Those (Not So Infant) Eyes,” “Action & Reaction”