Raphael Rabello

February 14, 2006

Great Brazilian guitarists meld a jazzbo’s grasp of syncopated rhythms and sophisticated harmonies with a classical guitarist’s ability to juggle bass, chords, and melody. Raphael Rabello—who died in 1995 at the age of 33—was considered by many aficionados to be one of the finest Brazilian guitarists of his generation. Rabello recorded the 13 solo guitar pieces on Cry, My Guitar in two afternoon sessions in the fall of ’94, and these turned out to be his last. The music, which remained unheard until now, has a fiery, spontaneous feel that owes as much to flamenco as it does jazz. In addition to a handful of originals, Rabello tackles compositions by Baden Powell, Laurindo Almeida, and other Brazilian greats. Rabello’s fingerstyle arrangements have a restless, passionate intensity born of choro—a fast-paced music combining African rhythms and Portuguese melodies that emerged in Brazil in the 1920s. Boasting complex counterpoint, lively tremolo picking, and rippling arpeggios, Cry, My Guitar offers a dynamic, shifting kaleidoscope of nylon-string colors that showcases the guitar’s orchestral qualities, while revealing Rabello’s formidable chops. (GSP).
—Andy Ellis

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