For an interesting blend of all things Brazilian with a jazz/fusion player's improvisational sensibility, check out Gustavo Oliveira's CD Fusion Brazil. Featuring Dave Carpenter on bass, Walt Fowler on trumpet and flugelhorn and Joel Taylor on drums, the mighty rhythm section frees Oliveira to undertake multiple flights of fusion fancy on his six-string. Even bassist Carpenter gets into the improvisational act, on tracks such as "Blues For Galucio". Slower tunes such as the lyrical "Nonas" feature evocative flugelhorn lead with Oliveira's sensitive comping, later giving way to chord melody, arpeggiated and single string soloing. Placing an emphasis on improvisation means a few rough spots in phrasing here and there but mostly the risk taking is worth the effort. Rhythmically, the CD is quite interesting and expressive, and many of Oliveira's compositions are quite good. This is a promising first album from Oliveira - we'll bet, the first of many.
Born in 1971 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gustavo started to play classical guitar at 14. Soon he switched over to electric guitar, being influenced by rock guitarists from the '80s. A few years later, Gustavo got interested in improvisation, and from 1991 to 1995, he studied harmony and improvisation with the renowned Brazilian teacher Sergio Benevenuto. In 1995, he moved to Los Angeles and took lessons with important players such as Mike Stern and Gary Willis. Being influenced by American and Brazilian music, he developed his unique 'Fusion Brazil' style, which mixes Brazilian rhythms such as baiao, samba and choro with jazz, blues, funk and rock.
Whether working on his solo career or side projects, Gustavo keeps a busy schedule as a performer, music educator and studio musician. As a music educator, he is working on his first instructional CD-ROM about guitar techniques.
P.O. Box 661053
Los Angeles, CA 90066