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David Feldman: Horizonte

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David Feldman: Horizonte
David Feldman photograph by Alexandre Moreira
Listening to David Feldman on Horizonte conjures up a vivid image of “Le proporzioni del corpo umano secondo Vitruvio, or “The proportions of the human body according to Vitruvius”, or simply “L’Uomo Vitruviano” “Vitruvian Man” as drawn by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the architect Vitruvius. The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De architectura. In an act of stunning magic, David Feldman’s music seems to reincarnate him in a sort of Vitruvian persona bringing the iconic drawing, which was simply in pen and ink on paper, to life as Mr Feldman (The Vitruvian Man) performs unimaginably beautiful pirouettes and balletic leaps to the rhythm of a Brasilian heart trapped in the sinuous Vitruvian body.

David Feldman is a gift to the world of music. The extent of what he achieves on Horizonte will delight listeners and viewers (as more film of his performances of the music emerges on YouTube and other outlets) for a very long time to come. The music will also continue to provide us with an endless sense of wonder. We will be agape at the immensity of Mr Feldman’s “vocal” power that he brings to his pianism. This is, of course, unusual because even if the piano is a chordal instrument it is still a challenge for even a supremely talented musician to make it sing in melodically, harmonically and rhythmically at the same time. All this while David Feldman makes his songs “accessible” to all types of listeners, irrespective of what their musical persuasion is. Only a handful of pianists have achieved this: Earl “Fatha” Hines, Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols and just a few more through history…

Is this laughable hyperbole? It certainly does not appear so when you listen to David Feldman play. The quality of pianism in Mr Feldman’s music is extraordinary, with a strikingly characterful solo (there are actually many) in the Adagio e staccato sections of “Navegar” and the in the rampant horn-like roiling melded with liquid glissandos and raunchy trills in the pacy version of the lively “Penumbra” that follows. Elsewhere – indeed everywhere on this on this disc – we hear music in all its radiant apparel, offering fascinating insights into all things rhythmically Brasilian; always keeping the listener guessing as to what is coming next. Moreover the sheer lyricism of the pianism of David Feldman and the tonal colours that ensue is absolutely breathtaking. And that’s only a part of what’s to enjoy in Mr Feldman’s music…

Of course, the trio setting is perfect for the flowering to become a vivid reality. And here, the bassist André Vasconcellos and drummer Marcio Bahia are flawless in a group that occasionally augmented by the great composer, guitarist and vocalist Toninho Horta and trombonist Raul de Souza, with alert, finely dovetailed playing from each forming an ideal melodic, harmonic and rhythmic attack. Rhythm, indeed, is strongly marked throughout, emphasising the unforgettable singularity of Brasilian thematic gestures as David Feldman’s highly distinctive tone colours and those of the other musicians register superbly in a rich and full sonic picture that achieves something close to an ideal textural balance. And that’s another aspect of the animation of David Feldman as Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”.

Track List – 1: Chora Tua Tristeza; 2: Melancolia; 3: Navegar; 4: Tetê; 5: Sliding Ways; 6: Penumbra; 7: Soccer Ball; 8: Esqueceram de Mim no Aeroporto; 9: Adeus: 10: Céu e Mar

Personnel – David Feldman: piano; André Vasconcellos: contrabass; Marcio Bahia: drums; Toninho Horta: nylon string guitar and vocals (4, 7); Raul de Souza: trombone (5, 7)

Released – 2017
Label – Polo
Runtime – 59:21

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