Each week, World in Stereo examines classic and modern world music while striving for a greater appreciation of other cultures.
Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuária: “Aquela Miller”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Bill_Frisell_and_Vinicius_Cantuaria_-_Lagrimas_Mexicanas_-_08_-_Aquela_Miller.mp3|titles=Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuária: “Aquela Miller”]
The fretwork abilities of guitar luminaries Bill Frisell and Brazilian singer/songwriter Vinicius Cantuária meet on a fantastic Latin jazz record titled Lagrimas Mexicanas (“Mexican Tears” in English). An expert collaboration that shows itself in every detailed note, Lagrimas Mexicanas has the harmonic twists and turns of a bossa-nova record sliced up by the experimental sounds you’d expect from Frisell. Whether sung in Spanish or Portuguese, Cantuária anchors much of the album with a voice as timeless as Gilberto Gil’s, capturing a worldly romanticism that comes off as seductive as the music that accompanies it.
Though it’s the first exclusive partnership between the two, the musicians have kept good company with each other in the past, playing together in a variety of settings — most notably Frisell’s guest spot on Cantuária’s second international release, Tucumã, in 1999. Cantuária, in return, was a part of the impressive global roster that made up Frisell’s Intercontinentals group.
Growing up in Manaus and Rio De Janiero, Cantuária’s Tropicália sound is informed by the places and people of Brazil. Taking Brazil’s rich musical tradition and relocating to New York in the mid-’90s, he has made a career in pushing the bossa-nova sound forward into the 21st Century.