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André Fernandes Perim — Dágua
((Not on label) AA000010000, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-21

Dágua Cover art

André Perim is a Brazilian keyboardist and composer whose goal is to combine progressive keyboard playing with Brazilian percussion — at least that’s how he was first presented to me. In many ways, that is not what Dágua really is, so in listening to the CD, I’ve had to revise my expectations. I’m definitely a lover of the sound of percussion, and I’m a long-time fan of progressive music (rock and otherwise), so combining the two seems like a worthy goal. The main previous attempt at this combination that I can recall is Patrick Moraz’s The Story of i album back in 1976, but where Moraz used a whole battery of other players to produce a full band sound, Dágua is Perim alone with one or two percussionists (Wellington Soares and/or Rodrigo Sebastian), plus guitar, violin, and theremin on one track each. Perim handles pianos both acoustic and electric, organ, and a variety of synthesizers, along with some percussion. Perim’s compositions are generally very simple harmonically, staying within standard major and minor tonalities without a lot of complications, which is not necessarily a drawback, since these are very much idiomatic to the style he’s working within. I need to remember to not fault Perim for not accomplishing something he’s not really setting out to do. He’s not trying to record the next great prog-rock keyboard showcase, a follow-on to The Story of i (not that Moraz’s album is without flaws). His goals are more along the lines of expanding the Brazilian tradition than the progressive rock genre. For one reason or another, the tracks are often kind of thin and lazy, tending towards a New Agey mood — perhaps a bass player (either electric or acoustic) would have provided that extra bit of push in the low end. Oddly enough, the most energetic tune, “Mapa Mudi,” which is a quick flurry of 7/8, is done without percussion — which seems like a missed opportunity. Perim has some good ideas here, and I don’t doubt that with time to develop them more, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in South American music.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): André Fernandes Perim

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