[8 August 2012]
Brasillian Hamilton de Holanda has crafted a unique space for himself by pushing the boundaries of the ubiquitous Brasillian instrument, the bandolim (in English the mandolin). De Holanda plays a ten stringed version of the mandolin and has become known as the Jimi Hendrix of bandolim. On this, the sixth release with the US label Adventure Music, de Holanda is accompanied by his trusted fellow Brasilian musicians who form Quinteto – Andre Vasconcellos on acoustic bass, Gabriel Grossi on harmonica, Marcio Bahia on drums and Daniel Santiago on guitar.
The music has a range of styles running through it so you can hear elements of Latin inflected rock in “Primeiras Ideias” and jazz in “Saudades Do Rio”. Sometimes a number of styles will be evident in one track such as “Caos E Harmonia”, which has traces of jazz, folk, samba and bossa nova. It’s a blast, although I’m not sure what the purists will think of it!
The highlight of Brailianos 3 is “Guerra e Pas I” (“War and Peace”) which starts with the background noise of children and develops into a piece Ennio Morricone would have been proud of. Special guest and Brasilian legend Milton Nascimento provides a haunting vocal hum over a backdrop of guitars, harmonica and whistling.
Hamilton de Holanda has played with a wide range of the more adventurous and globe-spanning musicians, which has taken him out of his Rio comfort zone. Here’s hoping more people come to appreciate his beautiful, virtuosic music.