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The unexpected Brazil

By Francisco Mario

Caju / Fantasy Records: 1995

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This review first appeared in the December 15, 1995 issue of the North County Times.

The late Brazilian guitarist Francisco Mario is unknown to most American listeners – which is our loss, for his music is entrancing and melodic.

This re-release is of two of the last albums he recorded before dying in 1988. Accompanied by a variety of percussion instruments, flute and mandolin, Mario's acoustic music isn't what Americans normally associate with Brazilian music. He drew his jazz-influenced melodies from the folk music of Brazil, and then combined it with Western forms, then laid the whole down over the polyrhythms of his homeland. The result is hypnotic.