In the vast shimmering universe of Brazilian music Egberto Gismonti is a galaxy unto himself. A fearless musical searcher whose quest for pristine indigenous influences took him to the heart of the Amazon rain forest, Gismonti draws on a multitude of folkloric styles, creating music that’s both supremely sophisticated and bracingly rustic. An influential composer, multi-instrumental wizard, and skilled improviser, he can evoke the teeming natural world with the caress of a guitar. Ever since the premiere of his breakthrough composition “O Sonho” in 1968 at a career-making International Song Festival, Gismonti has been recognized as a visionary. While recording often for EMI/Odeon in Brazil Gismonti earned a vast international following in the mid-1970s through his work for ECM. Starting with Dança das Cabeças, his award-winning 1977 duo album with percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, he released a series of charged encounters, such as Sol do Meio-Dia with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, percussionist Colin Walcott, and guitarist Ralph Towner. He’s also collaborated extensively with Charlie Haden, though Gismonti doesn’t need any help on stage to keep an audience riveted. His best-selling album, 1979’s Solo, is a breathtaking session on which he moves gracefully between 8-string guitar, piano, bells and percussion.
Egberto Gismonti guitar, piano