Review Tunico – Tunico
Readers of Prezident Markon’s singles round-up may remember that my alter ego enthused about the first two singles from this Rio de Janeiro saxophonist’s eponymous debut album, which is released today, courtesy of Far Out Recordings. A cursory listening suggests that these first two tracks may be the standouts, but a couple more reveal the claims of the four other tracks.
Tunico is the nom de musique of Antonio Secchin, who was brought up in an artistic Rio household. Just to confirm this, his father Guilherme kept things in the family by supplying the album cover. Antonio started off on guitar before graduating to saxophone and, on the brief meditative closer, “O Que Virá”, we hear him unaccompanied on the soprano and the acoustic guitar. In fact, the interplay between his soprano sax and Haroldo Eiras’ acoustic guitar is a signature sound of the album. Their interplay is fleshed out by a rhythm section of drums, percussion and electric bass, and by keyboards and the occasional welcome addition: trombonist Antonio Neves, for example, (whose fine album, A Pegada Agora é Essa, was reviewed here back in 2021) helps make “Sambola” such an irresistible slice of retro samba-funk. Katarina Assef’s ethereal wordless vocal on “Galope” adds to a strong golden-age flavour of Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Hermeto Pascoal. Bernardo Schaeffer’s flute enhances the samba-jazz of “Saudade do Sucupira”, while Haroldo Eiras switches from acoustic to electric guitar to slash and burn his way through a surprising solo on “Solar Das Hortências”, which offers Tunico the chance to show what he can do on the alto as well as soprano horn.
Tunico, then, is a classy, tasteful album that transports you back to the heyday of samba funk in general and artists like Banda Black Rio and Hermeto Pascoal in particular, while also suggesting that this young artist’s musical future looks very bright.
Tunico is out now on Far Out Recordings.
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