Stellar Percussive Work and Beautifully Crafted Brazilian Songs

Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser - Talisman
Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser – Talisman
Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser

Talisman (Savant Records, 2014)

Two outstanding artists, Hispanic American Latin jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa and Brazilian vocalist Glaucia Nasser, present a memorable collaboration titled
Talisman . Sammy Figueroa is one of the world’s finest percussionists. He specializes in global percussion with an emphasis in the rhythms and instruments from the Spanish-speaking countries (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Uruguay). Glaucia Nasser, from Minas Gerais, has one of the most beautiful voices in the current Brazilian scene.

The two artists met each other in Miami, when Glaucia Nasser performed as an opening act at WDNA’s Jazz Gallery in Miami. There, she was introduced to Sammy Figueroa. “I was just the opening act,” Nasser recollects, “but I talked to Sammy after the show and told him about my idea for mixing my voice with his style.”

When Figueroa listened to Nasser, he was swayed: “Glaucia was charismatic, so original in her approach to music. And she had a gorgeous voice.”

Figueroa called his long-time producer and partner Rachel Faro and the three of them put together Talisman, a fabulous combination of Latin jazz, Brazilian popular music and Afro-Latin beats, including bomba, plena, batá, samba and candombe.

This is the music of my heart,” Nasser reveals. “It’s an expression of love. We just let things happen. Some people thought Brazilian and Latin music couldn’t work together, but this proves it’s a beautiful combination.”

The recording sessions took place in December 201 in São Paulo, at NaCena Studios. “NaCena is like the old RCA Studios in New York from the 1970s,” Figueroa says. “A big wooden room, the kind of place where creative things happen. We had Bernardo Aguiar, one of Rio’s hottest young sambistas—he made the pandeiro sound like a whole drum kit! And Glaucia brought in this amazing young bass player, Fernando Rosa.”

Bianca Gismonti (daughter of the iconic Egberto Gismonti) played piano, Chico Pinheiro added guitar on a couple of tracks, Brazilian percussionist Chrys Galante provided Brazilian rhythms, whereas Austrian guitarist Michi Ruzitschka performed exquisite West African-inspired guitar.

Sammy, Michi, and the band worked hard on the arrangements during the rehearsals,” adds Faro. “By the time we went into the studio, it was just about playing, having fun. The musicians were very relaxed and there was a lot of interaction between Glaucia and the players. It’s really both a vocal and an instrumental album.”

Sammy Figueroa’s discography includes Urban Nature, Magician and …and Sammy Walked in.

Glaucia Nasser’s recordings include Glaucia Nasser, Bem Demais, and Vida Num Segundo.

On Talisman, Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser deliver stellar percussive work and beautifully crafted songs.

Buy Talisman

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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