No celebration is complete without music and Ricardo Bacelar has used this to his advantage to create a fifteen-track album entitled Sebastiana bursting with culture and pride. Being Ricardo’s third album, the artist wanted to create something that would transcend musical styles and go beyond trends and fashion. With Sebastiana, Ricardo has recorded something that is more than just jazz music but captures the collective brilliance of the Latin American world. Taking the old and the new, Sebastiana is an evocative, inspiring and timeless album that employs unique Latin American rhythms, instruments and vocals.
Beginning the musical experience in a subdued celebratory style is ‘A Volta da Asa Branca,’ a track combining a fusion of Latin American instruments and fully beginning the immersion of Sebastiana. With many of the tracks on the album, the world around you begins to fall away until all that is left is the music and the emotions it creates. Pulling you in further is ‘Suco Verde’ that employs a more jazz heavy sound by bringing bass instruments to the foreground before giving you a little electric tease. Sebastiana puts mood and emotion before anything else, selecting the perfect rhythm and pace before commerciality. Songs like ‘River of Emotions’ and ‘Parts of Me’ are artistically and beautifully composed piano pieces that leave you aching and wishing they were longer than 40 seconds. However, Sebastiana does not only succeed is brining a tear to the eye and a rhythm to the body but also manages to be effortlessly seductive with tracks like ‘Somewhere in the Hills’ and ‘Nothing Will Be as It Was.’ ‘Somewhere in the Hills’ has a soothing sensuality provided by smooth jazz and soft vocals that provide the perfect song to wind down to after a long day. Lead track ‘Nothing Will Be as It Was’ stands out from the album through it’s more melancholy sound and lyrics, a song of reflection and wondering what the future will bring. The swirling sound and continuous beat move the song forward without ever becoming too much, a perfect balance of vocals and instruments that fades out softly.
Watch the music video for ‘Nothing Will Be as It Was’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSnmWyNqYGs
Musicians from all over the Latin American world have contributed to Sebastiana, leaving their own unique cultural stamp on each track to create something personal but also to be shared. The album delivers lushly-layered tracks with a variety of different instruments that combine to create an education into different rhythms like vallenato, sangueo, bomba and timba. Sebastiana was recorded in Miami, Florida, with producer Cesar Lemos and has been released with a deluxe LP and CD packages that feature a booklet depicting images of studio sessions and artwork used as inspiration such as the distinctive artwork of Emiliano Di Cavalcanti. Ricardo Bacelar has truly created something outstanding that captures the music of Brazil in all its glory.
Review by Skye W. Winwood