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Eric Roberts | My Brazilian Heart

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Jazz: Bossa Nova Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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My Brazilian Heart

by Eric Roberts

A beautiful selection of original brazilian and smooth jazz compositions featuring guitar, bass, keys, drums & percussion.
Genre: Jazz: Bossa Nova
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Brazilian Morning
3:07 album only
2. Gentle Breezes
4:57 album only
3. Flying Free
4:14 album only
4. Children's Song
4:32 album only
5. Brazilian Nights
4:20 album only
6. Swiss Samba
4:19 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This EP was a long time in coming. I composed these tunes years ago but had never recorded them to my satisfaction. The brazilian songs were inspired by the guitar music of Brazil, which I first heard when I was 16. My favorite players were Charlie Byrd, Baden Powell, Oscar Castro-Neves and many others. From then on I knew that eventually the nylon string guitar would be my instrument of choice.

The songs were written while I was living in Geneva, Switzerland where there was a small brazilian music community and a great brazilian club that I used to hang out and play at. Living in Geneva was a wonderful (but expensive) experience and I truly loved the appreciation of music & art that was so prevalent there, as well as the spectacular scenery, too!

The players on this CD are all first class:

Paul Avgerinos - Bass, Producer
Bill Harris - Woodwinds
Nick Bariluk - Keyboard
Barbara Merjan - Percussion



to write a review

Bill Binkelman - Zone Music Reporter

An outstanding blend of smooth jazz and subtle Brazilian musical influences
Heading in a different direction than the introspective and more tone-poem approach that he displayed on 2001's In a Silent Place, acoustic guitarist Eric Roberts sets sail for the soft ocean breezes and sun-soaked beaches of Brazil (as interpreted through the moods and motifs of accessible smooth jazz) on My Brazilian Heart. The six-song EP does indeed contain some Spanish musical influences, notably the sensual Latin rhythms of “Flying Free” and the sexy Spanish flavors of “Swiss Samba,” but the majority of this CD is resplendent with the best elements of smooth jazz with literally none of the vapidity or shallowness that sometimes creeps into the genre. Putting it succinctly, this is a killer EP of both mellow and cookin’ jazz licks played by Roberts and his guest artists.

Those guests are well-known ambient artist Paul Avgerinos, here contributing on funky soulful bass, Nick Bariluk on keyboards, noted woodwind player Bill Harris and drummer/percussionist Barbara Merjan. Everyone involved plays with finesse, style, and gusto (when it’s called for). It’s hard to believe these cats haven’t been jamming for a long time, to be honest, as their musical chemistry and sense of simpatico is self-evident from the first listen.

One of the comparisons I kept coming up with as I listened to this excellent CD was to Chick Corea’s early incarnation of Return to Forever, circa Light as a Feather, because both recordings share a joyous exuberance mated to a refined musicianship and a carefree playfulness as well. My Brazilian Heart is a hugely entertaining recording and I never tired of it over many playings before writing this review.

“Brazilian Morning” starts things off in a spirited manner with a nice piano intro spiraling into Roberts’ guitar side-by-side with Harris’ flute. Lively but not overly so, the song sounds like a picture-perfect sunrise! “Gentle Breezes” captures the titular reference with a midtempo rhythm and perfect amalgam of assorted musical elements—Avgerinos’ bass, Merjan’s trap kit drums, Bariluk’s keyboards and Roberts’ guitar. “Flying Free” sizzles with tropical heat tempered by jazzy undertones and the resultant blend produces just enough fire to get your fingers snapping and toes tapping but is counterbalanced with a giddy effervescence to lighten the mood. “Brazilian Nights” is, paradoxically, the most “American,” i.e. urban, cut on the EP, with sexy sax and vibrant piano supported by the solid rhythm section as well as adroit soloing by Roberts.

I’ve often written of my belief in the adage “quality over quantity” in reference to EPs, and Eric Roberts’ My Brazilian Heart is another example of the veracity of the phrase. I certainly wouldn’t have minded more of the same on this recording, but if these six dynamite tracks are what the musicians settled on as being their best efforts, well, that’s more than good enough for me. If all smooth jazz recordings were this good, the genre would never have gone out of fashion. Who knows, maybe Roberts and company can even breathe new life into it? Highly recommended!

Rating: Excellent

Bill Binkelman
Zone Music Reporter

Robert Silverstein

A new Eric Roberts CD classic
It’s not often that guitarist Eric Roberts makes a new CD but when he does it’s clearly worth a listen. Back in 2006 Roberts released his CD debut, a fine instrumental showcase for his guitar skills called In A Silent Place. Now in 2009 the Colorado based guitarist follows up with a newly recorded 6 track CD ep entitled My Brazilian Heart. Everything about this new CD release speaks quality—from the studio recording sound down to the eye-catching cover artwork. Whereas In A Silent Place found Roberts in the studio recording a stellar mix of jazzy and reflective yet upbeat New Age guitar instrumentals, with My Brazilian Heart he also sounds influenced by the tropical sounds of Brazil combined with smooth jazz. Roberts recorded In A Silent Place in the studio with former Paul Winter Consort cellist David Darling and fittingly, Roberts lists a number of players among his chief influences including Paul Winter guitarist Ralph Towner, as well huge Brazilian music legends like Charlie Byrd and Baden Powell. In addition to the comparison with the early Paul Winter Consort sound, there’s also a neoclassical jazz music sound in the mix with a sublime Jean Pierre Rampal meets Earl Klugh vibe in play on My Brazilian Heart, often mixing within the same track! If there’s one minor aside here it’s that the disc only contains six tracks but the music is so good you’ll find yourself reaching for the replay button to hear it again more than once. If enough people get to hear it, I’m sure Roberts will consider a volume two in the future. A number of players appear backing up Roberts on these six guitar masterpieces including Paul Avgerinos (bass), Bill Harris (woodwinds), Nick Bariluk (keyboards) and Barbara Merjan (drums/percussion). Easy on the ears, uplifting guitar based instrumentals, My Brazilian Heart makes a fine spin for jazz and Brazilian music lovers that can also serve as a cinematic and reflective musical backdrop for your weary ears.
CD review written by Robert Silverstein for mwe3.com