The Room

Private: Fabiano do Nascimento & Sam Gendel

Released 26 January 2024

  1. Foi Boto
  2. Capricho
  3. Astral Flowers
  4. Kewere
  5. Cores
  6. Txera
  7. Até de Manhã
  8. Poeira
  9. Tupi
  10. Daiana

Liner notes

This is The Room, an album of instrumentals by Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento and American saxophonist Sam Gendel. Ten tracks, each rendered remarkable by originality, mastery and singular beauty, by technical precision, shared creative vision and the players’ empathetic, even telepathic, coming together.

The Room is there, then, at the intersection of Nascimento’s atmospheric seven-string guitar playing and the flute-like harmonics of Gendel’s soprano saxophone. It’s a space magicked by serendipity, talent, belief: “In 2011 I was in a Latin jazz group called Triorganico,” says do Nascimento, who was born into musical family in Rio de Janiero, attending the Conservatório de Música Brasileiro before relocating to LA. “We had a gig at a restaurant owned by Sam’s cousin, who invited him along. Sam brought his sax and sat in.”

Do Nascimento had begun developing his own language on guitar aged 10 under the eye of his late uncle, Sao Paolo-based bassist/composer Lucio Nascimento. The largely self-taught Gendel picked up his chosen instrument at around the same age, going on to explore the oeuvres of horn players John Coltrane and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and the lesser explored folk music of South America.

Both had travelled extensively throughout Brazil and Colombia, were into environmentalism and ecology. Both were super fans of Hermeto Pascoal, the iconic experimentalist from Northeast Brazil, and had grown up with relatives who had the 1964 albums Baden Powell A Vontade by guitarist Baden Powell, and Getz/Gilberto by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, on repeat.

This was before Gendel would go on to work with artists including Sam Amidon and Moses Sumney, tour with Ry and Joachim Cooder, or release a string of albums praised, among many things, for their genre-jumping audacity. Before do Nascimento’s collaborations with Brazilian percussion hero Airto Moreira (in a trio that included Gendel), with American DJ/producer Madlib or American chanteuse Claude Fontaine; prior to the solo records that resist classification while still celebrating his musical roots.

“We were making music that we had a real mutual appreciation for,” says do Nascimento. “I was always joking that Sam should play flute, and he tried multiple things before he got this unique [flute] sound out of his soprano. Most people don’t actually realise that it’s a saxophone.”

They recorded The Room in two days, in a basement studio in Pacific Palisades, a residential area tucked between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Each track its own dive into the rhythms and regions of a South America without borders. Many take their cue from indigenous melodies, and popular old Brazilian tunes.

Time, then, for The Room.

Credits

7-string guitar: Fabiano do Nascimento
Soprano saxophone: Sam Gendel
Engineering: Tomas Jacobi
Mixing/mastering: Jason Hiller

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