Review by Brad Walseth
With two voices like these the listener feels like he is being slowly wrapped in velvet. Polish-American Grazyna Auguscik and Brazilian-born Paulinho Garcia have released their third album together, "Andanca," which covers a range of standards and lesser known Brazilian songs from Jobim, Baden Powell, Milton Nascimento and Airto Moreira, as well as a couple originals. The two Chicagoans are backed superbly by Garcia's warm nylon string guitar and a rhythm section of Matt Ulery on bass and Geraldo de Oliveria on percussion. Somewhat surprisingly, this recording features a string quartet, which turns out to be is a perfect match for the music, adding a luscious sheen to the proceedings.
The bittersweet title track sets the table with a wistful longing, while the high energy "Bala Com Bala" highlights both singers ability to scat Brazilian-style. Bossa gets a Polish treatment on the tasty "Gdy Wybierac Jeszcze Mogtam," while Jobim's wonderful, moody "O Boto" is highlighted by pizzacato strings and an array of chiming percussion sounds. Chicago favorite Howard Levy guests on harmonica on the bounding "Casa Forte," and Moreira's "Mixing," while Heitor Garcia (Paulinho's brother) adds percussion on three tracks. Another great Jobim tune, "Photograph" floats along like a single white cloud in a peaceful summer sky. Mewnahile, the popular "So Nice/Summer Samba" is a treat, as the singers alternate lush lines and Janusz Muniak adds a lovely saxophone solo on this haunting tune.
So smooth and silky: the voices mix and merge like kahlua and cream throughout the entire release. The album ends strongly with two incredible tracks. If the sublime "Viola Anturada" doesn't raise chills you have no soul. And the final pairing of Chopin's "Prelude in E-min"(played in Amin) with perhaps my favorite Jobim piece, "How Insensitive," is simply sheer shimmering icy silence. What can you do when a love affair is over? Listening to the wonderful tunes performed so well on this release would be my suggested tonic for life's ills.