Canadian flutist Bill McBirnie has returned with another fantastic album of instrumental jazz and Latin music. The Toronto-based artist finds himself partnered again with pianist/accompanist Bernie Senensky; the latest album being their second work together, following 2006’s Paco Paco. Entitled The Silent Wish, the album is brimming with Samba and Bossa Nova sounds, instantly transporting the listener to a Brazilian beach.
Bill McBirnie with Bernie Senensky – The Silent Wish
As the album progresses, the listener is treated to more Bossa and upbeat Jazz, the artists covering a spectrum of emotions and feelings, mindful not to become mired in repetition. The tempo slows down considerably on “First Song for Ruth”, a composition by Charlie Haden. McBirnie’s soulful and moving vibrato punctuates throughout, taking the listener on a slow stroll through nostalgic love.
The pace picks back up on “Recado Bossa Nova”, the opener of side two, composed by Brazilian pianist Djalma Ferreira. Accented piano lines by Senensky open the track, enticing the listener to forget their troubles and dance. Their version of Paulinho da Viola’s “Dança da Solidão” is next. Atmospheric flute doubles with itself over roaming piano rhythms, nice extra touches that expand the sonic palette of the music. McBirnie’s soloing reaches into the stratosphere, without disrupting the amiable vibe of the track.
The lack of sonic variety is perhaps the only drawback to the album. While McBirnie and Senensky take pains to keep the music diverse, there is only so much that can be done when working with two instruments. Still, they do their best, and regardless, their performances are wonderful, with every contribution perfect for the moment, and not a single note out of place.
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