Hermeto +

Artist: Huw Warren

Date of Release: 19/10/2009

Catalogue no: SRCD 30-2

Label: Basho

Price: £9.99

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Track Listing







The End is also the Beginning




Santo Antonio




DP & C




Harmonia sem Chronologia




Desencontro Certo




Cowbois and Sheperds




Santa Caterina








All is Sound




Briguinha de Musicos Malacos




Nos da Good Night




All is Music




All is Life




Frevo en Maceio




The Beginning is also the End






Appearances by

Martin France

Pianist/composer Huw Warren has continued to develop exceptional international collaborations that bring together his influences of classical, folk, Brazilian and jazz in his own compositions and to the works of others.

Hermeto+ includes arrangements of the music of Brazilian genius Hermeto Pascoal, alongside Huw Warren’s own eclectic compositions. Warren’s own music-making has been strikingly influenced by the highly idiosyncratic work of Hermeto Pascoal which fuses experimental and jazz influences with the rhythmically infectious folk idioms of Rural Brazil (eg. Baio, Forro, Chorino, Frevo) along with the better known urban variations of Samba. Pascoal is also celebrated for his sonic invention - using many sounds from nature and the use of familiar objects as unconventional instruments. Pascoal's music has an infectious sense of fun, and this mix of experimentalism, rhythmic vitality and humour is a central aspect of the project.




08/01/2010 Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times 4 stars****

Huw Warren, the brilliant Welsh musician, visits the works of the great Brazilian Hermeto Pascoal, in an arresting celebration of one fine composer by another.

Each in his way combines warmth, fun and adventure within a mix of folk, jazz and classical influences. Here Warren’s dazzling technique and imagination on piano and accordion are set, jewel-like, amid the electrifying work of longtime colleagues Martin France (drums) and Peter Herbert (bass). Interspersed with Pascoal’s pieces are Warren’s own, notable for the stunning drive and interaction of DP & C and Cowboys and Shepherds , and the lyrical reworkings of an older piece that bookend the CD. But perhaps the greatest delights are the sensitivity and invention brought to Pascoal’s seductive Santo Antonio, Harmonia sem Chronologia, Jegue and the gorgeous solo piano of Desencontro Certo . Lovely.


09/11/2009 Kenny Mathieson, The List

Welsh pianist Huw Warren is one of the most consistently intriguing and persistently undervalued musicians on the UK scene. Whether leading his own imaginative projects, co-founding Perfect Houseplants or working with musicians from Andy Sheppard and Tim Garland to Billy Bragg and June Tabor, his fluid invention and off-beat harmonic and rhythmic explorations are always stamped with an admirable individuality and imagination.

Warren has also worked with composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal in his UK touring band, and acknowledges the Brazilian has been an influence on his music for a quarter-century. Hermeto + alternates Warren’s take on Pascoal’s distinctive tunes with his own rather more abstract compositions directly inspired by him. Both sets of material are colourful, vibrant and suffused with playful wit, with Warren’s endlessly resourceful pianism (and occasional accordion) underpinned by bassist Peter Herbert and Martin France’s powerful drumming.


26/10/2009 Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz

Pianist Huw Warren has been inspired by the music of Hermeto Pascoal for over 25 years, and Hermeto + is a fitting tribute to the idiosyncratic Brazilian composer. The tunes—half of them written by Pascoal, half written by Warren—move from lyrical ballads to uptempo dance tunes via occasional experimental pieces, demonstrating the range of both composers' styles as well as the technical ability of Warren's trio.
The album is bookended by two Warren tunes: "The End Is Also the Beginning" and "The Beginning Is Also the End." In fact, the former is a short re-working of the central melody of the latter (or vice versa), a more complex composition which opens with some free-form interplay between Warren and Martin France on drums. Between these two tunes, the album alternates between Warren and Pascoal's compositions.

Pascoal's tunes are mostly uptempo, joyous and danceable affairs; they lift the spirits with their warmth and humanity. The musicians approach them with respect, but with creativity and understanding as well—they are rethinking, not simply reproducing, these tunes. Warren's piano playing is especially outstanding on "Briguinha de Musicos Malacos." The tempo and precision of his playing gives the tune an energetic—indeed breathless—feel, particularly in the final minute when Warren raises the tempo even further. On the delightful "Harmonia sem Chronologia," Warren doubles on piano and accordion, creating a beautifully rich and irresistible sound. By contrast, "Desencontro Certo" is a ballad, performed as a piano solo. Warren's delicate and precise style is well-suited to this piece and his performance is engaging and affecting.

Warren's own compositions are more experimental and abstract than Pascoal's for the most part, but still rewarding. Two exceptions to this rule are among the best tracks on the album. "Nos da Good Knight" is one of the simplest and most immediately engaging tunes in this collection. Written by Warren, this is an instrumental version of a song with lyrics by his fellow Welshman Aled Jones Williams ("Nos da" is Welsh for "good night"). "DP & C" is a hard-bop-style tune driven by Peter Herbert's tight, forceful bass and France's exceptional drumming.

Hermeto + is thought-provoking, original, beautifully arranged and beautifully played. It re-affirms Pascoal's talents as a composer, and will hopefully bring Warren's own compositional skills to a wider audience. The musical talents of the trio complement the tunes with a freshness and vibrancy that extends their possibilities, and the result is a pleasure from beginning to end.
Read online at Allaboutjazz


26/10/2009 Peter Bacon, the Jazz Breakfast

This is a stunning album which, I hope, will begin to bring Huw Warren the much wider recognition he so justly deserves. Buy it.

Full Review


25/10/2009 Phil Johnson, Sunday Independent

The eccentric Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal has been an influence on UK jazz through tours with partly British bands whose personnel included Welsh pianist and accordion player Warren.

This diverting project uses an equal mix of Pascoal originals and pieces Warren has written in dedication or friendly pastiche. The trio swings brilliantly, the oddness of Pascoal's muse (he comes from way up-country, where bossa nova was never an option) honoured through uneven, dog-legged metre and percussive shuffles.


23/10/2009 Cuadernos de Jazz 4 stars****

La última grabación de Huw Warren es una doble “celebración” de la música de Hermeto Pascoal: junto a las versiones de algunos originales del brasileño, el pianista británico aporta otros tantos de su propia cosecha que no desmerecen en un conjunto equilibrado, sugerente y variado. No faltan en la propuesta, como no podía ser de otra manera, cambios de compás y ritmos complejos, referencias al folclore del nordeste brasileño, “choros” con melodías que se reproducen en tirabuzones en los que es difícil distinguir principio y fin… Pero también hay buenas cotas de romanticismo, algunas firmadas en solitario, algo de Bach, algo de la estética del free -aunque en dosis homeopáticas- y sentido del humor. El acordeón salpica el repertorio en algunos momentos con un efluvio diferente, popular y jovial -dos rasgos que caracterizan al homenajeado-. A subrayar el sobresaliente trabajo de Martin France, quien destaca con solvencia en un contexto incómodo pero buscado.

Quinito López Mourelle


15/10/2009 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars****

Welsh musician Huw Warren doesn't often work in London, so the word isn't out about him as much as it should be. But he's a fine composer and a very classy jazz improviser on both piano and accordion. Mingling Warren's own playing and writing with half an album's worth of scintillating pieces by Brazilian genius Hermeto Pascoal is therefore surefire chemistry - and the presence of Austrian double bassist Peter Herbert and drummer Martin France makes incandescence all the more inevitable. Warren intersperses his own music with Pascoal's, and though the originals are looser and at times more abstract, they reflect both the pair's shared mischievousness and sense of mystery. The cascading, long-lined tune of Harmonia sem Chronologia, the glowing romanticism of Desencontro Certo and the glittering dance of Jegue are irresistible Pascoal pieces that are worth the price of the album. But since Warren and his trio add so much more, it's an even better deal.


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