Sergio Pereira, Finesse Review
by Ferell Aubre
Sergio Pereira is a vocalist, guitarist, arranger, and composer currently releasing his third album, Finesse. The album is being released by the Spanish record label Sedajazz Records. His previous albums include Swingando (released independently) and Nu Brasil, released in 2018 by the New York Latin label Zoho Music. These albums reflect all the emotions, energy, and dynamics of growing up in Rio, living around the globe, and being in touch with his culture throughout his life. Pereira leads various ensembles through ten compositions of varying feels and intensities. However, the common thread is Pereira’s wonderfully toned guitar playing and soft romantic singing.
“White Lion” opens the album with a stylish Latin groove with percussionist Emilio Martins and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. Next, bassist Mark Egan joins to lead us to the melody performed by Pereira and flutist Rodrigo Ursaia. The piece is hauntingly beautiful and overflowing with Latin romance and energy. Egan’s solo is melodic and rich in tone. Pianist Helio Alves follows with a classic solo. Finally, Pereira presents a dreamy solo of elegance and phrase. The ending vamp has Pereira’s soft voice adding colors and delightful solo fills by Ursaia.
Pereira’s soft lead vocals deliver the gorgeous melody of “Quase 9.” Hist tone blends well with his nylon-strung guitar. Saxophonist Ralph Moore adds, fills, and performs a memorable solo. The rhythm section creates a robust swaying Latin fill that lasts the song’s duration, allowing Pereira and Moore to express themselves freely. The interlude has another beautiful nonlyric vocal performance by Pereira’s voice and guitar and is colored by Moore’s saxophone. Pereira consistently captures the romance and beauty of his culture in playing and singing.
Sergio Pereira’s Finesse is a collection of beautifully performed songs. Each selection is a gem of Latin sounds and romance. Pereira and each performer put beauty to the forefront of their focus, building each rendition into a silky-smooth, sensual, and exotic song of Latin sounds. The album has a nice blend of lyric and instrumental melodies, and Pereira is a vocalist who knows how to sculpt a theme to captivate his audience. Finesse is an enjoyable album sure to leave you feeling gratified and relaxed from the Latin rhythms and tones.