Country : Germany Label : Heartcore Genres and styles : Jazz / Jazz Rock / Música Popular Brasileira Year : 2023

Pedro Martins – Rádio Mistério

· by Varun Swarup

With an album that features appearances from Thundercat, Omar Hakim, Eric Clapton, you might well be wondering how you hadn’t heard of Pedro Martins before. While he is well known as a virtuoso guitarist in the contemporary jazz circuit, the Brazilian musician extends his reach with Rádio Mistério, an exciting and personal collection of songs that make for great progressive jazz-pop.

Rádio Mistério marks a significant milestone in Pedro’s artistic journey, highlighting his growth as both a guitarist and a singer-songwriter. While Pedro has always displayed talent as a composer and performer, he was featured heavily in Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Caipi for this reason, here he leans more into the role of a singer-songwriter, arriving at a sound that is his own whilst paying tribute to his rock and pop influences as much as jazz masters of the past. 

The spectre of Clube da Esquina looms large in Martins’ blend of jazz harmonies, Brazilian rhythms, and Beatles-esque melodies, though now imbued with contemporary flourishes from hip-hop, modern jazz, etc. His vocals are filled with a warm, soulful quality that adds an intimate and personal touch to the music, with lyrics in Portuguese that delve into themes of introspection, love, and the mysteries of life, resonating with the album art. The production elements are perfectly congruous with the lo-fi 80’s aesthetic, which I find charming and musically very satisfying. 

The songs cover satisfying ground too, with a well-curated setlist that highlights Martins’ taste for variety. ‘Amor fantasma’ and ‘Vou descobrir’ are the synthy ones of the lot, almost vaporwave in nature. ‘Polos’,  which is by far the best track on here, sounds delightfully like an old sitcom theme if it were performed by Lo Borges and Steely Dan, the tune staying with me for days. It’s clear Martins has made something special here, a work that is complex yet accessible, and one can only wonder what to expect if he continues to refine his sound in this direction. 

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