Brazilian beasts

June 21, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

I came close to visiting Brazil. With my suitcase packed and ticket in hand I approached the United Airlines counter with a great deal of excitement.

“You have your visa?”

Visa? Brazil? Who knew?

One day I am going to fix that but, in the meantime, the music of Brazil awaits.

Octave Record’s latest release is a killer. An exquisite recording in pure DSD.

Mini Brazilian Beasts

In her first album recorded in Pure DSD, Brazilian pianist Carmen Sandim is a master of storytelling through her thoughtfully-crafted piano melodies and sophisticated harmonic structures.

This is the best recording yet from Octave Records. The highs of the cymbals just shimmer through the room as if they were playing live. And her piano is in the room with you. In fact, so good is this recording that it’s the one I brought when Chris Brunhaver and I traveled the country to set up the FR30 loudspeakers. A perfect demo disc if ever there was one.

Killer recording by Colin Bricker, mixed by Kevin Lee, and mastered by Gus Skinas.

One sad note on the album. Track 4, Glen, is beautifully played by Blue Note Record’s recording star, trumpeter Ron Miles. During the recording session of Mini Brazilian Beasts, Ron was in the hospital and not doing well. He couldn’t bring himself to miss his commitment to perform on Carmen’s album and left the ICU to record Track 4. He died a few weeks later. This was Ron’s final performance.

Mini Brazilian Beasts is available right now in a limited run of an SACD, archival gold CD, or download.

This is one album you need for your collection.

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21 comments on “Brazilian beasts”

    1. There may not be Brazilian breasts, but there are a lot of cymbals. It seems more modern jazz fusion, not the samba rhythm that gets me hot under the collar.

      Never been to Brazil either, but did once have my passport ready to go to Porto Alegre for a day for a meeting. 13,000 mile round trip. Thankfully I didn’t have to go.

    1. On the subject of beasts and Freudian slips, there’s a great orchestral piece written for the Chicago Symphony called ‘Anthology of Fantastic Zoology’ by the composer Mason Bates, not a name to mispronounce after a few drinks. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a son.

      I fear we are off topic. My google search was more successful – she is a part-time piano teacher in Boulder and Denver. Before that, amongst other things, she wrote jingles for political ads. sounds a bit niche to me.

  1. I’m sure it’s quite a recording and sorry to hear that Ron passed but I’ve been in ICU’s more than once in my life and never had the urge to walk out to do anything I’d like even listening to my system no less performing at such a high level as Paul describes
    It must’ve been divine intervention

    1. By the time you put the FR20s on stands, won’t they be about the same size? Unless you shorten the depth and sacrifice even more of the bass. And you’ll need space for an external subwoofer.

          1. Yes, but will they be as deep as the FR30’s & will they solve the WAF if, when they are on stands, they will visually have as much bulk as the FR30’s?
            Plus, how expensive will the genuine PS Audio FR20 stands cost the buyer?

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