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Many look after comfortable zones, without trying other ways or challanges. John Cássio, guitarrist Born in São Paulo – living in Rio de Janeiro for 30 years – does the opposite, seeking distinct ways for his music to tread. Whether in fusion, jazz, in classical guitar or instrumental rock, his signature is present
Born John Cássio Kalil Benevides, John started studying guitar at the age of 13 and found in his teacher Luciano de Castro – still present in his course – some kind of guru, a master that leads his technique and his way of thinking the music beyond . From those early lessons until now, it has been 28 years dedicated to the study and the research of the guitar.
Nowadays, in addition to the charge of teaching music, John has a solo work which have already reached the 7th álbum. A diversified discography that goes from fusion – the first álbum that carries his name – to the jazz standards from the album Duo in partnership with the clarinetist and maestro Marko Rupe. There’s still place for a cd entirely dedicated to instrumental rock entitled Shred Planet – a record in association with a selection of his own students.
John has even two efforts with the pianist and friend Alfredo Sertã. “Suíte com dependências” and “Ida e volta com escalas” are two albums that appraises the dialogue between melodic instruments, without the accompaniment of a band, questing for touches of classical music. John, as a guest of Alfredo’s, played guitar in both acts.
A special project John keeps in memory and, for a while, in the locker: an unpublished cd recorded in partnership with the departed trumpetist Barrosinho. Recorded at the Mills studio, in Santa Teresa, the album is fulfilled with standards of jazz and brazilian music in a not so conventional lineup for jazz: the piano goes out of the scene giving its place to the trumpet and the guitar as main characters, followed by bass and drums only. Between the gems are Naima, by John Coltrane; Solar, by Miles Davis; and a unique version of Garota de Ipanema, by Tom and Vinicius. “Every single song was an apprenticeship; each song had a moment; Barrosinho was a improvisation master”, said John Cassio about the recordings.
The last effort: “Estação da Luz”
Estação da Luz presents an entirely authorial repertoire with the likes of Idris Boudrioua – french musician located in Brazil who had already accompanied Marcos Valle, Ed Motta, Moacir Santos, Rosa Passos and other giants – and Marcos Amorim, co-pruducing the album asides with John. The loaded band counts on the bassists Jorge Albuquerque and Rubens Leite; and the drums of Rafael Barata, which had already worked with Edu Lobo, Zé Renato, João Donato, among others. “I called a team which would inspire me to do the utmost”, says John.
The album – that brands a new step in the guitarrist’s career and brings Pro Pat, an homage to Pat Metheny – has nine compositions of his own authorship that ranges from the gentle jazzistic inspiration of Inspiração to echoes of brazilian music in Engrenagem e Toca do Amorim. To close the disc, Cata-vento, a song which features the guitar as the only character on stage. And that´s just what John Cássio constantly seeks in his history: the guitar as the main role .