Sam Gendel and Fabiano do Nascimento: The Room review | Ammar Kalia’s global album of the month

(Real World)
The shapeshifting LA-based saxophonist and Brazilian guitarist’s LP is a bossa-tinged celebration of their instruments

Few saxophonists are capable of conjuring as many mutant sounds from their instrument as Sam Gendel. Since his 2017 debut, the LA-based instrumentalist has veered from downtempo melodics on 2018’s breakthrough Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar to woozy, electronically processed versions of jazz standards on 2020’s Satin Doll and deconstructed R&B classics on 2023’s Cookup. Usually producing at least two albums a year, Gendel’s restless creativity challenges what breath can do through woodwind and Midi synthesis.

Taken in this context, Gendel’s latest project is a departure. Featuring only soprano saxophone and Brazilian collaborator Fabiano do Nascimento’s seven-string guitar, The Room is Gendel’s most straightforwardly acoustic album, and one of his most affecting.

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