In little over a decade, André Santos has created a muscular curriculum, both nationally and internationally. What makes it admirable is that, during this time in which he collaborates, experiments, adapts and intervenes in the work of different musicians, he still has ideas left over to aspire to a solo career, marked, so far, by three albums, “Ponto de Partida” (2013), “Vitamina D” (2016) and “Embalo” (2022). Born in Funchal in 1986, the guitarist was influenced by his older brother, Bruno Santos (with whom he has the duo Mano a Mano), who pulled him towards the guitar and realised he could make a career with the instrument. He then enrolled in the Conservatório da Madeira in 2005 and, the following year, headed to Lisbon to join Hot Club.
The collaborations/participations throughout these years are countless, whether the premature highlight in Ricardo Toscano’s quartet, the friendships with Salvador Sobral (who collaborates in the last theme of “Embalo”) and António Zambujo, the complicity with Maria João and Carlos Bica, or the credits with Carminho, Filipe Melo, João Barradas, Lars Arens or Rita Redshoes, among many others. The list of names serves, above all, to praise the versatility of the guitarist and the capacity to accommodate different jazz tempos to the end that is proposed to him. Jazz and not only, sometimes one can hear traces of pop, MPB soul or a very safe Americana.
A documentary series about traditional gastronomy, “À Volta da Mesa”, was the kick-off for the creation of “Embalo”, the latest solo album, now on the road. Soundtrack – each theme is in one of the episodes – adorned by the affection, love, warmth, of a newborn baby back home: the title is a reference to that, to the sleepless nights, to what one thinks of those nights and to the melodies that are born to cradle a baby. In a country with so much tradition of guitars, it is missing to hear and know more André Santos on the solo side, a jazz guitar that starts to leave his house and that takes shape in slender and generous songs. Follow along for the ride. AS