City of Dreams (Inpartmaint)

Chico Pinheiro

Released July 2020

Grammy Nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album 2021



This is the fourth solo album by Brazilian-born / NY jazz guitarist / composer / singer Sico Pinheiro, who has been eager for the fame of a young genius since his debut in 2003. A mellow, natural, sometimes sprinting groove that is unique to Brazilians, with brilliant musicians such as Edu Hibeiro (Dr), Chiago Costa (Pf / Key), and Bruno Migot (Bs). The ensemble that manipulates delicate harmonies freely is truly a masterpiece. In addition, Chris Potter, who is recognized as the best saxophonist of the present age, participates in two songs. Aggressive performance adds an important accent to the album.
The melodious and accurate phrasing that is produced by the clear and core electric guitar tone unique to Shiko is clear, and the piano of Chiago Costa, which is first called by many singers such as Maria Rita, is modest but deep. The whole song is filled with rich harmony. Bruno Migot’s bass smoothly colors the song, entwining Shiko’s guitar at key points and giving the song an effective accent. Edu Hibeiro’s drumming, which has gained tremendous trust from numerous artists such as André Mehmari as a rhythm master, is a wonderful thing that makes him think that there is no other jazz drum with elements of Brazilian music… This album, released by Sico Pinheiro for the first time in 10 years under the solo name, is a fulfilling work that combines Sico’s creative composition with each player’s high-level musicality at a high level.

Track Listing:

1. City of Dreams 05:32

2. Interlude 01:03

3. Long Story Short 04:37

4. Estrada Real 04:13

5. Gesture 05:03

6. Invisible Lights 05:37

7. Encantado 05:04

8. Theme 06:28

9. Vila Madalena 03:42

10. Farol 03:54

11. Up in the Air 03:13


Chico Pinheiro: guitars, vocals
Tiago Costa: piano, keyboards
Bruno Migotto: bass
Edu Ribeiro: drums
Chris Potter: saxophones

Recorded May 15 – 17, 2019, at DISSENSO STUDIO, São Paulo, by Rodrigo Castro Lopes
Mastered by Carlos Freitas at the Classic Master Studios in São Paulo, Brazil


Chico Pinheiro’s album City of Dreams – so appropriately entitled for 2020 – is spectacular and proves that even in a very crowded field [especially for guitarists in Brasil] the prodigiously gifted musician and guitarist has some unique new things to say. Even more to the point is the fact that the fascinating young guitarist says them with complete naturalness, for there is nothing contrived or attention-seeking about his approach to either his instrument or, indeed about his music itself. His traversal of this repertoire whether on electric or acoustic guitar is appealingly elegant, luscious and quite spellbinding for all the right reasons.

Where many would be tempted to dive headlong into virtuoso excursions of an instrument they may know well, Chico Pinheiro is extremely circumspect while still delivering considerable virtuosity at the same time. Throughout this breathtakingly fresh repertoire Mr Pinheiro strikes a compelling balance between the extreme registers of the guitar, often bringing out the harmonies available to guitarists in the lower registers with uncommon detail and emphasis. His development of the rapt – almost mystical – elements of “City of Dreams” is gorgeous; and the ethereal nature of “Up in the Air” is both finely-etched and deeply-thought out.

Those two songs bookend a rather marvelous collection of songs that course through the rest of the album; their melodies flowing diaphanously, woven into often miraculously conceived harmonies, pulsating through dynamic rhythms throughout. Everywhere each phrase feels carefully considered yet part of a much greater whole the cumulative pictures of which are inevitably revealed with a finely-tuned sense of the dramatic. There is a constant sense of warmth in the detail of Mr Pinheiro’s playing and this is captured in the superb sound of this recording.

Mr Pinheiro is surrounded by a most wonderful selection of musicians – pianist Tiago Costa, who knows exactly when to lighten chordal events with deftly introduced sequences either through the radiance of a handful of notes on the Fender Rhodes, or judicious intervention with his keyboard synthesizer; and the mighty combination of the gravitas and ingenuity of bassist Bruno Migotto and wondrous percussion colours of Edu Ribeiro. Chris Potter comes in to add a sense of the momentous on “Long Short Story” and “Encantando”. Naturally the effect is exquisite. This is –all in all– an utterly absorbing set that discloses something new and astonishing at every turn.

Raul da Gama (Latin Jazz Network)