Roda do Choro

It is inevitable: Jacob do Bandolim passes by now and then; no wonder, as I think his music and compostions are great.

This time I found him on a 1960s LP titled Na Ronda Do Choro. The album contains 12 tunes by Jacob do Bandolim and his conjuncto.

Jacob do Bandolim was born as Jacob Pick Bittencourt in 1918 in Rio de Janeiro and passed away in 1969. He became the most famous bandolim player and composer of the past century. He composed 103 compositions that became the standard repertoire for the instrument. One of his most famous tunes he wrote in 1957 is titled Noites cariocas, which is on the LP too.

The title of the album, Na Roda do Choro, refers to the traditional social and musical gatherings that belong to the choro tradition. Musicians and fans come together and sit in a ring and make music. The young musicians learn that way how to play the choro music from the eldery and more skilled musicans. This is called a Roda do Choro.

I found such a Roda do Choro, where you can see how choro music used to be played. It is a fragment of the tune Vibracoes, composed by Jacob do Bandolim and played by the Sexteto Foltia Seca. The musicians are sitting in a circle. Enjoy the fragment.

Thanks Jo for pointing me to this interesting album.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

75: 27 January 1932: Toy Time - Aesop Fables Cartoon
All Of Me -405133 - Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra

This contribution is also posted at the Keep swinging web log.


Dino Sete Cordas

Horondino José da Silva (1918-2006), known as Dino Sete Cordas, was a famous musician and quite an institution on the popular Brazilian music scene. Dino Sete Cordas was the developer of the seven-string guitar style. In more than 70 years of active and uninterrupted professional activity, he accompanied uncountable important artists from several different generations and styles, arranging and orchestrating for recordings as well.
Alvaro Neder writes a career profile in AMG, quoted below:
"Son of an amateur violonista (Brazilian acoustic guitarist) and having also two brothers influenced by music (Lino, cavaquinho, and Jorginho, a percussionist who later worked with the renowned Época de Ouro), Cordas began to play in seresta groups at 14. Cordas became a professional in 1935, accompanying the singer Augusto Calheiros, who used to perform in circuses. At that time Cordas was already developing his style, which is based on melodic and quick basslines (baixarias). In 1937, Ney Orestes, then violonista of the famous Regional de Benedito Lacerda, became ill, and Cordas subbed for him. Upon Orestes' death, Cordas became permanent in the group. With the substitution of the regional's other violonista Carlos Lentine by Meira (Jaime Florence), the duo Cordas-Meira, one of the most fruitful, famous, and long-lived of Brazilian popular music, was formed. The Regional de Benedito Lacerda accompanied many stars of the time, such as Carmen Miranda, Francisco Alves, Silvio Caldas, and Orlando Silva, among others. In 1950, the Regional de Benedito Lacerda was transformed into the Regional do Canhoto, and Cordas continued in the new group. After Tute retired, he added a seventh string (C) to his violão just like the pioneer did, enhancing the expressive power and stretching the possibilities of his baixarias. Meanwhile, the Regional do Canhoto continued in its successful career as accompanist for famous performers, in live performances and in radio and recordings.
The end of the '50s, with the inception of bossa nova, radically changed the taste of the masses concerning music. If choro performers could easily adapt their playing to suit sambas, sambas-canção, bolero, and other styles/genres, bossa nova was a completely different thing, and the later trend of Jovem Guarda (a teenybop style heavily influenced by British rock) would shut the doors of commercial music for remnants of the choro genre. Cordas adopted an electric guitar and joined Paulo Barcelos' group, specializing in dance parties and balls. Around 1965, the market began to welcome recordings of escolas de samba (samba schools). The sete cordas (seven-string violão) was again required. In 1965 and 1967, Cordas participated in the live recordings of the two LP's of the historic show Rosa de Ouro, by Hermínio Bello de Carvalho, with singers Clementina de Jesus and Aracy Cortes. At that time he was also playing with Jacó do Bandolim's Conjunto Época de Ouro. In 1970, the samba and the choro came up again, and Cordas returned to his busy schedule of recordings and live performances accompanying singers like Beth Carvalho, Gilberto Gil, Jards Macalé, Vinícius de Moraes, and Toquinho, among many others. In 1974 he arranged and conducted two important albums, the first solo one by Cartola, and A Música de Donga, in which the works of the important composer were recorded by Elizeth Cardoso, Paulo Tapajós and others, both released by the label specializing in musical history documentation Marcus Pereira. In 1976 Cordas orchestrated the second album by Cartola. In 1991, he recorded an important album with the late phenomenon Raphael Rabelo. Cordas continued to play samba and choro in several formations and venues."
I found a video homage to Dino Sete Cordas on YouTube. Enjoy!


K-Ximbinho (Sebastião de Barros, 1917-1980) was a noted Brazilian reed player, composer and arranger. He was a member of Severino Araújo's Orquestra Tabajara, Fon-Fon's orchestra, Sete de Ouro, and the Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional (of Rádio MEC). As a composer, he was one of the most modern creators of the choro idiom, being a pioneer of its modernization with jazz and other rhythmic elements.

K-Ximbinho has several classic choros as part of the repertory of the rodas de choro (choro get-togethers), such as "Sonoroso" (recorded by the Orquestra Tabajara in 1946, as were "Sonhando" that same year, and "Sempre," in 1951). Also part of the repertory of the rodas de choro are his "Ternura," "Mais Uma Vez," and "Kachimbodega". His last composition, "Manda Brasa," won the choro contest II Festival Nacional do Choro/Carinhoso, in 1978. K-Ximbinho also had other significant compositions such as "Eu Quero É Sossego," "Saudades de um Clarinete," and "Gilka."

Saudades de Um Clarinete (LP,1980) (reissued on CD 2003 by Sony Brazil,278156) is the only release dedicated to K-Ximbinho's compositions, arrangements, conducting, and performance. The cd has big band arrangements as well as small combo readings of K-Ximbinho's compositions, displaying great performance by all involved. Tracklist and info on personnel inserted below.
1. Eu Quero É Sossego; 2. Sempre; 3. Meiguice; 4. Tô Sempre Aí;5. Gilca; 6. Mais Uma Vez;7. Velhos Companheiros; 8. Penumbra; 9. Simoninha Na Barra; 10. Ternura; 11. Alto Plágio;12. Catita
K-Ximbinho (cl), Zé Bodega (cl, sax solo), Edson Antonio Marin (p), Edgar Nunes (dm), Antonio Augusto V. B. de Magalhães (b), Daudeth de Azevedo (cavachinho), Rafael Rabello (Violão de 7 Cordas), Jorginho (pandeiro), Jessé Sadoc (tb), Heraldo Reis (tp), Quinteto de Saxs: Dulcilando Pereira, Alberto Vianna Gonçalves, Ademir Gomes, Clóvis Timóteo Guimarães, Hélcio Jardim Brenha. Quinteto Villa-Lobos: Carlos Seabra Rato, Eros Martins de Melo, Paulo Sérgio dos Santos, Carlos Gomes de Oliveira, Airton Barbosa
Alvaro Neder writes a career profile in AMG:
He was interested in music early on and learned solfeggio, theory, and clarinet with a band master in his home town. In Natal, to where he moved with his family, he started to play with the amateur jazz band Pan Jazz. During his military service, he also took the saxophone and from 1938 to 1942, he was a member of the Severino Araújo's Orquestra Tabajara. In this latter year, he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he played with Fon-Fon's orchestra, having been the clarinet soloist on a recording of "Maria Helena" with Francisco Alves. In 1943, he became a member of the Napoleão Tavares orchestra. From 1945 to 1949, he joined again the Orquestra Tabajara. In 1946, the Orquestra recorded his classic choro "Sonoroso" (his first recorded composition). In 1949, he played in the orchestra for Rádio São Paulo. In Rio, he was hired by Avenida Dancing, and two years later by Rádio Nacional. From 1951 to 1954, he studied harmony and counterpoint with Hans Joachim Koellreutter and in 1954, he toured Europe. After his return, he worked as an arranger for Odeon and TV Globo (where he was the second alto in a section with masters Netinho, Biju, Walter Rosa, and Januário), also playing in other nightclubs like Sacha's. From 1965 to 1968, he was a member of the group Sete de Ouro, also having become a member of the Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional.

Nilze Carvalho

Only few female performers and musicians devoting their talents and skills to choro are well known outside Brazil. One of them is Nilze Carvalho (- Albenise de Carvalho Ricardo, b.1969), who began performing at age 6, and started her international career at 15. Being a child prodigy on the cavaquinho and bandolim, she made her first recording in 1980 at 11, "Choro de menina" - the first volume of four LP's devoted to choro and choro related music, issued 1981 - 1984 by CID. On the first volume Carvalho is accompanied by members of the famous Epoca da Oure ensemble, well known from numerous recordings by Jacob do Bandolim in the 1960'ies. This first issue by Nilze Carvalho has been released on a cd, still available.

Nilze Carvalho started her international career in 1974 with tours of Europe, Far East and the USA. Later she formated her own ensemble, Sururu na Roda, featuring musicians from Rio da Janeiro. With this group she continued her touring worldwide and also recorded (i.e.Sururu na Roda, CD, 2004).

I found a video performance on YouTube featuring Nilze Carvalho and Hamilton Holland, recorded at a concert in USA.

Os Ingênuos

This time I like to recommend a cd recording by the choro-ensemble, Os Ingênuos, from Salvador, Bahia of Brazil. Os Ingênuous was formated in 1973 by the seven string guitarist Edson Santos and the pandeiro player Cacau, who have been the mainstays of the group - other members have changed from time to time. On this particular recording from 1992, recorded at Museu de Arte Sacre, Salvador, the remaining members of the group are Alton Reiner (bandolim), Lula Gazinéu (guitar), Jorginho Silva (cavaquinho), Fred Dantas (trombone), Jonatan Nascimento (trumpet) and Rowney Scott (soprano sax).
Os Ingênuos took their name from a well-known choro composition, "Ingênuo", by Pixinguinha - the 'Pope of the choro' as Edson Santos puts it! The repertoire performed by the group on this recording represents a string of pearls from the tradition of classic choro compositions by Nazareth, Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, K.Ximbinho, W. Azevedo etc., and the performance is impeccable and leaves this listener with a most pleasant experience.
If the choro music genre is new to you, this is a splendid example to lend your ears and engagement. However, even experienced connoisseurs of the choro tradition will enjoy this entertaining recording, I am convinced. Furthermore, the cd has extensive info (in English) on the story of the choro in Brazil by Ricardo Canzio. The cd is released by Nimbus Records (NI 5338) and is still available. Click on headline or here to learn more.

Tributo a Waldir Azevedo

I'd love to point you to a great recording titled Tributo a Waldir Azevedo - O Mestro Do Cavaquinho. It was released by Inter CD Records 7895509210257.

This record is a tribute to the Brazilian cavaquinho player Waldir de Azevedo, who died in 1980. Waldir became famous because he made a real solo instrument of the cavaquinho.

He started on flute and bandolim and later changed to the cavaquinho. He became a professional player around 1940 aged 17 years old and joined the band of Dilermando Reis. This regional played in a radio program of Radio Club of Brazil. Later he became the leader of that band.

He made a bunch of LPs during the 1950s and 1960s and a left in 1971 for the new build city Brasilia to found a choro tradition. As said before - Azevedo is remembered as the man who gave the cavaquinho his own solo repertoire. One of his most famous compositions is Delicado, also to be found on this tribute album. It became a hit in the 1950s ( In 1952 Percy Faith & Stan Freeman gave this tune a place into the Dutch Top 40 ).

Another well known tune is Brasileirinho, the opening track of this album.
The musicians on this album are: Valmar De Amorim and Marcio De Almeida on cavaquinho ( Cavaco solo ). De Almeida is also on the 6 string guitar ( viola de 6 cordas). Deo Rian and Bruno Rian are on the bandolim. Andre Belliney plays the 7 string guitar ( violoa de 7 cordas), the guitar who has an extra bass string. Darly A. Guimaraes plays the pandeiro, a Brazilian percussion instrument.
Deo Rian was a student of Jacob do Bandolim and reformed, after the death of Jacob his band Epoca de Ouro. They played the so-called samba de morro tunes with a lot of success. This band played an important part in the revival of choro during the 1970s and 1980s.
About the cavaquinho and Waldir Azevedo an excellent blog titled The Cavaquinho is written.
The Choro web log ( ) is a great starting point to explore the Choro tradition. Joergen Larsen, the Danish expert researched this kind of Brazilian music and shares his passion on this web log.
This contribution is also posted at Keep swinging web log
Keep swinging
Hans Koert