Seasons Greetings


I want to thanks the readers of this blog for sharing interest in the Brazilian choro, I'll continue posting new blogentries in 2009, but no longer on a weekly basis, as I have other obligations to take care of. The blog has had weekly entries since August 2006 and has by now reached a number of 180+ entries since then. It takes time to do proper research, I am not an expert, just a curious investigator interested in sharing my limited knowledge on the subject with other people, who may have a similar interest in choro. Anyway, if my small contributions have helped people to open their senses for one of the world's most beautiful and fascinating music traditions, I'm happy and content. - I wish you all a Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year!

One of my first encounters with the Brazilian violão as played by a contemporary and highly estimated artist was through listening to some of the released recordings by Carlos Barbosa-Lima, who recorded several outstanding solo-albums for the American Concord label during the 1980s. - Carlos Barbosa-Lima (b.1944) is a native Brazilian, who began studying the guitar when he was seven . Among his teachers were the influential Brazilian guitarist Isaias Savio and further Andres Segovia. While still a child, he was performing in public and he made his recording debut when he was just 12. He first toured the United States in 1967 and during 1971-72 Barbosa-Lima performed in London and New York, gaining a worldwide reputation. He lived in New York for quite a few years before settling in Puerto Rico. Carlos Barbosa-Lima's tasteful yet virtuosic control of the guitar has resulted in consistently delightful solo recitals that appeal to a wide audience. His releases have found him exploring the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Luiz Bonfa, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein (songs from West Side Story) and a variety of lesser known Brazilian composers.(info excerpted from AMG)

I found several uploaded videos at YouTube featuring Carlos Barbosa-Lima, I insert some examples below to share these highly enjoyable renditions of classic choro pieces by a master of the violão, who knows his roots. - Here's a rendition of "Tico tico no fúba" from a live-performance with accompaniement by a ukulele player!


Here's a solo recital of Nazareth's "Odeon":

Finally, here's Carlos Barbosa-Lima's terrific solo recital of Pixinguinha's "Um a zero" from a live performance - enjoy!

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Stay tuned, best wishes for the seasons holidays!

Jo

Yamandú Costa - Wizard of The Violão de 7 Cordas

One of the highlights in Mika Kaurismäki's 2005 documentary film on choro in Rio, 'Brasileirinho', is the scene with Yamandú Costa playing Pixinguinha's 'Carinhoso' alone on stage fronting an audience of hundreds of people spellbound by Yamandú's engaging stage appearance and little by little joining in singing Braguinha's lyrics and thus making the performance a mutual experience - a true spiritual community tied together by the magic of Yamandú's guitar, exposing the soul of choro to the spectator of the film.





Yamandú's stage appearance is pure magic , a spontaneous explosion of aristic vitality that is not often seen in entertainment nowadays where every step and lift of an eybrow by the performer on stage seems to be studied in advance and a conscientious gimmick applied to gain the wanted success. Not the issue regarding Yamandú - the magic is a natural effect of the simple fact that he is an authentic artist, not just another pretender. This does not mean, however, that Yamandú does not do work-out to gain success during performance, of course he does - but his stage appearance comes naturally from the heart and soul of a true artist, I'm convinced.

Yamandú Costa (b.1980) is from Passo Fundo in the Southern part of Brazil and he started to study the violão at seven years of age with his father, Algacir Costa, leader of the group Os Fronteiriços, and he mastered the instrument after studying under Lúcio Yanel, an Argentine virtuoso rooted in Brazil. At fifteen he studied the folk music of Southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. After hearing Radamés Gnattali, he began to study the music of other Brazilians, such as Baden Powell de Aquino, Tom Jobim and Raphael Rabello. At seventeen he played in São Paulo for the first time and he was soon to be recognized as the musician to revive Brazilian guitar music. At that time Yamandú had decided to make the violão de 7 cordas his main instrument, and he has since evolved as a true virtosic master of this Brazilian instrument, both as a soloist and as an accompanist. He has performed together with the cream of Brazilian MPB artists, leads his own trio and has toured worldwide besides recording, composing and arranging. Learn more about his career from the official website, click here

The shown cd by Yamandú Costa,'Mafuá', has been released recently by the German label Acoustic Music and this is the first cd fully devoted to Yamandú's skills as a composer and soloist. The cd has 13 tracks of music composed, arranged and played by Yamandú on the violão de 7 cordas, a tour-de-force exposing his virtuosic skills as a performer of different styles, but all with a touch of genius that is his very own. You can hear elements of choro, samba, bossa and Argentine roots music mixed with inspiration from Bach and even the flamenco tradition. The title tune, 'Mafuá' (- meaning 'shambles' in English), is a choro that shows off Yamadú's mastering of the genre in a convincing and engaging performance of the tune. Other titles, like i.e. 'El negro del blanco' mixes elements of Argentine roots music (chammamé and milonga) with Brazilian elements applying a breathtaking technique that borrows from both flamenco and gaucho tradition, also present in the last track on the cd, 'Tipo bicho'. Tunes like 'Samba pro Rafa' and 'Bostempornea' pay tribute to the inspiration from Raphael Rabello and Baden Powell, and you'll probably detect other influences as well when listening to the cd. Do not hesitate to get a copy of this fabulous album, which may rank as the record of the year 2008, if you like high quality guitar music. Definitely recommended! - Learn more about tracklist and listen to audioclips clicking here

YouTube has several upoloaded videos featuring Yamandú Costa, I found a lengthy excerpt of a recorded live-performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, from November this year. Yamandú plays three tunes, the first is a part of 'Bachbaridade', the next is the title tune of the mentioned cd, 'Mafuá' and finally you'll have a rendition of Nazareth's 'Breijeiro' - enjoy Yamandú in action!

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This blogpost will be the last on a regular weekly basis in 2008, from 2009 I've decided to post only once in a while.

Jo

'Edinho no choro'

Recently I was pointed to a recording that seems to be a pioneer recording of the electric guitar used in choro. I got curious and searched the online discoteque at Instituo Moreira Salles hoping to find the recording there and having the possibility of listening to it. I was lucky, I found the record searching the title stated in headline above. If you are unfamilar with the search facility at Instituto Moreira Salles, you have the possibility to listen to 'Edinho no choro' by clicking here or headline - the musicplayer available at Instituto Moreira Salles opens in a new window and then you can listen to the streaming audio after it has loaded.

'Edinho no choro' was released on a Continental 78 rpm in 1945 (Continental, 15.337) and it is performed by Pereira Filho playing the electric guitar accompanied by his Conjunto. Comparing the recording with recordings of the electric guitar from the same time made in the USA or Europe the sound of the instrument is rough and distorted in certain sequences caused by problems with an adequate volume control during recording, anyway, a lot of early recordings of the electric guitar suffer from the same problem, refining of pick-ups at the guitar, amplifiers and recording equipment had to wait another decade to be solved sufficiently. Never mind, the recording of 'Edinho no choro' is a valuable historical document of the electric guitar used in choro, especially considering the fact that choro traditionally has been performed using acoustic instruments only. Of course, there are other early examples of an electric instrument used in choro - i.e. Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) made recordings of choro and related music 1943 playing the electric lap steel guitar accompanied by pianist Carolina Cardoso de Menezes (- like in the USA the electric lap steel guitar seems to have been the first electric string instrument used in Brazil).

No photo and not much info available on the main performer of 'Edinho no choro', however, here is an English summary of the profile in Dictonário Cravo Albin - the main source in Portuguese about Brazilian MPB artists.

Pereira Filho (João Pereira Filho) (1914-1986) was born in Rio de Jaineiro as a son of a professor of the violão, João Pereira. Already as a kid of 4 years of age he started playing the cavaquinho and he had bandolim lessons with his father even before he could read. While at primary school he formed small conjuntos with his school mates and performed at private parties, soon deciding to study the violão as his main instrument. At 11 years of age he participated in a festival promoted by Istituto Nacional de Música and soon after he was featured in a spectacle at Teatro Lírico, "Reisados e cheganças", promoted by the city Hall of the City of Rio de Janeiro. He composed his first piece for solo violão,"Variações sobre cateretê", in 1929, and in 1930 he became a member of Orquestra de Napoleão Tavares. In 1932, he joined Orquestra de Ioiô, where he stayed as a member the following eight years. In 1933, he recorded his first solo record for Victor of his own compositions, "Jongo africano" and the waltz "Áurea". In 1936, he recorded "Variações sobre cateretê" for Victor, and in 1937 he recorded the samba canção, "Tua partida", together with Mário Morais and vocal by Francisco Alves, also for Victor. - In 1941, Pereira Filho formed his own Conjunto. In 1944, he accompanied singers Dircinha Batista and Déo in two recordings, and in 1945 he recorded "Edinho no choro" for Continental. In 1951, Pereira Filho e seu Conjunto accompanied Pedro Raimundo in five recordings for the Todamérica label, and in 1953 Pereira Filho recorded his own "Conversa fiada" and "Serenata havaiana" for Todamérica. Accompanied by his Conjunto he also recorded the bolero "Garoa" and the dobrado "Borba gato" for Continental the same year. In 1959, Pereira Filho recorded his own "Noite sem rumo" for Todamérica, which seems to be his last solo recording.
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Jo

Celebration

This week my friend, Hans - co-editor and supervisor of this blog - is celebrating that his keepswinging-blogspot has reached the magical number of 1000 entries since its start in February 2006. An amazing effort considering the fact that he has been posting always well researched and engaging posts on a daily basis about music and other passions that keep him swinging and have attracted readers from all over the world to visit his blog regularly. I congratulate you, dear Hans, with the blogentry no 1000 that has been published today, and I sincerely want to encourage readers of the choro-music blogspot also to pay your keepswinging blog a visit - a list of all posted subjects is to be found by clicking here


Had it not been for my friendship with this remarkable man and blogger extraordinaire, this blogspot devoted to the Brazilian choro music probably would not have been published in this part of the world, I guess. It was Hans' idea to make a blog about choro music, which he loves just as much as I do, following an unstopable enthusiasm for new inputs regarding swinging affairs. By coincidence I happend to be the person, who had the pleasure of introducing Hans to the subject, but had it not been for his encouragement and belief in my limited knowledge and ability, I had not dared to join in and write about a culture I only know of as an outside spectator, inspecting my own reactions from meetings with a musical universe of joy and passion, an authentic culture almost unknown in the Western part of the world dominated by American culture. Thank you, Hans, for your back-up and for the passion we are sharing here regarding choro music!
Last week I received the shown cd, "The Best of Ernesto Nazareth", just released by ChoroMusic.com, a sample-cd promoting the project of spreading knowledge about choro music by publishing written scores and enclosed recorded music to be used by musicians interested in getting started with playing choro. I have mentioned the project by ChoroMusic.com earlier, an excellent effort encouraging serious musicians to get involved with choro taking advantage of the written music and the play-along cds accompanying the sheet. If you are a musician interested in choro, this is a fairly good way to engage into choro by using the music-minus-one (- you're the soloist) method, I recommend a visit at the website of ChoroMusic.com to learn more about the project and music already published, click logo below

The shown cd should be available from ChoroMusic.com shortly, I had my copy sent from their division in São Paulo, Brazil (- thanks a lot to Isabella Leite for manufacturing my request and to Daniel Dalarossa, president of ChoroMusic.com, for directing me a free copy) - the cd is being released both in Brazil and the USA at the same time. Even though you are not a musician, this cd is worth your money, the music and arrangement of 16 compositions by Ernesto Nazareth, Rei do Choro are just excellent and well performed by a team of skilled musicians. Among featured soloists are Daniela Spielmann (soprano & tenor sax), Izaís do Bandolim & Milton Mori (bandolim), Nailor Proveta & Luca Raele (clarinet), Daniel Allain, Daniel Dalarossa & Toninho Carrasqueira (flute). The soloists are accompanied by a regional featuring Arnaldinho do Cavaco (cavaquinho), Edmilson Capelupi (violão de 7 cordas), Lula Gama (violão) and Betinho Sodré (pandeiro). The recorded compositions by Nazareth include famous pieces like 'Ameno Resedá', 'Apanhei-te Cavaquinho', 'Brejeiro', 'Odeon', 'Escorregando' and 'Batuque' - all composed for the piano, but here arranged for choro ensemble from the original scores. Moreover, two unpublished compositions by Nazareth, 'Zizinha' (1889) and 'Ideal' (1905) are also included - both very well arranged and performed like the rest.
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To end this, I insert a couple of videos celebrating some of Nazareth's most popular pieces - here is a solo guitar version of 'Odeon'

Finally, here is Marco de Pinno Quarteto from a live-performance playing 'Apanhei-te cavaquinho'


Jo

Saudade que passa

Choro, samba and other popular genres of Brazil often seem to be categorized as 'Latin', when you browse through career profiles of artists in various sources available at the web or in short articles in printed books designated to give an overview of the musical background of a certain artist. This procedure seems to be the norm regarding musicians having their main career in jazz or popular music in the USA, however, the word 'Latin' does not state the tradition of the various musical sources supposed to be contained in the concept - in short, the 'Latin'-concept is unclear and without a precise meaning, making the word easy to use by journalistst and writers appealing to a public more interested in the colour of the underwear of the artist than the musical background. I was reminded of this, when I recently tried to look up information in English about the early career of Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995), the well-known Brazilian guitarist having his main career in the USA. In the general public, Almeida is known as a 'Latin' guitar player, who had his breakthrough in the States late 1940s as a member of Stan Kenton's big band, later in the 1950s he would be the first to inspire jazzmusicans to be interested in Brazilian music styles through a co-operation with Bud Shank, with whom Almeida made some now famous recordings in 1951, introducing 'jazz samba' to an American public. When Almeida moved permanently to the USA mid-1950s, his career spanned both jazz, classical and popular music - his work as a composer, arranger and guitarist is impressive, he made more than 800 compositions and participated in a great number of recordings - info about this chapter of his career is easily found in articles written in English. Anyway, here I like to put some focus on his early career in Brazil by pointing to his first solo recording, made 1938.

Laurindo de Almeida was born 1917 in a small town in the state of São Paulo as a member of a large musical family. His father held an occupation as a railroad worker, but spent his leisure time as an amateur musician participating in serestas (- in English: serenade sessions). His mother was an amateur pianist, who taught Laurindo the basics of music, and a sister taught him to play the violão in secret, an instrument he was attracted to already as a kid. At the age of 12 he would accompany his father and brothers in the serestas, by 15 he moved to São Paulo to find his fortune as a musician and to take part in the political riots of the city. In 1932, he met and got aquainted with Garoto while staying at a hospital, and they would later become partners, when Laurindo moved to Rio de Jainero and in 1936 joined as a staff musician at Rádio Mayrink Veiga. Garoto and Laurindo worked together as studio musicians accompanying various popular artist of the time, i.e. Carmen Miranda, and they also recorded together as a duo accompanying other vocalists and instrumentalists.

Together with guitarist Gastão Bueno Lobo and Garoto Laurindo had success with programs at Rádio Mayrink Veiga performing as Conjunto Hawaiano for some time, displaying a string ensemble influenced by the Hawaiian way of playing the (slide) guitar, probably inspired by the experience of Gastão Lobo, who had had success playing the Hawaiian slide guitar with Oscar Alemán in Argentina and Europe some years earlier. In 1938, Laurindo and Gastão had a co-work as composers of the choro 'Inspiracão', which was recorded for Odeon on a 78 rpm with Gastão playing the lead on Hawaiian guitar accompanied by Laurindo on violão and Tute, violão 7 cordas. The flip-side of this record (Odeon, 11649) contains the first recorded solo by Laurindo Almeida under his own name of his composition 'Saudade que passa', a waltz that reflects the tradition of choro as the musical background of Laurindo Almeida. - Listen to 'Saudade que passa' by clicking here
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Jo

Regional do Canhoto


The evolution of choro into a musical genre as we know it today owes a lot to the 1930s and 1940s house bands of the Brazilian national and regional radio networks, the various Conjuntos Regionais, that helped shaping and spreading the concept of the genre through countless live broadcasts and recordings of popular music of the time, including choro. Some of the Conjuntos Regionais raised to national fame, one of them being the Regional of flutist Benedito Lacerda that had Pixinguinha as a member and co-leader for some time during the 1940s, now famous in the story of choro for the recordings made for Victor 1946-1950 featuring Lacerda as soloist on flute and Pixinguinha providing exceptional accompaniment on saxophone besides being the composer and arranger of several immortal pieces recorded by this group.

However, when Lacerda left the group around 1950 after the successfull co-work with Pixinguinha, the leadership was taken over by the group's left-handed cavaquinho player, Waldiro Frederico Tramontano known as Canhoto (1908-1986). The group began their professional activities in 1951, accompanying great artists at Rádio Mayrink Veiga and recording for Victor. The members of Regional do Canhoto included, besides the leader on cavaquinho: violonistas Dino and Meira, flutist Altamiro Carrilho, accordionist Orlando Silveira, and pandeirista Gilson de Freitas (see picture above). The Regional do Canhoto was the first regional to record written scores, which were produced by Radamés Gnattali a.o., and the group had success through several recordings that covered a vast repertory of popular music of the time. One of the hits by the group was a piece titled "Gingando", composed as a co-work between Dino and Canhoto - you have the opportunity to listen to this by clicking here

In 1957, flutist Altamiro Carrilho left the regional to form his own Bandinha de Altamiro Carrilho, being replaced first by Arthur Ataíde, soon substituted by Carlos Poyares. They continued to play at Rádio Mayrink Veiga until the early '60s, when the radio station was closed and the group dissolved. Canhoto continued to be a highly requested cavaquinho player during the '70s.

During the 1950s the Regional do Canhoto was concidered the model par excellence of a Regional, and today the group may be remembered for the co-work with Jacob do Bandolim, who used Regional do Canhoto as studio accompaniment in recordings made 1951-1961. This co-operation led to several successfull and now famous recordings, one of the first being the choro "Doce de coco". Listen to Jacob do Bandolim playing "Doce de coco" accompanied by Regional do Canhoto, click here

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Jo

Pixinguinha & Oito Batutas

Pixinguinha (1897-1973) remains an icon representing the heart and soul of Brasilian popular music culture, his work as a composer, bandleader, flutist/reedplayer and originator of the choro genre is of invaluable importance, historically and from a musical point of view. The work of Pixinguinha may be considered important at the same level as the work of initial American jazz composers like Duke Ellington - both helped shaping a musical form that had success nationally and internationally.

Pixinguinha demonstrated ability on both flute and cavaquinho as a kid and started composing at an early age. By the age of 14, he had composed his first choro, 'Lata de leite', and was already an accomplished flute player. In 1913, he made his first choro recordings, and by the time he was 15, he was playing professionally - at 18 he was one of the most popular musicians and choro composers in Rio de Janeiro. In 1919, Pixinguinha formed the legendary Oito Batutas (- meaning 'The Eight Remarkable Players' in English) (see picture). The group consisted of flute (- and later saxophone), guitars, cavaquinho, bandolim, bandola, pandeiro and assorted percussion. - Led by Pixinguinha, Oito Batutas was formed to entertain the audience of Rio's prestigious Cinema Palais in its foyer. Opening on April 7, 1919, the group was a success from its debut. The Carioca élite were taken by surprise by the repertory of maxixes, sertanejo songs, batuques, cateretês, and choros. In 1920, the group performed for the King of Belgium and in the next year they toured Brazil. Returning to Rio, they went to play at the luxurious Assírio Club, accompanying the dancing duo Duque & Gaby. In January 1922, the group departed for Paris, France, financed by millionaire Arnaldo Guinle. Introduced as Les Batutas at the Scherazade club, they performed there for six months with great success. Also in 1922, they left for Argentina, performing at the Empire Theater (Buenos Aires) and recorded for the Argentinean Victor. Upon their return to Brazil in 1923, they diminished their performances until they soon dissolved the group.

In 1995 the Revivendo label re-issued the 20 sides recorded by Oito Batuts for Victor, click picture above to see tracklist. You have the opportunity to listen to most of this material using the online search facility at Instituto Moreira Salles or by visiting the Pixinguinha site made available at IMS, click here
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Pixinguinha composed a choro titled 'Os Oito Batutas' reflecting the spirit of this initial ensemble, I insert a couple of uploaded video performances of this famous choro to end this contribution.- Here's a fragment of a roda de choro featuring Grupo Chorando na Sombra

Finally, here's an updated version featuring the Muzehof ensemble - enjoy it!

Jo

Nicolas Krassik & Cordestinos


Since 2001 the young French violinist, Nicolas Krassik, has established his career in Brazil. His quick integration into the Brazilian music scene resulted in the beginning of a promising solo career, and he has already played, performed and recorded with several renowned artists of MPB. In 2004 Rob Digital released his first solo cd, “Na Lapa”, which was followed by his second effort "Caçuá" in 2006 (- also at Rob Digital), both records commented earlier in this blog. Now the third solo album by Nicolas Krassik has been released just recently by Rob Digital with the title "NICOLAS KRASSIK & CORDESTINOS" (2008).
If the first solo cd, “Na Lapa”, presented Krassik's fascination with choro and related Brazilian music styles, the second effort, "Caçuá", showed off his growing interest in the traditional music styles of the North East of Brazil, mainly known as forró.
Forró is a kind of Northeastern Brazilian dance, as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music which accompanies the dance. Different genres of music can be used to dance the forró. Traditionally, all of these music genres uses only three instruments (accordion, zabumba (- a kind of bass drum) and a metal triangle). The traditional music used to dance the forró was brought to the Southeast from the Northeast by accordionist Luiz Gonzaga, who transformed the baião (a word originated from baiano and assigned a warm-up for artists to search for inspiration before playing) into a more sophisticated rhythm (- info excerpted from Wikipedia article about forró, more info to be found clicking here).

The third solo cd from Nicolas Krassik continues his exploration of the North East music genres.

On the cd Nicolas Krassik is accompanied by Marcos Moletta (rabeca), Guto Wirtti (bass), Carlos Cesar (percussion) and Chris Mourão (zabumba), the musicians making up the Cordestinos, one of his present ensembles. On some tracks there is guest performance by Yamandú Costa, Hamilton de Holanda, Carlos Malta and João Hermeto. As already mentioned, the repertoire is represented or inspired by the traditional music styles of the North East of Brazil, and on this cd Nicolas Krassik shows off his experience with not only the violin, but also his discovery of the rabeca - a traditional folk fiddle of Arab origins used in popular folk music traditions all over Brazil, most commonly represented in the Pernambuco region, North East of the country.

The sound of the rabeca is spruce and a bit darker compared to the violin, it may sound slightly out of tune, but maybe my ears are cheating me. However, Krassik has united with a master of the instrument, Marcos Moletta, and he also shows examples of his own mastering of the rabeca. The Cordestinos featuring Nicolas Krassik has altogether made a fascinating soundscape, and the cd is definitely recommended, if you like to explore the rich string tradition of the North East region of Brazil. Tracklist available by clicking headline or cd-cover shown above, more info about Krassik at his official website (- in Portuguese, French and English) including audio and video samples, click here - Nicolas Krassik also has a profile on MySpace, including audio and video, click here

To illustrate and to give you an impression of Nicolas Krassik & Cordestinos in performance I insert a couple of uploaded video examples. - Here's a recording of a live-performance recently


Finally, here's Nicolas Krassik & Cordestinos in a live TV-performance from a program hosted by Jó Soares


Jo

Masterclass

Many people outside Brazil had their first encounter with choro through listening to the shown cd featuring a selection of recordings by Jacob do Bandolim. The cd was issued by David Grisman's Acoustic Disc in 1991 and contains 21 tracks licensed from RCA's Brasilian division, click on picture to see tracklist.
Acoustic disc also released a volume 2 featuring 22 more recordings from Jacob do Bandolim's catalogue at RCA Victor, click picture to see tracklist.


The most popular and best-selling release by Jacob do Bandolim in Brazil was the 1967 RCA Victor LP "Vibrações" (- reissued on cd 1989 and 1993) featuring Jacob e Seu Conjunto Época de Ouro and containing 12 tracks of choros that have become classics and standard repertoire among choro ensembles worldwide, click picture above to see tracklist. - The title track "Vibrações" is a beutiful choro that keeps inspiring musicians, here's an example from a roda de choro at a private party recently







If you are looking for sheet music containing music recorded by Jacob do Bandolim intending to learn his solos note for note, there are a couple of possibilities to join the masterclass.


Some time ago the Instituto Jacob do Bandolim prepared a release of 24 scores of solos as played by Jacob do Bandolim, now issued at Irmãos Vitale including 2 cds featuring the music as recorded by Jacob with Conjunto Época de Ouro. One of the cds has the music without Jacob's solos, to be used as playback for the musician taking over the lead following the sheet - an example of the popular music-minus-one (- you're the soloist!) methode. Click picture to learn more about this issue.



ChoroMusic.com, publishers and creators of the popular play-along series "Classics of Brazilian Choro" have recently released Volumes 1 & 2 featuring the compositions of Jacob do Bandolim. As with previous releases from ChoroMusic.com, the musician is provided with CD including a full choro band that provides accompaniment — complete tracks with solo and split tracks without solo for you to play along, plus scores in standard notation for each composition in a convenient spiral bound book. Lead sheets are included for instruments in C, Bb and Eb. Each book includes information in English and Portugese. Click picture above to learn more.
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Jacob do Bandolim's music may keep you busy studying these masterclass works for some time,
here's an example of one who has graduated - enjoy Hamilton de Holanda playing Jacob's "Gostosinho"


Jo

Sound of Rio - Brasileirinho

A few years ago, Mika Kaurismäki, a Finnish filmmaker, fasinated by the Brazilian music, published his documentary Brasileirinho.

This documentary is dedicated to the Choro music. I found a trailer of the documentary Sound of Rio - Brasileirinho, which seems to be a precursor of the documentary Braileirinho, I introduced to you in a previous blog.

In the film Mika follows three Choro musicians, the Trio Madeira Brasil, but a lot of other famous Choro musicians are to be seen, like Yamandu Costa and Hamilton De Holanda. It shows in an informal way the different styles. I found a track list which seems to be rather complete:

-Introduction - Papo de Anjo (Radamés Gnattali) Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello
-Santa Morena (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil
-Saudações (Otávio Dias Moreno) Joel do Nascimento, Hamilton de Holanda, Trio Madeira Brasil et al. -Noite de Lua (Dilermando Reis) Yamandú Costa, Carlinhos Leite
-Formosa (Baden Powell - Vinícius de Moraes) Marcello Gonçalves, Yamandú Costa, Elza Soares
-Senhorinha (Guinga) Zezé Gonzaga, Guinga
-Brejeiro (Ernesto Nazareth) Yamandú Costa
-Falando de Amor (Tom Jobim) Zezé Gonzaga, Trio Madeira Brasil
-Tico-Tico no Fubá (Zequinha de Abreu) Ademilde Fonseca
-Um Calo de Estimação (Zé da Zilda - José Thadeu) Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente
-Assanhado (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Marcos Suzano
-Degenerado (W. Rocha Ferro) Joathan Nascimento, Fred Dantas, Édson 7 Cordas
-Bole Bole (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
-Chorinho de Gafieira (Astor Silva) Paulo Moura, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
-O Bom Filho à Casa Torna (Bonfiglio de Oliveira) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério -Pontes
-Sonoroso (K-Ximbinho) Hamilton de Holanda, Daniela Spielmann, Trio Madeira Brasil et al.
-Carinhoso (Pixinguinha - João de Barro) Yamandú Costa
-Barracão (Luiz Antônio - Oldemar Magalhães) Zezé Gonzaga, Teresa Cristina, Trio Madeira -- Brasil, Yamandú Costa, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes et al.

According the track list I think both documentaries are equal, but I hope that one of you can tell me if both documentaries are one and the same.

Last week I learned in a record shop in The Netherlands that a cheap version of the Braileirinho DVD has been published - a great opportunity for all of you who haven't obtain a copy.

I love to finish with a trailer of Sound of Rio - Brasileirinho by Mika Kaurismäki

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

keepswinging@live.nl

Tocador de violão - Claudionor Cruz


During the 1930s and 1940s local and national radiostations in Brazil had a 'house band' to accompany popular singers during live broadcasts and to fill in empty space between progams.These house bands - known as Conjuntos Regionais - had a crucial role in evolving and shaping the popular music of the time, making it digestable for the commercial market - including record companies and the general public. Many choro musicians started their career as a member of a conjunto Regional, and as the musicians were supposed to accompany different singers and to play a varied repertoire, these conditions helped evolving the choro genre into a form containing elements from other popular music traditions. Contemporary choro may be seen as a evolution of the genre as shaped by the conjuntos Regionais during the period, when radio and music entertainment provided by this media set the scene in the general public.

One of the choro musicians having a long career in radio and later TV was Claudionor Cruz (1914-1995). He was a son of a bandleader and started early to play cavaquinho and snare drum. He became a professional at the cavaquinho and formed his group, Claudionor Cruz e Seu Regional, in 1932, which worked actively in the accompaniment of artists in several radio and TV stations of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, rivaling Benedito Lacerda. He had musicians like Abel Ferreira and Bola Sete in his group. His first composition to be recorded (in 1935 by Augusto Calheiros) was "Tocador de Violão", which was a co-work with composer/arranger Pedro Caetano, with whom he collaborated for many years. He also had other illustrious partners like Wilson Batista, and recorded/performed with Orlando Silva, Francisco Alves, Araci de Almeida, and many other top artists. Claudionor Cruz worked on more than 400 recordings as a composer, drummer, and/or cavaquinho/tenor violão player.

One of the compositions by Claudionor Cruz worked out in collaboration with Pedro Caetano was the samba-cancão "Nova ilusão", recorded 1941 and featuring vocalist Renato Braga accompanied by Calaudionor Cruz e seu Reional. The tune was popular at the time and was later redicovered by Paulinho da Viola and recorded in one of his albums from the 1970s. You can listen to the original recording by Claudionor Cruz featuring vocalist Renato Braga using your right mouse botton to open the musicplayer in a new window by clicking here

I found a contemporary rendition of "Nova ilusão" uploaded at YouTube, here the vocalist is Ernesto Aun


Like Garoto, Claudionor Cruz took up the violão tenor to accompany singers, you can hear Claudionor Cruz playing this instrument on several recordings available at Instituto Moreira Salles, here is an example - the choro "Este choro e o meu pranto" featuring vocalist Gilberto Alves, recorded 1945. Use the same procedure as mentioned above to listen to the record, click here

To end this, here's a contemporary rendition of "Este choro e o meu pranto" performed by Marco de Pinna Quarteto as an instrumental featuring Marco de Pinna on violão tenor


Jo

The Sound Of The Violão Tenor

When I started listening to Brazilian recordings, I was fascinated by the sound of the violão tenor right from the start. One of the artists playing this instrument, who had my attention, was Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha), of course. According to some sources it was Garoto, who introduced the violão tenor in Brazil in 1932 - he had imported a copy from the USA and was to use it intensely in performance and recordings during the remain of his career. I 'recognised' the sound of the violão tenor from recordings with Carmen Miranda featuring Garoto, it reminded me of the sound of Oscar Alemán - the Argentine swing guitar player, who had his career at the same time as Garoto. In fact, recognition of the sound of the two guitarists as similar was not a coincidence, the instrument played by both musicians had a built-in resonator device, that made the sound of the instrument recognizable instantly. The resonator system of the guitar was developed to help solving amplification of the sound before electricity was used for amplification. It was developed in the USA by the National Guitar company, specializing in metal shaped instruments with a built-in resonator, that functioned like a kind of membran speaker, amplifying the sound of the strings when played. The National Guitar models were often used by steel bar guitar players in Hawaiian style music, popular at the time, but also blues and jazz guitar players were attracted by the sound and volume effect of the instrument. In Brazil, local luthiers like the workshop of Del Vecchio developed a model of the resonator guitar different from the US issue, as the body of the guitar remained a box of wood with visible built-in resonators on the surface instead of a soundhole (- see picture above). However, players of the Del Vecchio model - both the 6 string violão and the 4 string violão tenor - often had problems staying tuned during performance due to the construction of the instrument. Anyway, when in tune, the sound of the instrument is recognizable instantly, and below I insert some video examples to give you an impression of this fascinating hybrid.

Garoto probably was the first to use the Del Vecchio violão tenor in performance and recordings. Later other violanista followed, i.e. Claudionor Cruz, Zé Menezes and Alvaro Brochado. In contemporary Brazil the violão tenor is not so common, but in previous blog postings I have pointed you to contemporary players of the instrument, like Pedro Amorim, Henrique Cazes, Marco De Pinna and - just recently - Renato Anesi. During the last week I just discovered that another well known violanista of the contemporary scene in Brazil, Alessandro Penezzi, in fact played the Del Vecchio violão tenor model early in his career. Below I insert some uploaded video performances, recorded 1990 with the choro ensemble Conjunto Som Brasileiro at a live concert.

The first tune played by Conjunto Som Brasileiro featuring Alessandro Penezzi on violão tenor is Pixinguinha's "Vou Vivendo"


The next tune from the same live performance is a rendition of Luiz Americano's "Numa Seresta"


The last video this time is a rendition of Jacob do Bandolim's "A Ginga do Mané" - enjoy this masterpiece, one of the few choros performed by Jacob on the violão tenor, here played convincingly by Alessandro Penezzi with Conjunto Som Brasileiro

Jo

Anacleto de Medeiros

When choro evolved as a style of playing popular music in Brazil during the late decades of the 19th Century, one of the pioneers, who helped shaping this music style, was Anacleto de Medeiros (1866-1907). The son of a freed slave, Medeiros began to study music at the age of nine, and earned a degree from the Rio Conservatory when he was 20. He became well-known locally as a composer and performer on flute, clarinet and saxophone. His greatest musical impact, however, began in 1896, when he founded and conducted Rio de Janeiro's most famous military band, the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros (Band of the Firemen's Corps).

Under Medeiros' baton, the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros became known for its precision and its lavish Carnaval spectaculars. In 1902, it was the first Brazilian group asked to record cylinders and discs for the newly-established recording studio of Casa Edison.

Several compositions by Medeiros were recorded by the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros for the Casa Edison label - he wrote and arranged over 100 marches and choro for the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros. He had the lyrics to some of his compositions written by the poet Catulo da Paixão Cearense, who even wrote an ode praising him. One of these compositions written by Catulo was the xote "Iara," which, published in 1912 under the name "Rasga Coração," was later used by Heitor Villa-Lobos as the theme for his "Choros No. 10". Some researchers allege that Medeiros was the creator of the Brazilian xote (- a genre descended from the European Schottisch). To hear a recording of "Iara" as played by Medeiros' band for Casa Edison, use right mouse button and click here

Many of Medeiros' pieces, including "Iara", achieved great popularity at the time, and are still performed by choro groups today. In 1999 Kuarup Discos released a cd, 'Sempre Anacleto', containing 12 compositions by Medeiros (- and one homage piece to his wife, "Cecy", by Chiquinha Gonzaga). The music on the disc is played by the Art Metal Quinteto with the Banda de Câmara Anacleto de Medeiros, click picture below to learn more and to listen to sound clips.

To give you an impression of the way Anacleto de Medeiros' music is played today, I insert a couple of uploaded video performances. - Here's a rendition of Medeiros' march 'Jubileu' as performed by the Orquestra de MP do CBMERJ


Another popular piece by Anacleto de Medeiros often played by choro ensembles is his tango with the title " Os Bohemios"

To end this, here's a rendition of Anacleto de Medeiros' xote, "Santinha"

Jo

Magic Of The Strings - Renato Anesi

This time I like to point you to the talented composer and multi-instrumentalist, Renato Anesi. - Renato Anesi was born in 1969 in Rio de Janeiro. His work is the result of intense musical experience as a child. His father, a guitarist and cavaquinista, was his first teacher. Renato grew up playing choros and sambas of Noel Rosa, Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim and others. Later, in São Paulo, he studied in the Fundação das Artes of San Caetano (1984-1986) and in particular courses. He started his professional career at 16 as a guitarist in a band led by Zé Geraldo and toured Brazil 1986-87.

In 1989 Anesi began a work of art and music-education at Teatro Vento Forte and started composing for theatre in São Paulo. He composed and recorded the soundtrack music from the movie 'Coyote', winner of the Festival Internacional do Minuto in 1994. At the same time he had a luthier workshop, where he had the opportunity to meet, restore and regulate all kind of string instruments found in Brazil. To improve his experience as a luthier he even went to London to attend courses at the Polytech of London, also in 1994.

In 1995 Anesi played in a trio, Corda Coral, which was awarded a prestigious prize that year.In 1998, Anesi was invited by Spanish guitarist Jose Luiz Montòn to integrate his group and record a disc of flamenco music. The cd, 'Sin Querer', was recorded in Belgium 1999. In 1999, Anesi also toured with the Swedish balarina, Nina Corti.

Renato Anesi belongs to the young rock and jazz generation of contemporary Brazil, however, his musical roots integrate the tradition of many different styles of Brazilian instrumental music - choro, waltz, baião, frevo, maracatu, etc. With this material he has built a unique style, featuring a music universe committed only with creativity. His work was selected for the prize "Rumos e tendências musicais" of the Itau Cultural Institute in 2001. In 2004, he received the first prize at "Prêmio Syngenta de música instrumental de Viola".


In 2001 Renato Anesi released his first cd, 'Rosa dos Tempos', learn more about the contents and listen to sound-clips clicking here

In 2007 Pór do Som released the shown cd, 'Dez Anos Depois', by Renato Anesi, more info to be found at Discos do Brasil, click here

To give you an impression of the music played by Renato Anesi, I'll insert a couple of uploaded videos from a TV performance. - Here's a solo performance of a Garoto inspired composition by Anesi playing violão

From the same TV performance here Anesi is joined by a rhythm section playing violão tenor


To end this, here's a rendition of Renato Anesi's "Pernambucano" featuring Anesi playing bandolim accompanied by the rhythm section


Jo

TEMPO DE CRIANÇA

Dilermando Reis (1916-1977) was born in São Paulo, but lived most of his life in Rio de Janeiro, where he worked actively in radio and recordings. From 1941 to 1975 he recorded over forty albums, both 78rpms and LPs. His preference was the traditional Brazilian guitar style: waltzes and choros full of modulations to "confuse accompanists," played with his unique style and sound. He recorded about 100 of his own compositions, many of which became standards of Brazilian popular guitar, like "Dois Destinos" and "Se Ela Perguntar." - Among the choros composed by Dilermando Reis I am especially fond of his "TEMPO DE CRIANÇA", which originally was recorded by Reis on a Continental 78 rpm (Continental, 16.054-B) in 1949. I like the youthful freshness and the full use of the guitar's capacity in this choro, a demanding challenge for any guitarist and a true tour-de-force on the frets like Garoto's "Desvairada" - here's an example of a performance of the piece by a young guitarist at his debut recital





Recently I was delighted to find yet another rendition of "TEMPO DE CRIANÇA" while listening to the highly acclaimed cd by Euclides Marques and Luzinho 7 Cordas, 'Remexendo', released by Kuarup Discos in 2006 (KCD 205).


The cd has 11 tracks of delightful guitar music featuring compositions by Radamés Gnattali, Garoto, Dilermando Reis, Pattápio Silva, Pixinguinha, Nazareth, Tom Jobim, Vincius de Moraes, Canhoto (Américo Jacomino) and further Agustín Barrios and Antonio Lauro. The performance of the chosen repertoire is excellent, the interplay between Euclides Marques, who plays the 6 string violão, and Luzinho (- on violão 7 cordas) has been compared to the co-work between Raphael Rabello and Dino 7 Cordas on a cd released 1991, which ranks among the best-ever recorded Brazilian guitar music in the critics' charts. On some tracks the duo of Euclides Marques and Luzinho 7 Cordas is accompanied by guest appearance of Paulo Moura, Laercio de Freitas and the Quinteto em Branco e Preto. - Learn more about the contens of the cd by clicking here

As said above, I was delighted to find a rendition of Reis' "TEMPO DE CRIANÇA" among the repertoire on the mentioned cd. To end this, here's another performance of this choro from a live concert recital by Ronaldo Sontag - enjoy it!



Jo

Movimento - Brasilian Movement

Being interested in Brasilian music tradition, I was delighted to have the opportunity to listen to the above shown cd by Nelson Latif, 'Movimento'. The cd was recorded in Amsterdam February-October 2006 and released 2007, and it was produced by Nelson Latif as his first solo issue. Nelson Latif is from São Paulo, Brazil, but has lived in Amsterdam, Holland, since the 1990s and taken part in various musical projects as a musician, both in Holland and Brazil.

The music on the cd is a great listening experience, as it blends many different elements of music tradition. You can hear fragments reminding of be bop frases mixed with traditional choro music, even flamenco inspiration and Middle-East music styles incorporating classical Indian raga - a true cross-over and World-Music project. Click on picture above to see tracklist and listen to audio examples from the cd in the Discography menu.

Nelson Latif, who plays acoustic guitar and cavaquinho, formed his musical identity in the jazz scene of 1980's São Paulo. With roots in choro and jazz, Latif merges Brazilian styles and a classical guitar technique with diverse musical influences. He started his studies at age fourteen. During the 90's he moved to Amsterdam and started performing on the cavaquinho, an instrument that has since become his trademark.
Nelson Latif returned to Brazil in 2001, where he formed Trio Baru with Fernando Corbal and Bosco Oliveira. Since then, Latif has performed as a soloist as well as in collaboration with various artists, such as the multi-instrumentalist Carlinhos Antunes, and Ustad Zamir Khan, sitar and tabla player, of a legendary Indian musical family. In 2005 Latif recorded the CD 'Choro, Samba e Afins', together with Dutch guitarist Joeri de Graaf. This recording started off the Choramundo Project, uniting musicians from Holland, Suriname and Brazil.
I found a couple of uploaded video performances by the Choramundo ensemble from a live-concert in Reicife, Brazil inserted below to give you an impression of the kind of music played by
Latif

First tune played by Choramundo feat. Nelson Latif (guitar), Joeri de Graaf (guitar) Praful (bansuri and saxophone), Pablo Nahar (double Bass), Jotta Erre (percussion) is called 'Brujeria' recorded live at the International Jazz Festival in Recife, Brazil, march 2006.

The second performance by Choramundo is from the same event, the tune performed is called 'Choramundo'

Jo

Armandinho - Retocando o Choro

One of the characteristics of the traditional choro performance is the fact that the participating musicians usually are seated in a circle or around a table to create an intimate atmosphere and leaving the opportunity to watch each other while playing. This was the ideal setting for a roda de choro, and this is continued to this day in small clubs or at private gatherings whenever choro musicans get together to play for their own pleasure. You could say that the mentioned setting of a roda de choro is well suited for this kind of chamberish music that demands concentration, great technical skills and the presence of a common feeling to recreate the spirit of choro as a multi-voiced unity.- However, today a choro performance often takes place in a concert setting with the musicians placed on a stage fronting an audience, which usually excludes the possibility of a traditional roda de choro setting, as all participating musicians are supposed to be fronting the audience. On the other hand, the stage setting leaves the opportunity of individual solo performance a better chance to reach the audience, a fact to be taken advantage of whether it may be a classical symphonic orchestra with a soloist performing, or a band performing popular music with changing solo voices.
The world is a stage according to Mr. Shakespeare and especially a younger generation of musians has understood this dictum as a demand of acting as an individual soloist when the music plays, the success of a performance depending on the abilities of the individual fronting the audience and supported by a band in the background. The soloist's role has become the most important part of the act on stage. This is truly a phenomenon reflecting the ideological and social values of modern Western society, expected to be the norm by audiences and accepted as such by musicians, who go for a successfull career in music business. In fact, the success of a modern jazz or rock'n'roll concert seems to depend on the soloists' personal abilities, the reputation and stardom often applied to the musician's ability to invent and create surprising personal solos by mastering the instrument with special effects and unexpected improvisation skills. This is the constant demand resting on the career of individual musicians heading for a star role on-stage today.
When choro and choro performance had a revival in Brazil during the 1970s one of the problems to front by choro musicians was that the choro was considered to be the music of old folks with outdated values of social behaviour. The gap between a young generation looking for an indivudal platform in the world and the preserving of old values by the elder generation created a cultural vacuum, in which the choro easily was considered an anachronic left-over from a world of yesterday. However, devoted individuals among the young generation of families, where the choro had been a part of the cultural identity for generations, faced the challenge and tried to put the choro on stage in a new setting, considering the music to be just as appealing as rock'n'roll when performed by devoted musicians. One of the pioneers of the young revivalists of choro was Armandinho.
ARMANDINHO (Armandinho Macêdo) was born 1953 in Salvador, Bahia, in a musical environment - his father, Osmar, was the inventor of the Electric Trio (sound truck made famous in the Carnival of Bahia and later generalized throughout the country). He was taught to play by his father at age nine. He was already performing one year later with his own Trio Elétrico Mirim (Junior). After a stint amidst the Beatlemania craze adapted in Brazil as Jovem Guarda, he was hired by TV Tupi (Rio) and recorded his first album after winning an important novice show (Flávio Cavalcanti). His second single and first LP soon followed. In 1973, he recorded O Trio Elétrico de Dodô e Osmar with Caetano Veloso. In 1974, he was included in his father's Trio Elétrico, which was renamed Trio Elétrico de Armandinho, Dodô e Osmar. With Moraes Moreira as producer and singer, he recorded a series of LPs with the Trio Elétrico after 1975. In that year, he formed a group that accompanied Moreira, later being named A Cor Do Som, which performed internationally (in 1978 at the Montreux Festival, Switzerland, and in 1981 in New York, U.S.) and recorded several LPs with an innovative blend of choro, music from Bahia, and pop/rock. Based in early (around the '40s) prototypes designed by Dodô prior to the invention of the electric guitar, called the "pau elétrico," Armandinho designed the guitarra baiana, which is similar to an electrified cavaquinho. The guitarra baiana then became commercially produced by Dodô. In 1984, the Trio Elétrico performed in Rome, Italy, and, in the next year, in Toulouse, France. In 1986, they performed in France and Mexico and, in 1990, in Paris, France. In 1987, Armandinho shared a show with Raphael Rabello in Rio and, in the next year, played with Moraes Moreira in the U.S. In 1994, a live recorded show with A Cor do Som was awarded with the Prêmio Sharp (1996). In 1996, he also performed in the Jerusalem Music
Festival, Israel, and, with the Trio Elétrico in the Montreux Festival and Tübingen Festival (Germany). In 1997, he recorded an album with Raphael Rabello, Rafael Rabelo e Armandinho Em Concerto, and participated in the Free Jazz Festival (Brazil). In 2001, Armandinho performed in the Rock in Rio Festival with Pepeu Gomes. (excerpted from profile by Alvaro Neder in AMG)


Armandinho has been proclaimed by the Brazilian media as The King of Choro, The King of Mandolin, The King of Bahian Carnaval, and The Modern Jacob do Bandolim. His career has held a place in the history of Brazilian popular music as he bridged the gap between classical and popular music. Great mandolinist innovator, his music fuses the styles of Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Waldir Azevedo, Radamés Gnatalli with the more recent artistry of Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil, in addition to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Ranked among the most important Brazilian instrumentalists in the Brazilian history, he has earned a place of honor alongside Pixinguinha, Hermeto Pascoal, Raphael Rabello, and Paulo Moura. (excerpt of profile on MySpace, learn more by clicking here

As an example of a performance by Armandinho I recommend listening to the shown cd with recordings from a live-performance in Rio de Jainero 2002. The music performed contains choro
classiscs in an updated version, appealing to a young audience of today used to attending rock'n'roll concerts. Learn more about the contents of the cd by clicking
here
I found a couple of live-performances on YouTube that shares the atmosphere of the mentioned
cd recordings. - Here's a performance by Armandinho and Yamandú Costa playing 'Apanhei-Te
Cavaquinho'

Finally, from a TV-show, also featuring Yamandú Costa, here's a live-performance of Jacob do Bandolim's 'Assanhado'


Jo

Choro elétrico - Quatro A Zero

Traditionally choro performance has been closely related with the Regional, an ensemble using acoustic instruments like violão (6 & 7 cordas), cavaquinho, pandeiro for accompaniment and bandolim or reed (flute, clarinet or saxophone) playing the melody. Less often the piano or the accordion has been used as solo voices in the traditional choro Regional,however, notable exceptions being Grupo Chiquinha Gonzaga featuring the majestrina at the piano - or, from a later period, the Radamés Gnattali Sexteto featuring two pianos, accordion and electric guitar as alternating solo voices. Radamés Gnattali's ensemble was considered to be an experimental unit expanding the sound of the traditional Regional, the music performed also expanded the boundaries of the classic choro composition by incorporating other influences from various sources, erudite as well as popular forms including jazz harmony. Radamés Gnattali's influence as a renewer of the choro genre cannot be overestimated - his work as a composer, pianist, arranger and conductor had a profound effect on the conception of choro with performers like Jacob do Bandolim and later the Camerata Carioca featuring stellar instrumentalists like Joel Nasciemento, Mauricio Carrilho, Henrique Cazes and Raphael Rabello a.o. Also a younger generation of choro performers has been inspired by the experiments of Radamés Gnattali, an example is the quartet ensemble, Quatro A Zero.

The Quatro A Zero ensemble was formated 2001 by four students of music at the Universidade de Campinas with a common interest in choro. The group consists of Eduardo Lobo (guitar, violão sete cordas & bandolim), Danilo Penteado (electric bass and cavaquinho), Daniel Muller (piano & accordeon) and Lucas de Rosa (drums & percussion). Together these four musicians have renewed the conception of the choro genre by incorporating humor and musical influences from jazz and rock, but still with due respect and a deep understanding of the founding elements of the choro. The group has participated in various musical projects in Brazil and was elected second place in a prestigious musical contest 2004 - the same year their first cd was issued by Zabumba Records, 'Choro elétrico', shown below.

The music performed at the cd covers compositions like "Bolacha queimada" (Radamés Gnatalli), "O gato e o canário" (Pixinguinha), "Sarau para Radamés" (Paulinho da Viola), "O vôo da mosca" (Jacob do Bandolim), "Atlântico" (Ernesto Nazareth), "Os Carioquinhas no Choro" (Altamiro Carrilho), "Baile em Catamby" (Eduardo Souto), "Segura ele" (Marco César & João Lyra) and "Chiquinha Gonzaga", part of the Retratos suite by Radamés Gnattalli, further a couple of pieces by members of the group: "Choro infinito" (Eduardo Lobo) and "Conta outra" (Danilo Penteado). - The Quatro A Zero ensemble performs the mentioned titles with great skills and surprising sequences revealing humor and highly elaborated interplay - the group indeed acts as a unit, and the cd is recommended as a splendid example of the expansion of the traditional choro interpretation. - Learn more about Quatro A Zero and the cd from the group's official website (- in Portuguese only, yet) which also offers the opportunity of listening to sound clips from the 'Choro elétrico' cd, click here

I found a couple of fragments of live performance by Quatro A Zero from 2006 accompanying bandolimist Joel Nasciemento, inserted below. - Here's a performance of the choro "Entre Mil, Voce"




From the same live performance here is an incomplete version of Jacob do Bandolim's "Vibrações" - please, bear with bad image and audio qulity


Jo