Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Rogério Caetano - Live Recordings With Guests (2017)

Rogério Caetano Convida au Vivo no Rio (Biscoito Fino)
Rogério Caetano is well known for his contribution to the development of the violão 7 cordas in contemporary Brazilian popular music, notable in choro and related genres. He is considered an innovator of the playing style founded by Dino 7 cordas and refined by Raphael Rabello representing the steel string tradition of the violão 7 cordas. Together with Marco Pereira Rogério Caetano worked out a new method for the violão 7 cordas, and he has been awarded with several prizes in Brazil for his work as a musician, arranger, producer and composer. Rogério Caetano has played and recorded together with acclaimed Brazilian artists and released seven CDs under his own name, the latest was issued by Biscoito Fino in August this year (- more info here) 
Rogério Caetano (promo photo from rogeriocaetano.com)
The new CD by Rogério Caetano is part of a series of shows recorded live in Rio de Janeiro where Rogério Caetano has had the opportunity to invite guests for an exclusive performance. Invited guests presented at the CD include Yamandú Costa, Hamilton de Holanda, Silvério Pontes and Ze da Velha, Bebê Kramer, Marco Pereira, Eduardo Neves and Cristóvão Bastos. The CD has fourteen tracks, the mentioned guests are presented in two recordings each. The performances are carried out in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with suitable space for improvisation, and the repertoire is represented by great arrangements of choro and related music. The CD is definitely enjoyable and worth adding to your collection of contemporary, exquisite instrumental Brazilian music. The CD is available for purchase here - Below I'll insert a couple of video recordings of some of the performances that have been uploaded at You Tube, here is first Rogério Caetano in interplay with Hamilton de Holanda in a tune titled Capricho de Luperce composed by Hamilton


Next, Rogério Caetano's Choro Bagual is performed in interplay with Yamandú Costa


Finally, reed player Eduardo Neves is presented with Rogério in his own Vai que é gostoso 

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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Demise of Jacob do Bandolim

Jacob do Bandolim (1918-1969)
In March 1967 Jacob do Bandolim suffered the first of three heart strokes, this happened during a live performance. Two years later, primo August 1969, Jacob was in Brasilia to recieve treatment by a cardiologist, Dr. Veloso, after suffering yet another stroke. After returning to Rio Jacob decided to pay his old friend, Pixinguinha, a visit on August 13 to discuss plans of recording an album solely devoted to music by Pixinguinha. Upon returning from his visit, he got a third heart attack and this time with a fatal outcome - he died in the arms of his wife, who found him lying on the porch in front of their home in Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro.
Jacob and Epoca de Ouro (1960s)
Jacob was only 51 years of age, when he passed away on August 13, 1969, but at the time of his untimely death he had already achieved well-deserved fame and respect thanks to his unremitting efforts for disseminating knowledge and love for genuine Brazilian music, first and foremost choro and related genres. Jacob's work as a musician, researcher and producer of radio programs had helped to establish a successfull career, which was at its peak at the time of his death. An important decision in his career led to the formation of his most successful ensemble, the Conjunto Epoca de Ouro formed by Dino 7 Cordes, César Faria and Carlos Leite (guitars), Jonas Silva (cavaquinho) and Gilberto D'Avila (pandeiro). This ensemble accompanied Jacob in his weekly jam sessions (saraus) at his home during the 1960s and participated in the recording of his most successfull LP, Vibrações, released in October 1967. 
LP front, Vibrações, RCA Camden 1967
This year the LP Vibrações by Jacob e seu Conjunto Epoca de Oro celebrates its 50th year jubilee. On this date today we should honor Jacob do Bandolim and his efforts of keeping choro alive in a difficult period of popular music in Brazil by listening to the twelve tracks of this masterpiece. Luckily, the audio of all twelve tracks has been uploaded at You Tube and is accessible by following this link -  Here I'll just point to some anecdoctal info on the title track of the LP, the famous choro composed by Jacob. Déo Rian has told that Jacob composed the choro Vibrações in March 1964 while visiting a car wash shop owned by one of his choro friends. Waiting for the car wash to be finished, Jacob asked his friend for pen and paper and then wrote down the music of Vibrações by heart without having access to his instrument and gave it to his friend and owner of the car wash office, whom he asked to put a name on the music. The next day  his friend came to his house and exclaimed that he had created a masterpiece, which was to be named Vibrações (in English: vibrations) - the tune radiated the spirit of choro and generated good vibrations. Let's end this entry by listening to a live performance of Vibrações, probably recorded at a roda de choro in Brasilia in 1967 when Jacob and his Conjunto Epoca de Choro participated 

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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Toca de Tatu - Afinidade

Grupo Toca de Tatu (photo by Alexandre Rezende)

A couple of years ago I was introduced to Toca de Tatu, a quartet of very talented young musicians from Belo Horizonte who plays instrumental Brazilian music incorporating choro as well as other influences in the ensemble's performances. Toca de Tatu consists of (- left to right on photo above) Lucas Ladeia (cavaquinho), Abel Borges (percussion), Luísa Mitre (piano) and Lucas Telles (violão 7 cordas). The debut CD of Toca de Tatu was released in 2013 containing the ensemble's arrangements and interpretation of instrumental music from the popular works of Radamés Gnattali and was titled Meu Amigo Radamés. I wrote a small review here  - You have the opportunity to listen to the thirteen tracks of the CD in full length at You Tube, hereLearn more about Toca de Tatu from the official website (- both in Portuguese and English), here

CD front: Toca de Tatu, Afinidade (2017)

Recently the second CD by Toca de Tatu entitled Afinidade was released in Brazil and contains tvelwe tracks of new compositions, some by members of the ensemble and some by others. The title of the CD means 'affinity' in English and points to the musical influences which inspire the group. The first track of the new album i.e. is titled Mozareth composed by Lucas Telles and points to both Mozart and Ernesto Nazareth as inspiration, a mixture of sources which reminds me of Radamés Gnattali's successfull attempt to bridge the gap between erudite and popular musical styles. Another track at the CD also points to Mozart as inspiration, Sarau pro Sr. Mozart, a composition by Thiago Delegado arranged by Tacu de Tatu. The title track of the CD, Afinidade, is composed by the cavaqhinista of Toca de Tatu Lucas Ladeia and incorporates a choro structure with modern harmony, the result is a marvellous listening experience which also applies to the remaining repertoire and tracks of the disc. This is music that needs your listening attention, but when performed by this very skilled group, repeated listening indeed pays off. Some tracks have extended personnel, all involved contribute to a succesfull result. You have the opportunity to listen to the CD in full lenght at You Tube, here 

Toca de Tatu at ease
Thanks to Oscar Barahona for supplying info on the above mentioned CD.
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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com

Monday, June 26, 2017

Virtuoso Brazilian Guitar Duets - Yamandú Costa & Alessandro Penezzi

CD front - Quebranto (Biscoito Fino 2017) (graphic illustration by Stephan Doitschinoff)
Two well known and acclaimed Brazilian guitarists, Yamandú Costa and Alessandro Penezzi have joined forces in recording the shown CD Quebranto that was released by the Biscoito Fino label last month (more info here). The CD has thirteen tracks of amazing guitar duets featuring music composed and/or arranged by the two guitarists. The music reflects different aspects of the Brazilian guitar tradition which are celebrated in the disc. What keeps the project together and generates a successfull disc is the mutual conception of the music and exceptional technical skills applied by both musicians.
According to a published interview with Alessandro Penezzi (- available in Portuguese only, here) the CD has been a long time underway, quote (my English translation): " It was born of a mutual desire that we had to make a record together. About ten years ago, we met at his [Yamandú's] house and began to compose. We recorded some songs in a homemade way. However, only later did we decide to finish the album, putting the idea on paper. I've known Yamandu for a long time, since when I went to live in São Paulo, around 2002. In fact, we became friends, as if we already knew each other.(-) If we add up all the time we have taken to the design and composition of this record, it's years. We started writing it for about three or four years ago, but the idea came before as I said". The collaboration was complicated because of geographical distance between the two guitarists, however, "We solved this a few times with contacts via Skype, WhatsApp, email, and it was like this. When we had a reasonable number of compositions and we needed to rehearse the arrangements, we decided to go to Yamandu's house"
The CD celebrates the Brazilian guitar, its tradition and players - Penezzi puts it this way in the interview, quote "The Brazilian guitar is a character of many faces - from Latin, from Latin blood, from the energy and strength that comes from the Spanish influence, the black guitar, the Creole, the Gaucho ... In fact, there is not an interpreter specifically there [in the music at the disc] , but the soul of the guitar. We seek, by means of sonorous brushstrokes, to give our vision". When asked what are some of the main peculiarities of the Brazilian guitar/violão, Penezzi says there are several "... but I would say the right hand, which is vigorous and has enough of (-) that percussive thing that comes from the Afro root. At the same time, it works hard on polyphony and praises for virtuosity, because of the flameco and Spanish influence. It is a guitar of many peculiarities". The front cover illustration of the CD, which is copied from a graphic work by Stephan Doitschinoff reflects some of the peculiarities of the right hand technique used by Brazilian guitarists according to Penezzi, quote "There's a gypsy thing about it, which, incidentally, is one of our influences. When we speak of Spanish flamenco music, it includes the gypsy vein, which carries a whole mystical, exoteric baggage." The title of the CD, Quebranto, which also is the title of one of the compositions by Penezzi at the CD, further reflects the gypsy aspect - the word 'quebranto' in gypsy exoteric knowledge points to a spell that casts itself through the gaze to bewitch someone. In a way, this is exactly what happens between musicians when interacting directed by the spirit of the music - it's a spellbinding experience which unites the musician with his or her instrument and at the same time directs the performance and interplay as a unity.
As mentioned, there are thirteen tracks at the CD, five of them contain collaborated compositions by the two guitarists (Capitão do Mato, Chico balanceado, Amigo Bonilha, Valsa Morena and Chaparral), three tracks have pieces composed by Penezzi (É chorando que se aprende, Dayanna and Quebranto), Yamandú also has three self penned pieces (Samba pro Rafa, Bolero negro and Saracoteco) while the two remaining tracks are devoted to a Valsa seresta no. 1 by Sergio Belluco (Penezzi's teacher of the violão) and a collaborate work by Yamandú and his teacher Lucio Yanel entitled Meus gurizinhos. - Yamandú takes a leading role in most of the recorded tunes playing the themes while Penezzi contributes accompaniement but also gets solo spots besides showing off exceptional technical skills like Yamandú. The interplay between the two guitarists is amazing and reveals a mutual responsiveness and shared understanding of the music, which keep the spontaneity and energy of the performance in a direct way that is rare in produced studio recordings. The result is a magnificent production and I highly recommend the CD to anyone with interest in great Brazialian guitar music. - The disc is avaiable for purchase here and you have the opportunity to listen to the tracks at Spotify and similar audiostreaming suppliers at the web. Biscoto Fino has uploaded the first track of the CD, Capitão do Mato, in an audio video at YouTube, which is inserted below to end this small review 

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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Alencarinos (2013) - A Homage To Alencar 7 Cordas

Alencar 7 Cordas (1951 - 2011)
Alencar 7 Cordas (José de Alencar Soares) was born in Ipu, Ceará, in 1951, and settled in Brasilia in the early 1970s. A key element in the musical development of the city, Alencar 7 Cordas participated in the foundation of the Clube do Choro in Brasilia. He was a member of the ensemble Choro Livre for 25 years as guitarist and arranger and throughout his career he played alongside great names in Brazilian music. He was one of the pioneer teachers at the Escola Brasileira de Choro Rafael Rabello and later he created his own school, being responsible for the education of several musicians from different generations of Brasilia.


Since 2007 Alencar had been directing and integrating the Regional BemBrasil , with which he started recording a CD in 2011.
Alencar & Regional BemBrasil
On Sunday mornings the group met to rehearse under the regency of Alencar. Once the repertoire was prepared, two tracks were recorded. However, unexpectedly, on September 15, 2011, at the age of sixty, Alencar passed away from a heart attack. Facing the challenge of finalizing the album, the Regional BemBrasil invited Fernando César to make the arrangements and record the 7 string guitar in the remaining repertoire chosen for the album. Since then the Regional has been renamed Alencarinos, which also is the title of the CD produced and issued in 2013.
Alencarinos CD (2013)
I was pointed to the CD by Oscar Barahona, who generously provided info on Alencar 7 Cordas and the CD. There are 15 tracks on the disc, the first and last track have Alencar with Regional BemBrasil - the remaining 13 tracks are arranged and have the participation of Fernando César on the 7 string guitar. All tracks besides track 14 titled Alencarino (a composition by Onaldo Domingues) are composed by Alencar 7 Cordas. The Regional playing on all tracks consists of: Márcio Bezerra (clarinet), Lucas de Campos (violão), Pedro Molusco  (cavaquinho) and Junior Viegas  (pandeiro). The CD further has several guest performers in the various tracks, they are: Victor Angeleas (bandolim on 2, 8), Sergio Morais (flute on 3, 7, 14), Beth Ernest Dias (flute on 5), Joel Nascimento (bandolim on 6), Paulo André Tavares (violão on 7, 13), Leandro Braga (piano on 9), Jaime Ernest Dias (violão on 10), Odette Ernest Dias (flute on 11), Juninho Ferreira (sanfona on 12), Valério Xavier (cavaco on 12, 14), Leonel Laterza (voc on 13), Reco do Bandolim (ban on 14). Tracklist as follows: 1) Imitação, 2) Enfeitiçando, 3) Moluscando, 4) É do Pangaré, 5) Lucas 6, 6) Amardando, 7) Entre Mares, 8) No Macamba, 9) Imagem, 10) Valsa Choro, 11) Vou Levando, 12) Escalando, 13) Brasil 3 por 4, 14) Alencarino, 15) Choro BB.

You have the opportunity to listen to the music at the CD, hereThe CD has also been uploaded in full length at YouTube, here. Unfortunately, the listing of tracks in the video does not follow the CD, but if you compare titles with info stated above, I hope you are able to dig out the participation of musicians on the various tracks. The CD Alencarinos is a great homage to the work of Alencar 7 Cordas. 
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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pixinguinha 120 - Choro Day

Pixinguinha (1897-1973)
April 23rd is the official Dia Nacional do Choro in Brazil since 2000 in honor of the birthday of Alfredo da Rocha Vianna Filho, better known as Pixinguinha (1897-1973) - one of the all time greatest Brazilian artists, who helped creating and shaping Choro in its present form. This year is a special year, as Pixinguinha would have turned 120 years of age, and this fact will be celebrated in several ways all over Brazil. For instance, the Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) has kept the archieve of Pixinguinha since 2000 - accessible here - and yesterday a new site dedicated to the 120 years of Pixinguinha was launched by IMS, here 
The new site dedicated to Pixinguinha at IMS
Here at the Choro music blog we will celebrate the 120 years of Pixinguinha and his importance in Brazilian music culture by giving access to some of his music as played by skilled musicians from uploaded video performances at You Tube. - Here is first a live performance of Cochichando as played by Nailor Proveta, Pedro Amorim and the Regional Imperial in 2012


From the same live performance, here is Proveta and Regional Imperial's interpretation of Pixinguinha's Quem é você? 


From a 2011 concert, Regional Imperial accompanies bandolinista Luis Barcelos in a reading of Pixinguinha's Minha Gente 


From the same concert, Luis Barcelos and Regional Imperial play Pixinguinha's Acerta o passo 


From an Instrumental SESC Brasil live performance 2010, Danilo Brito and ensemble play Pixinguinha's Ingênuo 


Finally, from the same live performance, Danilo Brito and ensemble play Pixinguinha/Benedito Lacerda's 1X0 (Um a Zero) 

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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@mail.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trio Choro Moderno

Trio Choro Moderno - l-r: Pedro Ramos (cav, violão tenor), Paulo Ramos
(violão 7 cordas), Diego Pereira (dm)
Trio Choro Moderno was formed in 2013. Before the trio was formed, the brothers Paulo (7 string guitar) and Pedro Ramos (cavaquinho/tenor guitar)  had a duo together. Since 2009, Pedro Ramos is a professor at Souza Lima Music College in São Paulo.  He first met the drummer Diego Pereira there as a drums student in 2013. Pedro was very impressed by Diego's musicianship and invited him to join the duo along with his brother Paulo. - Since 2013, the trio has played in music bars, jazz clubs and theaters in the São Paulo music scene and the interior of São Paulo state as well. In mid 2014 Trio Choro Moderno did their first international tour in Portugal. - In 2017, Trio Choro Moderno  has released their first CD, called Bolo de Fubá (Corn Cake). The CD presents original compositions and features special guests Sizão Machado on acoustic bass, Vitor Alcantara on tenor and soprano sax and Guilherme Ribeiro on accordeon. The compositions explore the vast choro music universe, with its various rhythms such as samba, maxixe, schotish, waltz and frevo. (info excerpted from official website, here )
CD front: Trio Choro Moderno, Bolo de Fubá (independent, 2017)
The CD was recorded in 2016 and contain twelth tracks, most of them arranged and composed by members of the trio (- for details, see Discos do Brasil here) -  Here's the title track of the cd from a YouTube video


There are a couple of new arrangements of well known choros, i.e. Arranca Toca (Meira) and Cristal¨by Jacob do Bandolim, the last mentioned also available in a YouTube video


The CD by Trio Choro Moderno is recommended and available for purchase as digital download here 
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Jo
choromusic.blogspot@gmail.com