Friday, March 30, 2007

A Tribute to Canhoto da Paraíba

Recently I had the shown cd by Fernando Caneca, 'Visitando Canhoto da Paraíba' (Deckdisc), a great tribute to the music and guitar style of Chico Soares, the left-handed master of the violão from Pernambuco, better known as Canhoto da Paraíba. The cd was released in 2004, but according to the sleeve notes (- in Portuguese only) Fernando Caneca has been preparing these recordings since 1997, when he first discovered the music of Canhoto and started his study of the master. Fernando Caneca (b.1964) is from Pernambuco, too, has studied the violão (acoustic guitar) and given lectures at the Club de Choro Pernambuco, besides beeing an active musician in different music styles with his own groups and as an accompanist of various stars of contemporary MPB - he has even made a dissertation on the guitar style of Wes Mongomery!

The music on the mentioned cd by Fernando Caneca features 13 compositions of the works by Canhoto - if you are a guitarist, the cd also has a pdf.file included of Caneca's transcriptions in sheet, a great resource for a closer study of Canhoto's guitar style. Caneca's renditions of Canhoto's pieces are great and a marvellous example of the rich tradition of different music styles from the North Eastern part of Brazil, choros as well as other notable genres. Caneca re-creates the almost funky atmosphere of Canhoto's own recordings of the pieces - here accompanied by elctric bass guitar and percussion. The cd is a peak point of acoustic guitar wizardry and will remain among my favorites for a long time. Highly recommended!


1 - Visitando o Recife, 2 - Glória da Relâmpago, 3 - Tua Imagem, 4 - Dezenove de Março ,5 - Lembrança Que Ficou, 6 - Agudinho, 7 - Cordão Amigo, 8 - Tá Quentinho, 9 - Choro na Madrugada, 10 - Com Mais de Mil, 11 - Todo Cuidado é Pouco, 12 - O Grito do Mestre Sérgio, 13 - Forrobodó (fantasia Nordestina) Incidental: Pisando em Brasa


Friday, March 23, 2007

Zé Menezes

Zé Menezes (José Menezes de França, b.1921), guitarist, composer and multi-string player, began playing music as a child, and at eight he was invited by conductor Arlindo Cruz to play at cinemas as a professional. That year he wrote his first composition, "Meus Oito Anos." At 11, after playing with Cruz's orchestra, he joined the Banda Municipal de Juazeiro. After 1938, he was hired by Ceará Rádio Club as violonista (acoustic guitarist), forming his own regional group, which played for four years in that incarnation. In 1943 he was hired for Rádio Mayrink Veiga (Rio). There, Menezes had two weekly shows, where he solidified his career as a soloist. Menezes played at the Hotel Quitandinha (Petrópolis RJ) and, with the same group of people, in the group Milionários do Ritmo (in 1945). In the next year, he played at the Casablanca nightclub and was hired by Rádio Globo (Rio). Two years later, he joined Rádio Nacional (until 1960), where he formed a duo with violonista Garoto. With Luís Bittencourt as his stable partner, he had his composition "Nova Ilusão" recorded by Os Cariocas in 1948 and adopted as their theme song.

From the '40s through the '50s he recorded and performed on the radio regularly with Radamés Gnattali, in the Quarteto Continental, and later with the Quinteto Radamés. Upon the founding of TV Globo, he became its producer, arranger, and composer of soundtracks.

In 1959 Menezes formed the group Velhinhos Transviados, which recorded 13 LPs for RCA by 1971. He joined the exceptional Quinteto Radamés, which toured Europe in 1960. In 1995 he released the CD Chorinho in concert.

Above info supplied from a career profile by Alvaro Neder at AMG.

In Fábio Zanon's radio series, 'O Violão Brasileiro' at Rádio Cultura, SP, a recent program was devoted to Zé Menezes. The program may be downloaded from Zanon's blog, click here

I found a video performance by an anonymous ensemble playing a choro composition by Zé Menezes, "Encabulado"


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mauricio Carrilho

A year ago I made a contribution in my daily web log titled Choro also in Holland? I got a nice respons of Mariângela Guimarães, editor of the website, that want to inform its readers about the cultur in Brazil. Some days ago she contacted me again with information about a great concert of the Trio Carioca at the World Music and Dance Centre in Rotterdam, next week ( 21st of March 2007 - start 20.30 hrs. ). The line-up of the trio will be Paulo Aragao and Mauricio Carrilho on guitars and Pedro Paes on clarinet.

By change, Joergen posted a contribution on his Choro web log yesterday about Altamiro Carrilho, who happens to be Mauricio's uncle. Mauricio was born in a musical family. His father was the famous flute player and composer Altamiro Carrilho. Mauricio started to play the guitar as a kid and studied samba and choro music. In 1977 he started his career in the group the Carioquinhas, with Raphael (guitar) and Luciana Rabello ( cavaquinho). Two years later he entered the Carioca Camerata, directed by Radames Gnattali. In the 1990s he founded his own trio with Peter Amorim and Pablo Sergio Santos. They had a great hit in Brasil and abroad and made him a sought-after guitar player and arranger. He founded the Acari record label in 1999, dedicated to the Choro music.
I found an interview with Mauricio Carrilho you might find interesting ( if you understand French) and some fragments of concerts with Mauricio Carrilho on the guitar. The last one, the tune Mimosa, composed by Jacob do Bandolim has been posted before, but I like it so much that I love to share it for the second time.

A samba

Mimosa ( composed by Jaconb do Bandolim)

Most of the times I'm happy to live in the countryside in the far southwest part of the Netherlands far away from the temptations of the big city. Next week I'd wish I was in Rotterdam ( or Paris, where they play on the 25th), but the next morning 28 children, eager to learn, need all my energy. Thanks Mariângela for pointing me to this great concert and good luck with your
web site.

This contribution will also be posted at the
Keep swinging web log
Keep swinging
Hans Koert

Friday, March 16, 2007

Altamiro Carrilho

The flute has always been an essential instrument in choro, originally taking the melody leading part in the terno (- the founding formation of a choro ensemble consisting of guitar, cavaquinho and flute). In the story of choro great instrumentists like Joaquim Calado, Pattápio Silva, Pixinguinha, Benedito Lacerda, a.o. have composed choros for the flute and exhibited virtuosic skills at playing the instrument.
Altamiro Carrilho (b.1924) is a living legend in Brazil choro and considered one of the most important choro flutists ever. He demonstrated a talent for the flute as a youngster and began his career after winning an amateur talent competition when he was a youth. He worked in a pharmacy during the day and studied his instrument in the evenings. After forming his own ensemble, he had a television show for some time in 1952. His talent as a musician extended to classical music as well as popular. His trademark is the insertion of excerpts of classical pieces into choro, and vice versa. In the 1960s he was invited to give various concerts throughout the world. He has made an extensive numer of recordings, both as an accompanist and as a soloist. Moreover he has written approximately 200 pieces for flute.

A career profile by Alvaro Neder in AMG has more details, click here
If you are familiar with the Portuguese language, learn more about Altamiro Carrilho at
his official website including an extensive discography and audio, to be reached clicking
headline or

I found a couple of video performances on YouTube featuring Altamiro Carrilho. The first is a potpourri of pieces by Pixinguinha

The secound fragment features Altamiro Carrilho with Armandinho and Época de Ouro in a rendition of "Apanhei-te Cavaquinho" by Ernesto Nazareth


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Abel Ferreira - Chorando Baixinho

Alvaro Neder writes in AMG:

"One of the most important names in the choro genre, Abel Ferreira had a noted career at the prestigious Rádio Nacional after playing in the orchestras of Vicente Paiva and Bené Nunes. At Rádio Nacional, he became widely known with the Turma do Sereno and the Escola de Danças. Between the '50s and the mid-'60s, he accumulated a good deal of international experience. Throughout that period, the choro genre showed a decrease of interest from audiences, but Ferreira managed to keep himself in good shape, ready to profit on the revival of choro in the '70s as one of the most important names. An excellent improviser, Ferreira had his best moments in recordings with the Cinco Companheiros (where he played with Pixinguinha, among others). His most successful compositions are the choros "Chorando Baixinho" and "Acariciando"."

Recently EMI, Brasil, has released a magnificent cd, "Chorando Baixinho", containing 12 tracks of great choro recordings by Abel Ferreira E Seu Conjunto. The recordings were originally issued on a LP by Odeon, but have now been transferred to cd. I highly recommend this re-issue as a splendid example of Abel Ferreira's choro style. Click on picture for more info.
I found a video fragment featuring a performance of Abel Ferreira's "Chorando Baixinho"

Here's another video fragment featuring singer Nara Leao and Abel Ferreira in a TV performance


Thursday, March 08, 2007

To Share Joy And Happiness

"Celebrated on 8 March, International Women's Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future ...". Quoted from the official web devoted to IWD events around the world, learn more clicking on the shown logo.
To celebrate IWD at our blogspot, I have found three video fragments featuring accomplished female performers devoting their skills and chops to spread joy and happiness performing choro.
Enjoy a performance of "Cinco Companheiros" (= "Five Friends") a choro by Pixinguinha, in the Escola Portátil de Música - EPM,in Rio de Janeiro.

Enjoy also the group Choro das Tres celebrating National choro day (23. April, 2006) in a performance of "Brejeiro" by Ernesto Nazareth.

During a workshop featuring the famous Época de Ouro in 2002 the young bandolim player of Chora das Tres, Elisa (-then just 9 years old), had an opportunity to perform together with the stars of the choro tradition. Enjoy also this video fragment


Friday, March 02, 2007

Bandolim Pernambucano

In my latest entry I mentioned the first cd by Pedro Amorim, 'Pedro Amorim interpreta Luperce Miranda', released 1999 (- not on Arcari, as stated, but) on the French label BUDA, (CD 82897-2). Now I have had an opportunity to listen to it and below I'll add a few words regarding this great recording.

In Brazilian popular music, there are two schools of bandolim: that of Jacob Pick Bittencourt (aka Jacob do Bandolim), and that of Luperce Miranda. Jacob do Bandolim developed great improvisation skills on the instrument like a jazzplayer, and his sound was to some extent influenced by Portuguese guitar playing. Luperce Miranda was more 'Napolitan', more technical and virtuoso in the classical conception of the instrument. Luperce's expression was not as refined as Jacob's, but he showed great capacity at ornamenting the themes he played - this style of playing is known as the 'Bandolim Pernambucano' school, pointing to its regional origins in Brazil.

Luperce Miranda (1904-1977) was from Recife, Pernambuco. His father had founded a family orchestra with his 11 children. Luperce mastered the bandolim at age 12 and started composing at 15, and at age 16 he formated his own 9 piece band. In 1926 he went to Rio de Jaineiro and was soon involved in recording and radio work, accompanying the stars of the day with his own regional. In 1950 Luperce Miranda toured Europe (Germany), and in 1970 he was awarded "Bachelier da Musica Popular Brasileira". Besides his professional career he was a father of 24 children by 4 different wives (- he led parallel lives).

Pedro Amorim (b.1958), composer and multi-instrumentist (bandolim,cavaquinho, guitar and tenor guitar), started as an athlete and a student in Physical Education before he became a professional musician. He had his debut with the No em Pingo d'Aqua choro ensemble in the early 1980'ies and has since played with a lot of renowned Brazilian artists of MPB, favouring choro and samba as musical genres.

To prepare this recording of pieces by Luperce Miranda, Pedro Amorim listened to the recordings by Luperce and studied available original scores, further he developed his playing technique incorporating licks and tricks from Miranda's attitude to the instrument. Together with a group of skilled musicians he then chose a number of Miranda's pieces representing its diversity of styles. The cd contains both choros, frevo, waltzes, samba, embolada a.o - very well executed and most enjoyable. Recommended, definitely. Tracklist and personnel inserted below.

1.NÉA SORRINDO (frevo),2.PICHADINHO À BAIANA (choro).3.PRINCESINHA (valsa),4.AI MARIA (embolada),5.RESPONDE MOACIR (choro),6.BATE PALMAS (choro),7.BUMBA MEU BOI (côco),8.PINÃO (embolada),9.TEZINHA (valsa),10.REBOLICO (choro),11.SEMPRE TE AMANDO (valsa),12.MARTELANDO (choro),13.QUERIDA (chanson)

Personnel: Pedro Amorim (bandolim); Maurico Carillho (violão); Joao Lyre, Adelma Arcoverde (violão caipira); Chiquinho (acc); Marcos Suzano, Durval (perc); Zeca Assumpcão (b)

To illustrate the Bandolim Pernambucano style of playing, I found a solo-performance on YouTube of a piece by Luperce Miranda, also on the cd

I also found an ensemble performance of another piece by Luperce Miranda, enjoy it!