Friday, August 31, 2007

A Homage To Jacob do Bandolim

The musical legacy of Jacob do Bandolim (1918-1969) is still an important part of the music scene in Brazil. Recently I learned from a Brazilian music news blog that a new cd featuring compositions of Jacob do Bandolim has just been released. The cd is the result of a co-work between the renowned arranger and pianist, Laércio de Freitas, and the talented young master of the violão, Alessandro Penezzi. Outside Brazil Laércio de Freitas is perhaps best known for his work as an arranger for the famous Orchestra Tábajara (- one of the World's oldest big bands still playing and touring) and from his co-operation with the Radamés Gnattali Sextet as a pianist. More info about the career of Laércio de Freitas is to be found in a short profile (- in Portuguese only) published in a preview of the cd fearuting music by Jacob do Bandolim, click here

Alessandro Penezzi (b.1974) has already launched a solo career as an excellent guitarist, often participating in rodas de choro and having released more cds that have been received well by critics as well as by the public. Learn more about Alessandro Penezzi from his official website (- in Portuguese only) including video and audio clips, click here
The cd by Laécio de Freitas and Alessandro Penezzi, "Homenageia Jacob do Bandolim" (Maritaca, M1023), contains 13 tracks including both well known pieces (i.e. "Ginga do Mané", "Velhos Tempos" and "Simplicidade") and lesser known ( i.e."Boas vidas", "Chorinho na praia") by Jacob do Bandolim - tracklist available clicking headline. The cd was released in Brazil in July and will be available in the US and Europe during September, however, you may order it already using the online facility of Samba Store.
I found a video on YouTube featuring de Freitas and Penezzi recorded at the release event of the cd paying homage to the music of Jacob do Bandolim. Enjoy it!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Garoto's Music In Words

In a comment regarding the previous entry on the Trio Surdina Story article by Jorge Mello Zé Carlos of Sovaco de Cobra , a great web-resource according Brazilian Music (in Portuguese only, unfortunately), has good news to all interested in the musical legacy of Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha, 1915-1955).
Zé Carlos wrote: "I've started recently a series about "lyricized" music of Garoto. It's intended to review more than 50 tunes (some of them totally new and unreleased) in weekly articles, offering plenty of rich content: histories, rare images and audios. Unfortunalety it's avaliable only in Portuguese by now (an English version is due to be published as soon as possible." It's great to learn that Garoto's legacy in Brazilian music is kept alive and researched in articles as the mentioned, this is a proper way to reach a larger public interested in the subject but perhaps unaware of details regarding the works of Garoto.
Click on headline to read the introductory article by Zé Carlos and follow the links in the article to reach the first three contributions on musical compositions/"lyricized" music of Garoto. As mentioned, the text is in Portuguese only by now, however, readers of this blog will be notified when a version in English is available later.
The latest article by Zé Carlos deals with the tune "Amoroso", a composition originally recorded as an instrumental by Garoto and Carolina Cardoso de Menezes in 1944. On the original recording Garoto played the electric Hawaiian guitar accompanied by the piano of Carolina Cardoso de Menezes. I found a video performance of "Amoroso", here played on cavaquinho accompanied by guitars and recorded at a roda de choro in Rio's famous 'Bandolim de Oro' store

Many of Garoto's compositions from his later years have since become standard repertoire with guitarplayers, one of them is "Lametos do Morro", here performed by an accomplished young guitarist

One of Garoto's compositions has become the piece-de-resistance among choro solo guitarists, the valse-choro "Desvairada", originally played on bandolim by Garoto. Here is a rendition by the guitar wizard, Raphael Rabello that leaves me speechless and running out of words


Friday, August 17, 2007

Trio Surdina Story

The formation and music of the Trio Surdina is an important chapter in the story of choro and MPB as an example of the transition from the classic choro tradition of the 1940s developed by Pixinguinha & Lacerda a.o. to the bossa nova style of the 50s and early 60s invented and refined by Brazilian artists like João Gilberto and Jobim. Now the story of the Trio Surdina has been documented in detail by the Brazilian researcher and musician, Jorge Mello, in a well researched article, published and translated from the Portuguese into English by Daniella Thompson at her Musica Brasiliensis website.

The article by Jorge Mello sets focus on both the formation of the Trio Surdina and the music recorded by the trio - the latter a hitherto complicated matter due to lack of exact discographical info, now finally uncovered. Trio Surdina was formated in 1951 and consisted of Garoto (Aníbal Augusto Sardinha, 1915–1955), guitar, Fafá Lemos (Rafael Lemos Junior, 1921–2004),violin, and Chiquinho do Acordeón (Romeu Seibel, 1928–1993), accordion.
The trio was invented and brought together on the initiative of Paulo Tapajós, then a musical director of Rádio Nacional and hosting a program named 'Música em Surdina' (- meaning Music on the Quiet). The concept of the program was to take excellent soloists hired by the station from the orchestral mass and putting them in small groups. So, Tapajós created the Trio Surdina, they would entertain the listeners, playing refined instrumental music live during the broadcasts. Jorge Mello gives a detailed outline of the sceduled programmes featuring Trio Surdina starting in March 1951 and lasting until 1953 with Garoto, Lemos and Chiquinho. The programmes were well received by the public and by the critics, and this also led to recordings of the Trio Surdina. The trio was recorded by the Musidisc label and four 10 inch LPs featuring some of the trio's repertoire were issued 1953-54; detailed discographical info and reviews documented in Mello's article, too.
The recordings by Trio Surdina have not been re-issued on cd, unfortunately. The original LPs are hard to find and have become collectors items due to the high artistic standard of the performed music. You have an opportunity to listen to some of the recorded tracks in a rather poor audio issue using the online facility at Instituto Moreira Salles

The music recorded by Trio Surdina was a mix of Brazilian and international standards, also incorporating compositions by members of the group. Garoto's contributions to the trio's repertoire contained more of his later famed compositions. I insert a couple of video performances below featuring music by Garoto to illustrate the spirit of the repertoire of Trio Surdina.

One of Garoto's compositions, "Gente Humilde", also recorded by Trio Surdina, here performed as a solo guitar piece

Another solo guitar piece by Garoto, "Jorge do Fusa"

The last video this time features Marco de Pinna (violão tenor) and his group performing Garoto's "Meditando"


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mike Marshall - Hamilton de Holanda

This time I want to share with you two great mandolin players that I found in a YouTube fragment: Mike Harshall and Hamilton De Holanda. Mike Marshall is a skilled musican, master of mandolin, guitar and violin in various styles from jazz to classical to bluegrass to Latin music. He is active for many years and performed a few years ago with Hamilton de Holanda, the young bandolim player from Brazil, who combines choro and jazz music to a new personal contemporary style in music. He was one of the musicians to be heard at the North Sea Jazz Festival. I really enjoyed the concert. The fragment of a performance I want to share with you was recorded some times ago during a concert. It became a spontanious kind of fight of the mandolins that you should see - a mandolin contest between to skilled musicians. Enjoy it.

This contribution will also posted at the daily Keep swinging blogspot.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Friday, August 03, 2007

Choro Frevado

Antônio da Silva Torres (1930-2005), nicknamed Jacaré (meaning 'alligator' in Portuguese), was a gifted, self taught cavaquinho soloist from Recife, Pernambuco. From an early age he was attracted to playing the cavaquinho, his father, an amateur musician, encouraged him to play. When his father died, he soon had to earn his living as a musician and spent most of his lifetime playing bar rooms and local venues in Recife. In 1984-85, however, he was discovered and his music documented in a recording produced by Maricio Carrilho as a part of a musical project devoted to the legacy of the famous Pernambucano composer, Nelson Ferreira. The music was released by the FUNARTE foundation and is still available on a cd, 'Jacaré, Choro Frevado', in the catalogue of Atracão Records. You are able to listen to the cd at CANAL FUNARTE, click here

Discographical details available at Discos do Brasil, click here

As a small follow-up to my contribution last week on string music from Pernambuco related with choro, I highly recommend you to listen to the shown cd, as the music contained is a splendid example of the Pernambucano mixture of different musical traditions. As the title of the cd reads, the music is influenced by both choro and frevo. Like choro, frevo is closely related to the samba, and has grown and adapted into a more modern sound. Musically the frêvo is in the form of a march but is distinguished by its characteristic fast syncopation played in a very fast, binary tempo. Frevo is most popular in Pernambuco state, especially in Recife.

To illustrate frevo I found a couple of performances at YouTube inserted below. The first is a fragment of a live-performance by Armandinho and his trio playing 'Duda no frevo'

The second video features Fred Andrade & Noise Viola performing 'Último Dia'

The last video performance here demonstrates the tight connection between frevo and modern jazz guitar playing. Fred Andrade & Rodolfo Rocha playing 'Lágrima de Folião'