Friday, December 30, 2016

Mestrinho & Nicolas Krassik

Nicolas Krassik (v), Mestrinho (acc) (photo by Rodrigo Ramalho)
I'll end 2016 at this blog by pointing you to a terrific CD released earlier this year featuring eleven tracks of virtuosic interplay and great music by the Mestrinho and Nicolas Krassik duo. The CD was released by Biscoito Fino and you can find more info here  and here
CD front, Mestrinho & Nicolas Krassik (Biscoito Fino, 2016)
Nicolas Krassik should be well known to readers of this blog. The French violinist (b 1969) has resided in Brazil since 2001 and is a highly respected musician on the Brazilian popular scene today. Nicolas Krassik has both conducted  a solo career in Brazil and  participated in performance and recordings by Brazilian artists such as Yamandú Costa, Hamilton de Holanda, Carlos Malta, Marisa Monte, Beth Carvalho, João Bosco, Gilberto Gil a.o.. It was during Krassik's collaboration with Gilberto Gil he met and became friends with accordionist Mestrinho, who also was a member of Gil's band. Mestrinho (b 1988) is from a musical family, and at the age of 6 he was already playing accordion and at age 12 he started performing on band tours in the area where he lived. Since childhood he has been influenced by the music of Dominguinhos, Sivuca, Oswaldinho do Acordeon, Hermeto Pascoal, Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, Elba Ramalho, a.o.. Mestrinho has accompanied Dominguinhos in several shows throughout Brazil, and he has worked and recorded with Elba Ramalho and participated in Gilberto Gil's shows and recordings, in addition he also works as a producer and arranger and has recorded under his own name. 
Mestrinho & Nicolas Krassik (photo by Rodrigo Ramalho)
The CD by Mestrinho and Nicolas Krassik has eleven tracks of music by the duo, the musical style is influenced by the modern forró tradition known from works by  Dominguinhos a.o. - a composition by Dominguinhos opens the CD, Nilopolitano, and world famous accordionist Sivuca is represented through two of his co-compositions, João e Maria and Feira de Mangaio. Mestrinho is represented through two self penned compositions, Um sorriso de esperanca and Em minha alma, and Nicolas Krassik also contributes two of his own compositions, Cordestinos and Serelepe. The remaining repertoire comprises the duo's interpretation of Formosa by Baden Powell, Diabinho maluco by Jacob do Bandolim, Desvairada by Garoto and Villa-Lobos' Melodia sentimental. The interplay by the duo is terrific and leaves plenty of space for improvisation and attentive accompaniement by both artists, the result is an integrated and magnificent CD that showcasts both musicians' skills as great performers of a repertoire of fascinating and almost mesmerizing music. Highly recomended for repeated listening! - The CD may be purchased in mp3 format here 
Nicolas Krassik and Mestrinho in performance (photo by Renata Samarco)
The photo above was shot at a live performance by the duo last year presenting the material of the CD for an audience at the choro club of Brasilia. From this live performance  the duo's interpretation of 'Feira de Mangaio' has been recorded and uploaded at YouTube, inserted below 

To end this small review of the Mestrinho and Nicolas Krassik CD, I also like to point you to a TV presentation of the duo made earlier this year. The program is almost one hour, has some spoken info in between music and contains excellent performance by the duo of music from the CD, to be watched at You Tube here 
A Happy New Year 2017 - Um feliz ano novo 2017!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Abismo de Rosas - A Perennial Classic

Americo Jacomino 'Canhoto'
Americo Jacomino 'Canhoto' (1889-1928) is considered the founder of the violão brasileiro tradition and was elected 'Rei do Violão Brasileiro' after participating in the first officially organized contest of guitarists in Rio de Janeiro 1927 sponsored by the Correio da Manhä newspaper. Canhoto (- meaning 'lefthanded' in English) was one of three finalists, the other two were the blind guitarist Manoel de Lima and a 10 years old girl named Ivonne Rebello. Canhoto contributed with three of his own compositions, Marcha triunfal brasileira, Abismo de rosas and Marcha dos marinheiros and was awarded the first prize which bore the name of 'João Pernambuco' - another of the early Brazilian guitarists of importance and fame in the foundation of the violão brasileiro tradition. All three compositions played by Canhoto at the contest have since belonged to the classic repertoire of the violão, however, the most often performed piece probably is the waltz titled Abismo de rosas - a perennial classic and a stepstone for aspiring guitarists, even today.
Odeon 122933, Abysmo de Rozas
According to available infoCanhoto composed Abismo de Rosas in 1905 following an outburst of a broken heart because he had just been abandoned by his girlfriend. He made three recordings of this waltz: the first, with the name Acordes de violão, was launched at Odeon 121249 in mid-1916 (- available at the two cd-set devoted to solo guitar recordings by Canhoto c.1913-28 on Revivendo, PVPC 008, vol. 1, track 10 or for listening in streaming audio at Instituto Moreira SalLes); the second time, now with the title Abysmo de rozas, the waltz was launched at Odeon 122933 (-see above) in 1925 (- some sources mention 1926) - probably the best known version. The third time Abismo de rosas was added lyrics (by Joäo do Sul) and issued on Odeon 10021 in August 1927, one of the first electrically recorded discs in Brazil. - Below is inserted the audio of Odeon 122933 uploaded at YouTube (- also available in streaming audio at Instituto Moreira Salles)

As mentioned, Abismo de rosas is a perennial classic in the violão brasileiro repertoire, and the composition has been recorded by numerous Brazilian guitarists. Below I'll insert some examples of performance of the the tune by some of the renowned guitarists to celebrate the Centennial of the first recording of this classic
Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) recorded his version of the waltz playing the violão tenor accompanied by another guitarist in 1942 (Odeon 12201-A)

Next example is Dilermando Reis playing Abismo de rosas, which he recorded several times during his career (- first time in 1952 on a 78 rpm), the version below is probably copied from the LP issue of the tune (- dated 1968 at YouTube)

A live performance of Abismo de rosas as played by Antonio Rago has been saved from a TV show and uploaded at YouTube, inserted here

Raphael Rabello also performed Abismo de rosas in one of his live concerts

Before inserting the last video example this time, I'd like to point to a CD from 2003 recorded by the excellent erudite guitarist Gilson Antunes devoted solely to music composed by Americo Jacomino 'Canhoto'. Arrangements are drawn from the original manuscripts by Canhoto, and there are sixteen tracks at the CD - one of them moreover performed by Gilson Antunes at the guitar of Canhoto
Gilson Antunes, Obras Para Violão de Américo Jacomino (2003)
Gilson Antunes is a professor of the violão and a co-founder of the Violão Brasileiro website, an indispensible resource for research of the guitar in Brazil, accessible hereA career profile of Gilson Antunes (- in Portuguese only) is available at this resource site, hereand in the discography section of the profile you have the opportunity to listen to all tracks in full length of the mentioned CD. Gilson Antunes has further uploaded the CD for free download at his blog, hereand guitarists interested in the written music as played by Gilson Antunes have the opportunity to download a pdf of his transcription of Abismo de rosas, here
Gilson Antunes
To end this, here is Gilson Antunes' recording of Abismo de rosas from the above mentioned CD


Monday, October 31, 2016

New CD From Choro das Tres - Impressões

CD front, Choro das Tres - Impressões (Macole, 2016)
The fabulous Choro das Tres ensemble has just released their 6th CD in Brazil titled Impressões (in English: Impressions). The CD was recorded earlier this year and issued internationally in April on Pixinguinha's birthday (April 23th, Choro Day in Brazil and elsewhere) just in time to promote Choro das Tres' US tour this year. The liner notes inform on the background of the CD, quote: "We have devoted the last four years to producing never-before-recorded music that follows traditional Brazilian choro instrumental styles. (-) Now we have produced Impressões (Impressions). It incorporates our impressions of other styles of music, including forró (from northeastern Brazil), chamamé (from northern Argentina), European styles such as romance and musette, and even American jazz inspired by Benny Goodman." The repertoire consists of 14 new compositions, some of them composed by members of the ensemble, some by friends, a.o. Leroy Amêndola, who contributed two pieces, Forró Barroco and O Céu de Waldir, the last mentioned with participation of Danilo Brito playing cavaquinho solo. Accordionist Thadeu Romano and Elisa Meyer, bandolinista of Choro das Tres, co-composed Festa no Chiqueiro and Thadeu Romano also participates as accordionist in Floreio. Composer and cavaquinista Pacheco has contributed as composer and instrumentalist in three tracks: 7 Belo, Garota and No Velho 18. Choro das Tres members are Corina Meyer Ferreira (flute), Elisa Meyer Ferreira (bandolim, banjo, clarinet, piano), Lia Meyer Ferreira (violão 7 cordas) and their father Eduardo Ferreira (pandeiro). The CD is available for purchase here 
Choro das Tres, l-r:
Eduardo Ferreira (pandeiro), Corina (flute), Elisa (bandolim), Lia (violão 7 cordas)
As mentioned in the liner notes above, the music at the CD extends choro and i.e. also includes forró. The first track of the CD, Forró Barroco composed by Leroy Amêndola was performed by Choro das Tres during their US tour and recorded on video uploaded at YouTube

The romance for flute and piano, A Espera de Ti by Corina and Elisa Meyer available at the new CD was also recorded on video during the US tour and is inserted below

The magnificent production of the material recorded at the CD with participation of invited guest performers in some tracks convinces this listener that the flawless execution of the tunes and the virtuosic instrumental skills by the young members of Choro das Tres mark yet another successful CD album by this fabulous ensemble. To end this small review, here's another video recording from the US tour this year, a duo version of Luperce Miranda's Quando Me Lembro - not available at the new CD, but here a showcase for bandolim and violão 7 cordas - enjoy!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dois Destinos (2016) - Marco Pereira toca Dilermando Reis

Dilermando Reis (1916-1977)
Dilermando Reis (1916-1977) was an accomplished master of the Brazilian guitar tradition founded by the likes of Americo Jacomino Canhoto and João Pernambuco. Reis began his career in the 1930s, when he moved from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. There he gave guitar lessons at the Bandolim de Ouro and A Guitarra de Prata music stores and made the acquaintance of fellow guitarist and educator João Pernambuco. He worked sporadically at Radio Guanabara and in 1945 formed the regional for the Radio Club of Brazil that included Waldir Azevedo on cavaquinho. In 1956, he signed a contract with Rádio Nacional, where he remained until 1969. He had a successful career as a radio star in the 1950s and from the mid-1950 through the 1960s recorded many successful LPs of his own compositions and arrangements, and in 1970 Radamés Gnattali dedicated his Concerto #1 for violão and orchestra to Reis, who recorded it that same year. His preference was the traditional Brazilian guitar style: waltzes and choros. He recorded many of his own compositions, several became standards of Brazilian popular guitar, i.e. the waltzes Dois Destinos and Se Ela Perguntar and the choros Doutor Sabe Tudo and Magoado. In 1972, he recorded the LP Dilermando Reis toca Pixinguinha (- re-issued on cd) containing his arrangements of well known pieces by Pixinguinha in a duo setting - one of the most successful choro recordings before the choro revival and still highly recommended. Dilermando Reis also gave concerts outside Brazil and has been featured on TV in the USA. He had many students, both professional and amateur guitarists, a.o. the daughter of the Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek.

September 22 this year marked the Centennial of Dilermando Reis and this has been an occasion to celebrate his importance to the Brazilian guitar tradition. Here I like to focus on a new CD recorded by the Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira, who released the CD Dois Destinos earlier this year devoted to music composed by Dilermando Reis in new arangements.
Dois Destinos, Marco Pereira toca Dilermando Reis (Borandá)
The CD has 12 arrangenments by Marco Pereira of Dilermando Reis compositions, only two tracks are solo renditions (Se Ela Perguntar and Flor de Aguapé) while the remaining ten tracks have Pereira accompanied by Toninho Ferragutti (acc), Toninho Carrasqueira (fl), Neymar Dias, Guto Wirtti (b), Sergio Reze (dm), Amoy Ribas (perc), Luca Raele, Diogo Maia (cl) in various combinations (- detailed info at Discos do Brasil, here)  
Marco Pereira (courtesy
The repertoire of the disc includes the waltzes Se Ela Perguntar, Flor de Aguapé, Noite de Lua and the title track Dois Destinos besides the batuque Xodó da Bahiana and the choros Gente Boa, Caxinguelê, Tempo de Criança, Feitiço, Vê Se Te Agrada, Dr. Sabe Tudo and Magoado. The performance of each track is excellent, both solo pieces like Se Ela Perguntar and the ensemble versions have Marco Pereira up front playing marvellous renditions of the music adding great improvisation to the themes in the ensemble pieces. The accompanying musicians are well chosen for a successful performance, and all involved contribute excellent support to Pereira's guitar work. The music at the CD is an updated issue of both well known and lesser known compositions by Dilermando Reis, and every track is a delight to listen to, highly recommended both as a great tribute to Reis' music and as a set of contemporary recordings highlighting Marco Pereira's skills both as a brilliant instrumentalist and as a great arranger. - The CD is available for purchase including audio examples hereand you may also buy it from CD Baby that features the album notes, here 

Below I'll insert a couple of uploaded YouTube videos featuring performance by Marco Pereira of music available at the Dois Destinos CD. Here is first Marco Pereira in solo performance of Reis' Se Ela Perguntar, recorded recently at the Ciclo Vilonístico de Niterói, RJ

Next, here is a live performance of Xodó da Bahiana featuring Marco Pereira accompannied by Guto Wirtti (baixo) and Bebê Kramer (accordion)

Finally, the promotion video of the Dois Destinos CD is inserted including spoken info by Marco Pereira and the producer of the disc Swami Jr. and the studio recording of Reis' Tempo de Criança a.o.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jacob do Bandolim News

Jacob in performance at at the Cine-teatro Paramount, São Paulo 1954
Today it has been 47 years since Jacob do Bandolim passed away following a heart attack. Jacob's importance as a musician, composer, researcher and tireless spokesman in favour of choro luckily has been kept well alive since his untimely passing by countless followers in Brazil and elsewhere. In 2002, the Instituto do Jacob do Bandolim was established to preserve and inform about Jacob's legacy, the website devoted to this project remains an indispensable resource for researchers of everything concerning Jacob do Bandolim. In July this year, the IJB has announced a sensational finding of a movie clip with Jacob performing, previously no moving pictures of Jacob do Bandolim had been available besides a short filmed interview without audio. The new film was announced at TV Bandeirantes followed by an interview with Sérgio Prata and Jorge Cardoso, both members of IJB. The film clip was made in 1954 at the Cine-teatro Paramount in São Paulo, and according avaiable info in the uploaded video issue you can also watch Aracy de Almeida, Blecaute, Eleninha Silveira and Inezita Barroso accompanied by Regional do Canhoto

Another new finding according Jacob do Bandolim was also announced last month. The Instituto Piano Brasileiro has recently acquired a collection of reel tapes from the Acervo de Neusa França (- a female pianist), among the tapes was the complete recording of a Sarau (- an informal house concert) featuring Jacob do Bandolim and Época de Ouro, made November 11, 1967 at the home of Neusa França. The recording has been digitized at Instituto Piano Brasileiro and made free accessible for the public in an uploaded audio-video at YouTube, inserted below. The total time of the video is more than four hours,  and if you consult the video at the YouTube website, a detailed list of contents is available in the featured comments from the publisher. NB The recording also features other performers besides Jacob and Época de Ouro, see list of details with the video at YouTube.

To commemorate the importance and inspiration of Jacob do Bandolim an accomplished bandolinista, Luiz Pardal, has uploaded a video of his performance of a self composed Valsa Estudo. The title of the piece is Viva Jacob, an appropriate title and a nice piece of music to end this blog entry, I think.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mistura & Manda - Lloros

Mistura & Manda, Lloros, RGS Music (2016)
Choro is a genuine Brazilian instrumental music style that originated in Rio de Janeiro during the late Century and the music has a strong and living tradition in Brazil even today. In recent years choro has also had a still growing attention and audience outside Brazil, today choro is performed by devoted and skilled musicians both in USA, Europe and other parts of the world including several South American countries. Here I'll present the Argentinian choro ensemble Mistura & Manda from Buenos Aires and their new CD Lloros that was released internationally last month.
Mistura & Manda quartet (photo by Mariano Frisoli)
Mistura &Manda (- named after a famous choro by cavaquinho player Nelson Alves, who  played in the Grupo de Chiquinha Gonzaga and was one of the founding members of Oito Batutas in 1919 together with Pixinguinha and later performed with Pixinguinha's Guarda Velha) is a choro quartet from Buenos Aires. The ensemble was established twelve years ago and the present formation consists of Gabriel Trucco (flute and piano), Sebastián Luna (bandolim and cavaquinho), Esteban Ibáñez (acoustic guitar) and Ariel Malerba (percussion). The quaret has released a CD in 2011 titled Choro Vivo including music by Brazilian choro composers such as Pixinguinha, Ernesto Nazareth, Jacob do Bandolim a.o.. You have the opportunity to listen to this album in full length at Sound Cloud, here 
Mistura & Manda, Choro Vivo , RGS Music (2011)
The new CD by Mistura & Manda, Lloros, contains music composed by Argentinian musicians including members of the ensemble and may be considered a special issue being the first collection of choros composed by Argentinian artists. Among the compositions are contribution by Horacio Salgán and Roberto Grela, both best known as tango musicians, further Eduardo Falú, Atahualpa Yupanqui and Rudi Flores - well known interpretors of Argentinian folk music tradition, and besides contributions by members of Mistura & Manda the Argentinian swing guitar legend Oscar Alemán is also represented. The CD has twelve tracks and in some of the recordings Mistura & Manda is extended with guest appearance by Trío Turuna from Rio de Janeiro: Marcilio Lopes (bandolim), Jayme Vignoli (cavaquinho) and Paulo Aragao (8 string guitar), other guests participating are Juan Falú (guitar), Rudi Flores (guitar) and Niní Flores (accordeon). The music at the disc is excellent and well performed by all involved, highly recommended as a great example of how the choro style has been adopted by Argentinian artists. The CD is available for purchase as mp3 download here ,and below I'll insert some examples of the presented music uploaded at YouTube.

The first track at the CD is a choro by Horacio Salgán titled Choro en Fa sostenido and the performance featuring Mistura & Manda and Trio Turuna was filmed during the recording in studio and has been uploaded at YouTube

From the same studio recording was also Tango Brasileiro by Rudi Flores filmed

Another composition by Horacio Salgán, Un chorinho a la antigua, was also filmed during the recording of the CD, Mistura & Manda is again extended with Trío Turuna

As mentioned, swing guitar legend Oscar Alemán is also represented in the repertoire of the disc, and to end this small presentation of Lloros by Mistura & Manda, I'll insert the ensemble's version of Alemán's choro titled Casi negro, which has been uploaded at YouTube as an audio video together with several of the remaining tracks at the CD.


Saturday, June 25, 2016


This month the choro music weblog celebrates its 10th year of existence and to mark this jubilee I have chosen the Portuguese word 'alegria' to summarize my own experience of having had the opportunity to explore and share a small part of the tradition associated with the Brazilian genuine music known as choro. Alegria means 'joy' in English and for me it has been a joy to share my experience of choro related subjects with readers of the blog. I am forever thankful that my late friend and originator of the choro music weblog, Hans Koert (1951-2014), created a platform to expose choro outside Brazil for an English speaking public with interest in sharing our common passion for this great music. - To celebrate the jubilee of the blog, I like to point you to a couple of recently released choro related CD albums and a TV recorded concert which altogether evaluate the meaning of 'alegria' in this context.
Trio Brasileiro - Caminho do meio (Casa do Som, CD 2015)
The great Trio Brasileiro has recently released the ensemble's second CD, Caminho do meio, and generously made it available for free download at the official website of the group. Further, the audio has also been uploaded at YouTube by Dudu Maia, the bandolinista of the trio, accessible here. Trio Brasileiro was formed in 2011 and integrates Dudu Maia (bandolim), Douglas Lora (violão 7 cordas) and Alexandre Lora (pandeiro and percussion). The trio released its first CD in 2012 titled Simples Assim including a repertoire of both classic choro tunes and compositions by the group members, the CD is still available for purchase here. The new CD has a repertoire of 12 tunes, 11 of them compositions by individual members of the trio, the last track is the trio's version of J.S. Bach's Allegro from violin sonatta II. The music composed by the trio members represents influence from different sources of Brazilian music tradition, notably those associated with the North East of Brazil, but it's dificult to differentiate further for this listener. The many flavours of choro, however, are recognisable throughout these magnificent recordings by Trio Brasileiro which were recorded and produced at Dudu Maia's studio in Brasilia, Casa do Som, in 2015. Highly recommended!
Anat Cohen and Trio Brasileiro - Alegria da casa (Anzic Records, LLC 2016)
Trio Brasileiro has enjoyed international success since the formation of the ensemble in 2011, especially an American public in the US has been introduced to the rich Brazilian instrumental music tradions associated with choro and related genres by frequent visits of the trio at concerts, workshops and choro conventions. In 2013, Trio Brasileiro and the New York based female clarinetist Anat Cohen had a collaboration which resulted in the recording of the shown CD album Alegria da casa. The CD was recorded in September 2013 at Dudu Maia's Casa do Som studio in Brasilia and has been released internationally last month by Anat Cohen's own label, Anzic Records.
Anat Cohen and Trio Brasileiro (photo from CD package)
Anat Cohen is a highly estimated reed player, notably known for her contributions in jazz and a successful international career as a prizewinning clarinetist with several recorded albums in her own name and in collabarotion with internationally acknowleged artists. Besides jazz related project, Anat Cohen has also contributed to choro and helped spreading the music to an American public since 2001, i.e. through her collaboration with Brazilian musicians in her own Choro Ensemble which released two CD albums in 2005 and 2007. Learn more about Anat Cohen's career and recordings at the official website, here
Tracklist featured at Alegria da casa CD
The music featured at the CD contains both arrangements of clasic choro compositions like Murmurando and the two Jacob do Bandolim pieces, Feia and Santa Morena, besides three compositions by Anat Cohen and Douglas Lora each and the title track Alegria da casa by Dudu Maia. The eleven tracks at the CD represent different aspects of choro and related instrumental genres with plenty of space left for improvisation and great interplay. Together the four musicians have created a magnificent musical result that leaves the listener the opportunity to enjoy the virtuosic playing by all involved and the spontaneous atmosphere of the performance - highly recommended! - The CD is available for purchase here

As mentioned above, Anat Cohen has long been involved in choro besides her career as a jazz artist and she is currently leading a choro quartet in New York named Choro Aventuroso featuring three Brazilian musicians. Her musicians are Vitor Goncalves (accordion), Cesar Garabini (violão 7 cordas) and Sergio Krakowski (pandeiro). In the fall of 2014, Cohen and Choro Aventuroso had the opportunity to showcase at Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC, and the performance was recorded and transmitted at the npr TV chanel. The concert has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below to share a great musical event celebrating choro - enjoy it in full screen mode!