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!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Conjunto Água de Vintém Revisited

Conjunto Água de Vintém
Some months ago I presented the young choro ensemble Conjunto Água de Vintém from Piracicaba (SP) after having been listening to the recordings at the CD Água de Vintém interpreta Sergio Belluco (2015). If you missed the blog entry, it's still available here 

Just recently I found a lengthy TV presentation of Água de Vintém in performance uploaded at YouTube which I like to share here as this months contribution at the blog. The TV presentation includes performance of music from the mentioned CD as well as other great choro music. In between sets there is spoken info (-in Portuguese) about the music by Guilherme Soares, who plays the violão in the ensemble - the other bandmembers are Vitor Casagrande (bandolim), Saulo Ligo (cavaco), Marcus Godoy (violão de 7 cordas) and Xeina Barros (pandeiro). - Learn more about Conjunto Água de Vintém at the official website, here,   and also pay a visit at the ensemble's YouTube Channel for more videos and the Sound Cloud site with more audio, here 

Here is the mentioned TV performance, recorded in October last year by TV USP Piracicaba for the progam Música na ESALQ - enjoy!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016


A couple of days ago I found out that the account for the Oscar Alemán website including Hans Koert's original OA online dicopgraphy a.o. hosted at is suspended (see previous blog entry). Unfortunately, I have not access to this account, thus, a renewal is out of my hands. Things are a bit complicated, as Hans Koert did not provide me with info how to handle a situation like this, and I now regret that I never asked, before it was too late. However, Hans Koert had a back-up of the online OA Discography uploaded at a local net-server, fortunately this version of the discography still works at my computer. Here is the link.

I cannot assure that the link works outside Europe/EUC and I would appreciate to have feed-back from readers of other regions/countries to clarify, if the mentioned link is accessible at their locations.

Visitors can contact me by using the e-mail stated below.

Until I have worked out an updated version of Hans Koert's online Oscar Alemán Discography, which may take some time, researchers of Alemán's recorded legacy have access to the latest updated info by visiting the recently published OA discography by Andrés 'Tito' Liber hosted at the weblog of Hot Club de Boedo, here 

Thanks for your support and understanding.

Jørgen Larsen

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Everything concerning Hans Koert's El Redescubrimiento de Oscar Alemán /The Rediscovery of Oscar Alemán project including the online OA Discography created by HK has suddenly vanished from the web, visitors have the following message:

*"This account has been suspended.
Either the domain has been overused, or the reseller ran out of resources."

Further, as a consequence of the suspended account the following of HKs work is also no longer available online:

Hit of The Week Discography, Durium Advertisement and Custom Records Discography, Durium (GB) Discography, the link site (Survey) and  HKs Articles index including uploaded pdf files.

Visitors get this message:

"Not Found - The requested URL /how.htm was not found on this server. Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/2 Server at Port 80"

Until I find out what has happened to the mentioned websites, all further activity at the weblogs associated with the keepitswinging.doman is suspended.

Thanks for your support and understanding.

Jørgen Larsen

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Choro Day

Since the year 2000 Pixinguinha's birthday has been officially celebrated in Brazil as Dia Nacional do Choro. The 23. April this year also commemorate the official date of William Shakespeare's passing. Both Pixinguinha and Shakespeare belong to the immortal artists, Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, while Pixinguinha is considered one of the greatest Brazilian composers of popular music, particularly within the genre of music known as choro. Both men created a new language through their artistic production - here I'll concentrate on some of Pixinguinha's great works as performed today.

Pixinguinha (April 23, 1897 - February 7, 1973)
Two young musicians, Rafa Nascimento (violão 7 cordas) and Marcel Santiago (bandolim), pay their homage to Pixinguinha in this short video uploaded three days ago

From a choro festival in 2011 Luis Barcelos (bandolim) & Regional Imperial performed Pixinguinha's homage to his people - Minha Gente 

Pixinguinha's music guided the way for the contemporary conception of choro music, here's another example from the same concert - Acerto o Passo 

Pixinguinha's music is often played at concerts and rodas de choros in Brazil, his music has become part of the Brazilian people's national identity and is celebrated whenever a moment's notice is available. Here are some more examples of some of Pixinguinha's immortal pieces.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Velha Amizade - Proveta & Penezzi Celebrating Old Friendship In Music

Nailor Proveta (cl), Alessandro Penezzi (violão 7 cordas) (photo by Stela Handa)
Last year was released a CD featuring reed player Nailor Proveta and guitarist Alessandro Penezzi with the title Velha Amizade (Capucho Produções 2015). The title of the CD means 'old friendship' in English, and the idea was to celebrate the friendship between the two musicians in a CD production of instrumental music composed by the duo especially for this project. The result is a marvellous album of virtuosic interplay and highly elaborated tunes expressing the true spirit of friendship in instrumental music of great beauty reflecting both tradition and contemporary choro as well as related genres.
CD front, Velha Amizade (Capucho Produções 2015)
The CD has 13 tracks, eight of the tunes are composed by Penezzi, four by Proveta and one by the duo together. Info about single tracks is available at Discos do Brasil, here. What struck me when listening to the album was the impression of a wealth of musical ideas being presented and worked out in every track, both musicians contribute with inspired and flawless playing at a high artistic level and the interplay is just amazing. I think Paulo Aragão, who wrote the liner notes for the CD, has expressed the spirit of the music and characterized the two musicians better than I am able to:

"In music, as in football, the meeting of star players is no guarantee of a perfect set. More than the sum of individuals, it is necessary to have generosity, delivery, engagement, communion. The CD Velha Amizade celebrates the meeting of two of the greatest instrumentalists in Brazil, Nailor Proveta and Alessandro Penezzi. And here the symbiosis of the great musical encounters is present from the first to the last note.(-) Proveta and Penezzi are two rare artists. On the one hand, they play with the naturalness of a speaker, play with such virtuosity that musical ideas seem to overflow. On the other, they do not let the music be poured out, when there is no note to be played. Above all, however, generosity prevails.(-) We could emphasize the modernity emanating from Proveta and Penezzi's music [...], the concern for the search of the most sinuous melodies, the most surprising harmonies. We could also speak of tradition that permeates the whole concept of their music. After all, composing or playing are two musicians who look forward without fighting with the legacies of the past. In addition to modern or traditional, though, this is an extemporaneous meeting. The old friendship celebrated in this disc is enduring.(-) In dry times, Proveta and Penezzi show the way in which Brazilian instrumental music is fluent and full of energy." (my English translation)

In the duet setup of the disc Proveta provides the melody lead on clarinet, alto or soprano sax while Penezzi contributes extremely elaborate accompaniement on violão 7 cordas, together they create a never stagnant but lively and colorful soundscape of great beauty. Tempo is mostly vivid throughout and the mood is light and marks the spirit of good friendship striving for a common quest for harmony and the clearest expression of the musical ideas being presented. I highly recommend this co-work between two giants of contemporary Brazilian instrumental music.

The CD is available for purchase as download at Alessandro Penezzi's web at bandcamp, here. You also have the opportunity to listen to all tracks in full length at the mentioned website.
Proveta and Penezzi celebrating old friendship in music (photo by Stela Handa)
To end this and give you an impression of the featured music on the Velha Amizade CD, I'll insert an uploaded video from the recording of the first track at the CD. The title of this tune composed by Penezzi is Jeringonça - enjoy!


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tiago Tunes - Young Bandolim 10 Cordas Talent

Tiago Tunes
I am often amazed by the fact that Brazil keeps fostering so many talented musicians. Unfortunately, many of these talents are mostly unknown outside Brazil, only coincidences seem to determine, if they are discovered by a foreign audience. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier to get exposed in spite of the location. If you are looking for new talented musicians in Brazil, YouTube and Sound Cloud are resources to check out, especially if you are not too familiar with the Brazilian media and the Portuguese language, I think. - Recently I browsed Sound Cloud for streaming audio of contemporary choro to explore what is available and found the playlist for the album shown below here  
CD front - Tiago Tunes (2015)
There are eleven tracks in the playlist displaying the contents of the CD which is the debut recording of Tiago Tunes. Tiago Tunes is the soloist throughout, he plays the bandolim 10 cordas and indeed is a great musician. I have not found much info available about Tiago Tunes, just a few facts telling that he is 18 years of age and from Brasilia, further that he is concidered a bandolim talent at the same high level as Hamilton de Holanda and Jacob do Bandolim a.o.. If you open the single tracks in the playlist in a seperate window, info is available on participating musicians, the musical production and direction is handled by Fernando César and the recordings were made July - October 2014 in Brasilia. The repertoire integrates compositions by Hamilton de Holanda, Jacob do Bandolim and Tiago Tunes and judging from the uploaded tracks, the actual CD definitly is worth acquiring. However, I have not found info where to buy the CD, at least it's not available outside Brazil yet and further not for purchase by online retailers so far. Nevertheless, the CD was presented at a release concert in Brasilia October 1st last year, and from this event has been uploaded some video recordings which I like to share here to give you an impression of a talented, young performer supported by excellent backing musicians.
Tiago Tunes in performance at Clube de Choro, Brasilia
The last track in the playlist of the CD is a solo presentation by Tiago Tunes of Hamilton de Holanda's Capricho de Espanha, a tour-de-force for the bandolim 10 cordas. Here is the version as presented at the release concert of the CD

An up-tempo choro composed by Tiago Tunes, Javali Diletante, was also presented at the release concert.Tiago Tunes is accompanied by Fernando César (violão 7 Cordas), Juninho Alvarenga (cavaquinho), Igor Diniz (double bass) and Valério Xavier (pandeiro)

A couple of compositions by Jacob do Bandolim presented at the concert has also been video recorded and uploaded, here is first Tiago Tunes and ensemble performing Jacob's Doce de Coco

Mexidinha, a polca-choro or mazurka by Jacob do Bandolim, was also presented and is featured in the playlist of the CD

The concert also had a guest performance by Matheus Donato (cavaquinho 5 cordas) who shared solo spots with Tiago Tunes in Um Chorinho em Cochabamba, an up-tempo choro by Eduardo Neves and Rogério Caetano to end the show. Enjoy it here