Saturday, January 30, 2016

Déo Rian - 70 Anos

Déo Rian & Regional Imperial - Déo Rian - 70 Anos (Pór do Som, 2015)
A new CD celebrating the 70th years anniversary of the great bandolinist Déo Rian (b. 1944) was released last year by Pór do Som, Déo Rian & Regional Imperial- Déo Rian 70 Anos, available for purchase as mp3 download here
Déo Rian & Regional Imperial (promo photo)
The CD contains 14 tracks of delightful choro music in the great tradition from Conjunto Època de Ouro and Jacob do Bandolim, a must-have for every fan of this genuine Brazilian music. Déo Rian and his conjunto are excellent representatives for the classic choro tradition reaching back to the 1940s and the famous Regional of Benedito Lacerda and Pixinguinha, later continued by Canhoto e seu Regional which accompanied Jacob do Bandolim during the 1950s and start of the 1960s until the formation of conjunto Època de Ouro was established in 1964. After Jacob do Bandolim's passing in 1969 Déo Rian became the bandolinist of Època de Ouro and was a regular member of the ensemble until 1977. Déo Rian established his own career on record in 1970 with a LP devoted to music by Ernesto Nazareth and has since released several recordings in his own name, among them two volumes of unissued compositions by Jacob do Bandolim. In 2002, Déo Rian was among the initators of establishing the Instituo Jacob do Bandolim and since 2012 he has held the chair as director. More about Déo Rian's career here 

Déo Rian is accompanied by his Regional Imperial which includes João Camarero (violão de 7 cordas), Edu Guimarães (accordion, piano), Lucas Arantes (cavaquinho), Junior Pita (violão) and Rafael Toledo (pandeiro), some tracks have guest appearance by Aline Silveira (flute), Bruno Rian (violão tenor), Rafael Mallmith (violão) and Marcus Thadeu (percussion). The audio video inserted above is a composition collaborated by Déo Rian and João Camarero titled Déo Rian aos Setenta, which introduces the new CD. Here's another audio video promoting the CD, a composition titled Três Amigos by Jacob do Bandolim/Damázio Baptista in an arrangement by  Déo Rian

Déo Rian and Regional Imperial presented music from the new CD at Festival Sesc Choro da Casa 2015, a video sequence from the concert has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted here to end this small presentation of the Déo Rian - 70 Anos CD


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Quarteto Roda de Choro

l-r: Milton Mori (cav), Luzinho 7 Cordas (v7c), Léo Rodrigues (pandeiro), Alexandre Ribeiro (cl)
To accompany the seasonal holidays with music I have been listening to some recordings by the four musicians shown at the snapshot above from a live performance uploaded at YouTube. The quartet integtrates four musicians from the choro community of São Paulo. According to available info the quartet was formated in 2007 at the initiative of Danilo Brito to support live performance of choro music. The name of the quartet indeed expresses the long tradition of choro music performance. Quarteto Roda de Choro keeps the tradition well alive, i.e. by inviting guest musicians to 'sit in' at their performances and of course by playing music from the huge repertoire of classic choro.
Quarteto Roda de Choro (promo photo)
Quarteto Roda de Choro integrates Léo Rodrigues (pandeiro), Alexandre Ribeiro (clarinet), Luzinho 7 Cordas (violão 7 cordas) and Milton Mori (cavaquinho). Earlier this year the ensemble released its first CD containing eleven tracks of delightful music excellently performed.
CD front, Scubidu Records, SDU-020
The CD was recorded in 2013 and the repertoire of the eleven tracks was chosen from classic choros by renowned composers like Severino Araújo, Luiz Americano, Pixinguinha, Abel Ferreira, Altamiro Carrilho, Sivuca a.o.. One track was composed by Luzinho 7 Cordas, who also has emphazised that the aim of the group's performance is to reproduce the beauty of the chosen tunes with minimum improvisation. A tracklist is available here, and you have the opportunity to listen to all tracks in full length here. - The CD may be purchased in the digipack format here 

Below I'll insert some examples of Quarteto Roda de Choro in live performance of music featured at the CD. - Here  is first the ensemble's performance of Severino Araújo's Chorinho pra Você

Next Quarteto Roda de Choro performs Luiz Americano's É do que há 

At the same Instrumental SESC live concert the quartet also performed Pixinguinha's Os oito batutas, here in combination with Lourival Oliveira's Corisco 

The dance hall type of choro was also presented at the concert, here is Astor Silva's Chorinho na Gafieira performed by Quarteto Roda de Choro

To end this small review of Quarteto Roda de Choro, here is a performance of Jacob do Bandolim's Noites Cariocas (NB! not at the CD) featuring invited guest musicians Toninho Ferragutii (accordeon) and Nelson Ayres (piano)

I want to thank you readers for your support in 2015 and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year/Feliz Natal & Ano Novo 2016.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Trio Madeira Brasil - Ao Vivo Em Copacabana, DVD

Trio Madeira Brasil (photo courtesy by Marcos Hermes)
Trio Madeira Brasil integrates Zé Paulo Becker (violão), Marcello Gonçalves (violão 7 cordas) and Ronaldo do Bandolim (bandolim). The trio was formated in 1996 and released their debut CD in 1998. Since then the trio a.o. has participated in Mika Kaurismekki's documentary Brasilerinho, Choro in Rio (2005), toured inside and outside Brazil and further recorded with other renowned Brazilian artists besides conducting individual careers. In 2013, the trio decided to make a DVD recording of a live performance to mark the 15. year of Trio Madeira Brasil's recording debut. The DVD has now been released by Som Livre, and extracts of the audio is available on a seperate CD issue.

Trio Madeira Brasil - Ao Vivo Em Copacabana, DVD
I haven't had an opportunity to view the recorded DVD yet, but it certainly ranks among my priority wishes for Christmas next month, so if someone would surprise me with a present for the holidays, now you know what would be much appreciated! - Anyway, the DVD has had a couple of presentations and reviews in Brazil, i.e. here and here. The contents comprises 15 recorded compositions, among them are both choros by Jacob do Bandolim, erudite pieces by Villa-Lobos, Manuel de Falla and instrumental compositions by Jobim, Gnattali and Chico Buarque - a tracklist is featured in the first link above. Yamandú Costa participates as a guest artist in some of the recorded pieces.
CD front of extracted audio from the DVD
I have been listening to the audio available at the CD that was extracted from the DVD recording (- the CD may be accessed for listening at Spotify and other streaming audio services). My impression of the music is that these extremely talented musicians have performed a magnificent concert that may be listened to over and over again thanks to the trio's phenomenal interplay and the virtuosity of each single member of the ensemble, this live recording definitly marks a peak point of Trio Madeira Brasil's career - highly recommended, indeed! - The DVD may be purchased here and the CD is available for purchase as download here.

To end this small presentation, I'll insert an uploaded video from YouTube featuring Trio Madeira Brasil in a live performance at Instrumental SESC, Rio de Janeiro from about the same time as the just released DVD concert. The complete show at Instrumental SESC has been uploaded, so sit back and enjoy the performance


Friday, October 30, 2015

Toca de Tatu - Meu Amigo Radamés

Radamés Gnattali
Radamés Gnattali (1906-1988) is an important figure in Brazilian music. A classically trained composer, conductor, orchestrator, and arranger, he worked for a living in the popular side of the business, deeply influencing Brazilian popular music with his arrangements and conceptions. His compositions, both in the erudite and popular fields, concurred to bridge the gap between the two idioms. Gnattali was known as a talented arranger and was hired by many of the best popular musicians and radio stations to produce arrangements. He embraced the sound of American swing and jazz and added American jazz harmonies to his sophisticated arrangements. Gnattali's work expanded the scope of Brazilian popular music, through his work he added legitimacy to instrumental popular music such as choro and related genres. As a performer of popular music, he played the piano in his own combos during the 1950s and 1960s and made records of his own compositions and arrangements with both quartet, quintet and sextet. Together with his famous Suite Retratos, originally written for symphony orchestra and featuring Jacob do Bandolim as soloist, a selection of Gnattali's compositions have been re-arranged and recorded by a young ensemble from Belo Horizonte that is named Toca de Tatu.
Grupo Toca de Tatu (photo: Fabiano Campbell)
Toca de Tatu is a quartet comprising Lucas Ladeia (cavaquinho), Abel Borges (percussion), Luísa Mitre (piano, accordion) and Lucas Telles (violão 7 cordas) and in 2013 the ensemble released its debut cd titled Meu Amigo Radamés featuring thirteen tracks of instrumental music from the popular works of Radamés Gnattali including a couple of compositions dedicated to Gnattali - the title track was composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim and the other homage to Gnattali is Paulinho da Viola's Sarau para Radamés.The arrangements are by the ensemble, four very skilled musicians.
CD front, Toca de Tatu, Meu Amigo Radamés (2013)
The CD is for purchase at the official website of Toca de Tatu, more info here and you have the opportunity to listen to a selection of the recordings at Sound Cloud including free download of some tracks, here. Below I'll insert some examples of the music that have been uploaded at YouTube from the release concert of the CD to give you an impression of this excellent young ensemble. - Here is first Toca de Tatu's interpretation of Gnattali's Remexendo

The title track of the CD, Meu Amigo Radamés by Tom Jobim, was of course also performed at the same concert

Alma Brasileira by Radamés Gnattali is a very beutiful choro, here performed by Toca de Tatu

A tour-de-force for piano is Gnattali's Gatinhos no piano, a composition inspired by the American novelty ragtime composer Zez Confrey's Kitten On The Keys, here performed by Toca de Tatu

Earlier this year Toca de Tatu visited France, and from one of the group's performances in Paris I'll end this small presentation inserting Toca de Tatu's version of Radamés Gnattali's famous piece, Pixinguinha, from his Retratos suite

Thank you to Oscar Barahona for introducing me to Toca de Tatu and forwarding relevant info.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Água de Vintém

Conjunto Àgua de Vintém
A young generation of musicians in Brazil keeps choro music and its long tradition well alive by playing the music of the old masters and further by adding new compositions and arrangements of previously unissued music to the classic repertoire. Among these dedicated young musicians I recently encountered the conjunto Água de Vintém while browsing various Brazilian web resources.According to the official website, Água de Vintém  was established in 2011 and all members are from Piracicaba of the São Paulo state. The original formation of the conjunto consisted of Vitor Casagrande (bandolim, violão tenor), Paula Borghi (violão), Guilherme Soares (violão 7 cordas), Saulo Ligo (cavaco) and Xeina Barros (pandeiro) while the present formation has replaced Paula Borghi with Marcus Godoy, who plays the violão 7 cordas, and Guilherme Soares now takes care of the violão. - Conjunto Água de Vintém has performed alongside established musicians such as Toninho Carrasqueira, Pedro Amorim, Alessandro Penezzi, Nailor Proveta, Toninho Ferragutti, Antonio Rocha, Achilles Moraes, Ronaldo Bandolim, Mauricio Carrilho, Alexandre Ribeiro, Cristóvão Bastos and Déo Rian. In 2013, the ensemble recorded its first CD for the Acari label, produced by Mauricio Carrilho.
CD front, Café da Dona Chica (Acari, 2013)
The CD has twelve tracks, eleven of them are compositions by members of the conjunto while the remaining is by Mauricio Carrilho, who also participates as a musician in the recording. Mauricio Carrilho ranks the ensemble as one of the best young choro groups. Quote: "I was struck by the synchrony with the space occupied by each instrument as well with the individual quality of each member always being used in favor of the collective language of the group. That makes a big difference and never decreases the individual brilliance of soloists and accompanists. The repertoire consisting of material by the young members, shows how the rich and mysterious language of choro is part of the essence of each of them. Rhythm, expressiveness, dynamics, improvisation, is a feast to the sound of this group. I consider Água de Vintém as one of the best ensembles in the new generation of choro musicians" (Mauricio Carrilho). - From the recording of the CD, here is the ensemble in consentrated action recording the title track, Café da Dona Chica 

As mentioned, the CD Café da Dona Chica  was recorded and issued in 2013, it is available here, and you have the opportunity to listen to some of the tracks at Sound Cloud, here 
CD front, Água de Vintém interpreta Sergio Belluco (AdV 001), Tratore, 2015
Last month Água de Vintém released its second CD, the above shown Água de Vintém interpreta Sergio Belluco. The CD has 14 tracks and the repertoire is solely devoted to previously unissued compositions by Sergio Belluco in arrangements by Água de Vintém. Sergio Belluco (b.1931) is a key figure in Piracicaba, where he has held the chair as a professor of the violão at important institutions and schools of music for decades. In the 1970s Belluco led his own conjunto Som Brasileiro, who had Alessandro Penezzi among its members for some time - Penezzi further was taught violão by Belluco and he also participates in the new CD by Água de Vintém in a couple of tracks. The material for the CD consists of compositions in the classic choro genre, and it's a sheer joy to be listening to the interepretation of the featured pieces by Água de Vintém - here's an uploaded example

The new CD by conjunto Água de Vintém is available for purchase  as download in mp3 format here - Below I'll insert a couple more examples of uploaded videos featuring music available at the CD. Here is Água de Vintém performing Sergio Belluco's Dialogando at the release concert of the CD (Rafel Toledo, percussion, is added to the ensemble)

From the same concert, here is Água de Vintém performing Melancólico by Sergio Belluco

I highly recommend the two issued CDs by conjunto Água de Vintém, the sound of the ensemble reminds me of the best recordings by classic choro ensembles like Época de Ouro and the conjunto of bandolinist Rossini Ferreira a.o.. It's great to experience that this tradition is being continued and taken good care of by the competent, young musicians who integrate the conjunto Água de Vintém!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

46 Years Without Jacob

Today it has been 46 years since Jacob do Bandolim (1918 - 1969) passed away following a heart attack. The choro community lost one of its greatest contributors - both as a musician, composer, researcher and tireless spokesman in favor of choro. The importance of Jacob do Bandolim's contributions to choro and this genuine Brazilian music tradition is at the same level as Pixinguinha's, fortunately his musical legacy has been kept well alive by countless followers among musicians in and outside Brazil, and thanks to Jacob's endeavors the bandolim has become a respected member of the standard choro ensemble. In 2002 the Instituto Jacob do Bandolim was established to preserve his work, a website devoted to everything concerning his life and work was launched (- a new design of the site is completed recently, take a look here ), and last year Museu da Imagem e do Som (MIS) initiated a project with the aim of digitizing Jacob do Bandolim's own archive - a website devoted to
this project has also been launched, accessible here 
Here I like to remember the importance of Jacob do Bandolim by inserting some examples of his music below, let's start with a Doce de Coco 

Next follows the inevitable and immortal Noites cariocas, the original version from 1957

Here is the 1961 version of Jacob's Assanhado 

Finally, to end this - here is Jacob's 1962 recording of A ginga do Mané 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Paola Picherzky - Armando Neves, Outras Composições

Armando Neves (Armandinho), 1902-1976
The works for solo violão by Armando Neves (Armandinho) have been rediscovered in recent years and widely appreciated thanks to the CD recording of a selection of his choros by Paola Picherzky in 2008. I made a small review of the CD earlier, here - You have the opportunity to listen to the full album at YouTube, here
A career profile of Armando Neves (- in Portuguese) is available here, and a short profile of Paola Picherzky (- in English) is available here. 
CD front, Armando Neves, Outras Composições Indepente (Tratore), 2015
Earlier this year Paola Picherzky released the new CD shown above featuring fifteen more compositions for solo violão by Armando Neves, a great supplement to her recording of eighteen of his choros from 2008. The new CD includes only one composition registered as a choro (Choro 7), the remaining tracks are devoted to compositions in other musical genres such as Canção, Valsa, Maxixe, Estudio, Preludio and Gavota, or to music with individual titles but without the stating of the genre. A tracklist of the featured repertoire is available here 
Paola Picherzky
The interpretation of the music at the CD is excellent and done with empathy and flawless mastery of the technical challenges, the result is a very listenable CD that highlights both the beauty of Armando Neves' compositions and Paola Picherzky's capacity as a guitarist and soloist. The CD is highly recommended and is available for purchase as download in mp3 format here 
- To end this, I insert Paola Picherzsky's interpretation of Armando Neves' well known Choro nº2, here from a TV presentation  - enjoy!