Friday, December 29, 2006

Pick of The Year 2006!

This time of the year it's become a custom habit among critics, music magazines and newspapers to point out urgent issues and releases in the different fields of music from the year almost ended. Of course, the music industry, record producers and retailers are on top of their toes to find out and take advantage of the judgements by the various critics and magazine reviews/polls - the market is always open to new investment and release by popular artists. The same old story over again. However, like in other fields of art, it's not always the most popular or best selling item that may be considered having a lasting quality.
In the general war between marketing and quality kept going on by the various trend setters of the market it seems that only survival of the fittest ruels the market and what is considered a sound investment. In this battlefield of commercial interests it's a heroic deed to fight for quality and the release of urgent historical recordings that would not have been issued by major companies considering economic success before anything else.
Thanks to small companies like the German Chanterelle ( that devote their affairs to the release of high quality issues in the field of classical guitar music, sheet as well as recordings, 2006 brought us the release of a cd featuring the historical guitar recordings by Garoto (Chanterelle, CHR 006), made 1950-55 by Ronoel Simões in a private recording studio to give Garoto the opportunity to perform and record his own compositions as a soloist in a relaxed atmosphere. These recordings are a true historical document, showing off the artistry of Garoto and the development of the guitar choro into new field, further anticipating the bossa nova and the conception of modern harmony. If you are concerned with the Brazilian guitar tradition, these recording are an absolutly must-have item and the most urgent release of 2006!
I wrote a small review of the mentioned cd at the Guitar Choro pages, click here
I found a video performance by Paulo Bellinati playing two compositions by Garoto in a solo recital

I wish the visitors of this blog a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Francisco Soares de Souza

Francisco Soares de Souza (1905-1986) was born in the Brazilian northeastern state of Ceará. An excellent self-taught guitarist and composer, Soares music follows the outstanding guitar tradition in Brazilian music. With almost fifty compositions written especially for acoustic guitar, Soares' choros are particularly enchanting.
In the latest radio program by Fábio Zanon on Rádio Cultura de São Paulo you may listen to a presentation of some of the compositions by Francisco Soares de Souza, click here to find a track list on Fábio Zanon's blog and to download the program 'O Violão Brasileiro - Os Criadores: Violão no nordeste' featuring music by Francisco Soares de Souza as well as Canhoto da Paraíba.

Classical guitarist Maria do Céu dedicated a cd to some of the works by Francisco Soares de Souza,'Choros do Ceará'(iss. 2000).

Maria do Céu worked with Brazilian renowned guitarist Turíbio Santos in Rio de Janeiro. Since beginning her professional career in 1984, she has played with a variety of groups, including the Orchestra of Acoustic Guitars of Rio de Janeiro and the Quinteto Clássico. She has performed throughout Brazil as well as abroad. Together with Rodrigo Sebastian (bass) and Di Lutgardes (percussion), she dedicated the mentioned cd to the choros of Francisco Soares de Souza.

For more info on the 'Choros do Ceará'-cd, pay a visit to the web of Maria do Céu (- in Portuguese only) here

Listen to sound clips from the cd, download a complete track in mp3 by clicking here


A Merry Christmas/Feliz Natal to the visitors of this blog!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Marcus Llerena - Levanta Poeira (Kickin' Up Dust)

Recently I had the shown cd by Marcus Llerena, a classical trained and very skilled Brasilian guitarist. The cd is the first release in the US by Marcus Llerena - previously there have been four cd-issues in Brazil featuring this great artist. The 'Levanta Poeira' cd was partly recorded 1999 in Brazil - Marcus Llerena tells about the circumstances in the inserted sleeve-info:

"The creation of this CD was very special to me from the moment I started recording, alone in the small hours, in the church of São Sebastião in Visconde de Mauá, receiving the visits of some owls or an unknown bird and even that of a drunkard who knocked on the door at 3 am one night. I let him in, but he was so noisy that I was obliged to ask him to leave. In the track "Levanta Poeira" the drunkard can be encountered sitting in the first pew, until he rouses himself to leave."

When listening to the cd, no signs of owls or a noisy drunkard can be detected - on the contrary this is a most sober recital of marvellous solo guitar and even repeated listening has not revealed the performer snappin' an owl! The repertoire performed includes Marcus Lerena's arrangements of compositions by Pixinguinha, zequinha de Abreu, André Corréa, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Jacob do Bandolim, K-Ximbinho, Radamés Gnattali, Garoto, Nicanor Teixeira, Neco, Armando Neves and Julio Borges.

The performance is a feast for all lovers of the Brasilian guitar tradition, a peak moment of recorded guitar wizardry displaying the rich and varied tradition of the violão - the title of the cd, meaning 'kicking up dust', is also the title of a composition by Abreau and the first track of the cd. Indeed, Marcus Llerena kicks up dust right from the start - I highly recommend this cd. If you are in need for a last-minute wish for X-mas, then this is your choice, even better buy it for yourself - you will be rewarded with a delightfull hour of good company with a most skilled performer - a rare bird!

Tracklist inserted below:

1.Levanta Poeira (Zequinha de Abreu) 2.André de Sapato Novo (André Victor Corrêa)3.Carioca II (Nicanor Teixeira)4.Chôroc (Daudeth de Azevedo [Neco]) 5.Corta Jaca (Chiquinha Gonzaga) 6.Carioquinha (Aníbal Augusto Sardinha)7.Vôo da Môsca (Jacob Bittencourt [J. do Bandolim]) 8.Chôro II (Armando Neves)9.Carioca I (Nicanor Teixeira) 10.Sonoroso (Sebastião de Barros [K. Ximbinho])11.Valsa (Julio Borges) 12.Oscarina (Alfredo Viana Filho [Pixinguinha]) 13.Inferna (Aníbal Augusto Sardinha) 14.Carinhoso (Alfredo Viana Filho [Pixinguinha])15.Sempre (Sebastião de Barros [K. Ximbinho]) 16.Saudade (Radamés Gnattali) 17.Numa Seresta (Luiz Americano) 18.Improviso (Aníbal Augusto Sardinha) 19.From 10 Estudos para Violaõ (Radamés Gnattali)


Friday, December 15, 2006

Fábio Zanon - O Violão Brasileiro

If you are interested in the Brazilian guitar tradition and do not know where to start, I'll recomend a visit at the blogspot of classical guitarist Fábio Zanon, to be reached clicking here
Fábio Zanon is a highly esteemed classical trained guitarist of the contemporary Brazilian music scene. Recently Mr. Zanon has produced and hosted a series of radio programs at Rádio Cultura de São Paulo devoted to the Brazilian guitar tradition, 'O Violão Brasileiro - Nossos Pioneiros, Criadores e Intérpretes'. These programs of one hour each are now free to download from Fábio Zanon's blog in mp3, up till now the list has reached more than 40 produced programs. The spoken info is in Portuguese, of course, but each program has 3/4 of the time devoted to samples of music by the portrayed artist/composer, so these programs are definitely essential, even if you are unfamiliar with the Portuguese language. From the list I can mention features on João Pernambuco, Américo Jacomino 'Canhoto', Dilermando Reis, Laurindo Almeida, Turíbio Santos, Maurício Carrilho a.o. - all well researched portraits of the mentioned and moreover containing recorded music that may be hard to find elsewhere. Tracklist for each program to be found at Fábio Zanon's blog.
Learn more about Fábio Zanon from his web (-in Portuguese only), to be reached clicking here
A career profile in English on Fábio Zanon is available here
I found a video on YouTube featuring Fábio Zanon in a solo performance


Friday, December 08, 2006

Gafieira Jazz - Paulo Moura & Cliff Korman

This time just a short notice to inform briefly about a new cd by Paulo Moura & Cliff Korman, "Gafiera Jazz" (Rob Digital, RD 100). This cd is a compilation of tracks from a couple of previously released cds covering the partnership and cooperation between Paulo Moura and Cliff Korman, "Mood Ingenuo" (1999) and "Gafieira Dance Brasil" (2001). If you are unfamiliar with the Brazilian Gafieira (Ballroom) tradition and the music beeing played today, then the mentioned cds are a proper choice of source. Futhermore, the term Gafieira Jazz reflects the vision of Cliff Korman and Paulo Moura to connect Brazilian music with Jazz in a way that respects the originality of both traditions. You may learn more about Cliff Korman's vision about the interaction between these two cultures from his web, to be reached clicking here
You may have an opportunity to listen to the music recorded at the "Gafieira Jazz", if you pay a visit to Paulo Moura's official web.
All tracks from "Mood Ingenuo" and "Gafieira Dance Brasil" are available at full length, click on the Discography menu and follow the links.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Choro of João Pernambuco


Just for your entertainment.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

You can contact me at

Friday, December 01, 2006

Canhoto da Paraíba

One of the first cds with choro I bought was the shown item by Canhoto da Paraíba, O VIOLÃO BRASILEIRO TOCADO PELO AVESSO (EMI/BRASIL Choro, grandes solistas 5936322). I still remember the circumstances, it was during the week of July 2005 when I together with my two friends, Hans Koert and Theo van de Graaff, joined the IAJRC Convention in Copenhagen to present a joint venture regarding the El Redescubrimiento de Oscar Alemán project. Taking a break from the convention we had some opportunities to go recordhunting in the city and I still remember the thrill of actually finding two items by Canhoto da Paraíba at a small record shop specializing in World Music. One of the Canhoto cds was the shown, the other one was the 1993 release of 'Pisando em brasa', which I have commented in my article on Guitar Choro .

Francisco Soares de Araújo (b. 1928), better known as Canhoto da Paraíba, is definitely one of the true masters of the guitar choro tradition in Brazil. Coming from a family of musicians, Canhoto da Paraíba learned to play the violão (acoustic guitar) when he was very young. As he is left-handed (canhoto) and there was only one instrument to be shared by he and his brothers, he learned to play in an inverted position, stunning observers with his prodigious soloing technique in such an unfavorable setup. Throughout his career, he not only participated in hundreds of recordings and radio performances, accompanying the stars of MPB, but he also was a recognized master on his own, both as an instrumentalist and composer. His most successful choros, "Com Mais de Mil" and "Visitando o Recife," are of the genre's highest level, being some of the most representative of the choro Pernambucano style. Both mentioned compositions are among the tracks of the shown EMI compilation.



Alvaro Neder has a career profile of Canhoto da Paraíba in AMG:

"In 1953, he signed with Rádio Tabajara in João Pessoa PB, staying there for five years. There, he organized his first regional. In 1958, he returned to Recife PE, and was hired by Rádio Jornal do Comércio, being featured in the show Quando os Violões se Encontram, in which Miro José (who introduced the seven-string violão in Pernambuco), Tozinho, Wilson Sandes, Ernani Reis, Romualdo, Ceça, Zé do Carmo, and others also used to perform. In that period, he performed regularly with masters of choro, like mandolinist Rossini Ferreira, accordionist Sivuca, and mandolinist Luperce Miranda. In October 1959, together with João Dias, Dona Ceça, Zé do Carmo, and Rossini Ferreira, da Paraíba went to Rio de Janeiro being praised by such icons as Pixinguinha, Radamés Gnattali, Jacob do Bandolim, and Paulinho da Viola, who paid homage to him with the choro "Abraçando o Chico Soares" (1971) and with the production of the LP Canhoto da Paraíba: Com Mais de Mil (Marcus Pereira, 1977). In 1993, he recorded the CD Pisando em Brasa (Caju Music)."


For the readers familiar with the Portuguese language I'll point you to a video on YouTube celebrating Pernambuco and Canhoto da Paraíba, to be reached clicking here or on headline.