Choro is a Brazilian music style, very popular in the 1920s and 1930s, but still popular nowadays. This blog wants to share our passion for this music and its musicians like Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim and Garoto, but also the contemporary generation of young talented musicans like Yamandú Costa.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Taruíra - Choro from Rio
'Taruíra' is the local name of a small gecko, common in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. But Taruíra is also the name of a choro ensemble in Rio de Janeiro - a sextet that mixes traditional and modern music and "(...) brings multiple languages together and focuses on the Brazilian and Latin music – always with a little bit of jazz" according to the press info of the group. The group started in 2002 as a trio and is today formed by Breno Morais (soprano saxophone and flute), Carlos Watkins (tenor saxophone), Guto Menezes (cavaquinho and viola), José Roberto Leão (violão 7 cordas), Leandro Mattos (pandeiro) and Yuri Garrido (drums).
Taruíra's first CD was released in 2007 and had 14 tracks of arranged music by composers such as Pixinguinha, Tom Jobim, Hermeto Paschoal and Maurice Ravel, among others. The bandolinist Paulo Sá was responsible for the arrangements of this independent work. The CD is sold out, but you have the opportunity to listen to the recorded tracks at Tauríra's profile on SoundCloud,here
In 2007, the group began its most important project: the rodas de choro that took place on a square in Petrópolis, Taruíra’s hometown, and went on for more than three years. The event started out as a musical gathering outdoors, but it became gradually popular and continued for hundreds of Sundays. The project was eventually subsided by a federal law and became part of the cultural upbringing of the inhabitants of Petrópolis and its surroundings.
In 2011, Taruíra was able to bring to life the desire to record its very own DVD. The DVD was called “Nas nuvens”, in a reference to the scenery in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, where the group comes from, and proved to be a perfect match for Taruíra’s visual identity. The DVD is uploaded at Taruíra's official websiteand is available on the group's YouTubechannel- Here are a couple of extracts from the DVD inserted below, first the group's version of Jacob do Bandolim's "Assanhado"
Another fragment from the DVD, "A pasta do Carlinhos" (José Roberto Leão) - enjoy!
The music performed at the DVD has been uploaded at Taruíra's official web and is free accessible on SoundCloud too, here [https://soundcloud.com/taruira/sets/taru-ra] - Currently the group is in the studio recording its second CD according to the press info. - You can follow the group atFacebook, Twitterand Taruíra's officialwebsite.
Thanks to Nathália Pandeló for notifying us about Taruíra and forwarding press kit.
When You Wish ... New Choro Recordings For Christmas
December is a hectic month for most people, preparations for the season's holidays seem to occupy much of your time, many wishes and expectations are stated and have to be confronted - especially if you have kids in your family. But even resonable grown-ups also have wishes and expectations, thus, if you - dear reader - are a resonable grown-up and have a wish of some new choro recordings for Christmas, but don't know what to expect, I have had a little help from the charming and generousZé Cariocato help guiding your wishes and let your expectations materialize.
BandolinistHamilton de Holandareleased the shown CD, Mondo de Pixinguinha, some months ago, and if you haven't added this to your collection of choro recordings already, it's an obvious wish for Christmas. The CD has twelth tracks of compositions by Pixinguinha performed by Hamilton in interplay with international as well as Brazilian musicians. The aim of the CD was not just to record a selection of Pixinguinha's compositions reliving a part of his music. According to Hamilton's notes, it was also to give musicians from other countries with a different background the opportunity to participate in Pixinguinha's legacy in new interpretations of the presented music. On these conditions the tracks are recorded in various places and countries with participation of great pianists like Chucho Valdés and Omar Sosa (Cuba), Stefano Bollani (Italy), Mario Laginha (Portugal), the French master of the accordeon Richard Galliano and the US jazz trompetist Wynton Marsalis. The Brazilian musicians, besides Hamilton, are André Mehmari (piano), Carlos Malta (tenor sax) and Odette Ernest Dias (flute). Ten tracks are duet performance featuring Hamilton in interplay with the mentioned foreign artists - the first track is a solo interpretation by Hamilton of the well known "Naquele Tempo" and the last track is a quartet version of "Carinhoso" by the Braszilian crew. Every track has new variations of the presented music, the CD gives the listener a great opportunity to explore and enjoy new aspects of Pixinguinha's music performed by true masters in amazing interplay, higly recommended - anytime. - You have the opportunity to buy and listen to all tracks in streaming audio at Hamilton's officialweb,the CD is also available in mp3 format for purchase here.- To give you an impression of the music and musicians on the CD, here's a video presentation featuring a live performance by Hamilton in interplay with accordeonist Richard Galliano and pianist Omar Sosa - the music is Pixinguinha's "Ingênuo"
A capella sextet ORDINARIUS
2013 has celebrated the 150. anniversary ofErnesto Nazareth, one of the founding figures of choro. Many concerts, activities and new recordings by contemporary artists have been managed in Brazil to celebrate the jubilee. To participate in this renewed interest for Nazareth's legacy a vocal ensemble - the a cappella sextetORDINARIUS - pointed me to the group's version of "Brejeiro" - inserted here
This wordless and very skilled a cappella version of Nazareth's tune reminded me of some of the vocal arrangements of classical music presented by the Well known and succesful US ensemble The Swingle Singers. - You may learn more about ORDINARIUShereand also have the opportunity to listen to their debut CD in streaming audio.
Another remarkable presentation of Nazareth's music is available on the shown CD byGrupo Choro & Companhia - Nazareth: Fora dos Eixos, released last year. The title of the CD (- meaning 'off-axis') points to what is to be expected of the enclosed music. The presentation here is of compositions by Nazareth that are outside the repertoire of well known titles like 'Brejeiro, 'Odeon', 'Apanhei-te, cavaquinho' and other popular pieces. The chosen material for the CD is new arrangements of unpublished or neglected scores from the preserved archive of Nazareth's written music. The CD has eleven tracks of delightfull, well arranged and skillfully performed music, more info on single tracks available at Discos do Brasil,here. - The Choro & Companhia ensemble was originally formated in 1985 in Brasilia by a.o. Hamilton de Holanda and his brother Fernando César, today the group is a quartet and only Fernando César (violão and violão 7 cordas) remains from the original group. The other members of the quartet are Pedro Vasconcellos (cavaquinho), Ariadne Paixão (flute) and Amoy Ribas (percussion). On the CD the quartet is extended with guest performers in some of the tracks, they are Juninho Alvarenga (banjo), Alexandre Días (piano), Hamilton de Holanda (bandolim), Ricardo Dourado Freire (clarinet, clarone) and Roberto Corrêa (viola). All involved in the project have created an exciting recital of unknown works by Nazareth in up-to-date arrangements, the CD is higly recommended and an obvious choice for all lovers of original Brazilian music. The CD tracks are available for purchase in mp3 formathere.- Choro & Compania presented the repertoire of the Fora dos eixos-CD in a TV production by TV Câmara, the show is almost one hour and has spoken information in between the music. It is well worth lending you attention, even though you don't speak or understand the Portuguese language (- no subtitles in English). Use extended view to have the best experience, enjoy
TheChoro das trésensemble continues their successful career and released the shown CD this summer in advance of a lenghty tour of the US. The CD is the third outing by the group and the titleBoas Novas( - meaning 'Good news' in English) points to the contents.There are 14 tracks of new choro pieces especially composed for Choro das trés, some of them by members of the ensemble, but most of them by friends and members of the choro society in the São Paulo area. The CD is produced by Choro das trés and released by the group's own label, Macole - more info to be found here. - The music on the CD contains great examples of contemporary choro that continue the tradition in a flawless and most enjoyable performance, highly recommended.The future of choro still looks bright thanks to the dedication and devotion to this original Brazilian music by talented and skilled musicians like Choro das trés. - The Boas Novas CD was presented in a live performance with participation of some of the contributors of the repertoire, a video fragment from the concert mixed with filmed footage from the recording of the CD is inserted below to give you an impression of the presented music - enjoy
In 2009, guitarist Alessandro Penezzi and clarinetist Alexandre Ribeiro - both wellknown figures in choro circles of São Paulo and elsewhere in Brazil - started a partnership after a successfull performance in Denmark at Copenhagen Jazz House during a Brazilian festival featuring various Brazilian musicians.The duo recorded a CD in 2010 with the title Cordas au vento (- meaning 'strings in the wind' in English) containing performance of 12 pieces, most of them new compositions by Alessandro Penezzi.
Click on cover illustration above to have more info on the Cordas au vento CD. The music featured at the CD was presented in a TV studio performance in Brazil, here is the titletrack
The duo had success with their partnership and the CD, which earned them a tour of both the USA and Europe in 2011 besides numerous live performances in Brazil. In October that year the duo had a concert in Holland at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam that was recorded and later issued on a CD in 2012.
The CD contains 13 tracks recorded live at the concert in the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, on October 28th, 2011. The repertoire has compositions from the Cordas au vento program as well as other pieces, mainly composed or recorded earlier by Alessandro Penezzi, click illustration above to have more info on the recorded tracks. - To give you an impression of the great music and performance contained in both the Cordas au vento CD and the live-recording from Amsterdam, I'll insert a couple more video fragments uploaded at YouTube. Unfortunately, there's only a single uploaded fragment from the Bimhuis performance available - the composition 'Heleninha chegando' by Penezzi
The first track on the live CD is the duo's version of Luiz Gonzaga's choro 'Araponga', this was also featured in the TV presentation of the Cordas au vento program mentioned above
Another classic choro composition, 'Famoso' by Ernesto Nazareth, is also featured in the live CD recording as well as in the TV performance from the Brazilian presentation
One of the highlights of the Bimhuis live concert is the duo's medley version of Garoto's 'Lamento do morro' and Sivuca & Oswaldinho's 'Um Tom para Jobim' - here from the Brazilian TV performance
The music performed both at the Cordas ao vento CD and in the live-recordings from Amsterdam is terrific examples of great musicianship as well as a guideline to new branches of Brazilian instrumental music with roots in choro and related genres. You have the opportunity to listen to both CDs in streaming audio at Alessandro Penezzi's official website, here. You can also listen to and buy the tracks from the live concert at Bimhuis here
Ventos do Norte (North Winds) is a new CD release by Brazilian saxophonist Leo Gandelman. According to the release notes, the CD "(...)summarizes the contribution of saxophonists from the Northeast region of Brazil in the consolidation of a Brazilian style of saxophone playing through the recreation of music specifically composed by them for the instrument throughout the twentieth century". Saxophonists like Luiz Americano, Ratinho, Severino Araújo, K-Ximbinho, Netinho, Moacir Santos, Zumba and Duda came to Rio de Janeiro through a strong wind of jazz from North America and helped popularize the saxophone in Brazil.- Together with Henrique Cazes Leo Gandelman has produced this project, the CD has new arrangements of thirteen significant compositions reflecting the span of musical inspiration from choro and related styles originally written by the mentioned Brazilian masters of the saxophone. In a video uploaded at YouTube Gandelman and Cazes explain the background more detailed, inserted below (- with subtitles in English)
The CD features Gandelman as a soloist on various saxophones in all thriteen tracks, he is accompanied by various musicians - you have the opportunity to see the list of personnel for each track in the CD booklet that is free available as a download from Gandelman's official website, here - The music played at the CD is also available in streaming audio and full length at the official website, here, and you can buy and download it as mp3 files from Amazon,here
Leo Gandelman (b 1956) is considered one of the most influential musicians in Brazil. Son of a classical pianist and of a teacher, by the age of 15 he was already a soloist for the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Combined with a solid classical foundation, Gandelman set off to study at Berklee College of Music, in the United States, returning to Brazil in 1979 for the beginning of his professional career. Ever since then, he has dedicated himself intensely to his career, having participated to this day in over 800 recordings. He launched his solo career in 87' taking inspiration mainly from Brazilian music and Jazz. - Leo Gandelman has recorded ten albums along the course of his solo career, having sold over 500,000 copies. In later years he has carried out workshops and has participated in various festivals around Brazil. With the album “Radamés e o Sax” (2006) he earned two TIM awards in 2007 for “Best Instrumental Album” and “Best Producer”. Moreover, for 15 consecutive years he was elected as “the Best Brazilian Musician” in the “Diretas Já” contest, run yearly by Jornal do Brasil. His work was also received with big success in the United States, where he developed a noticeable career with right to six seasons of a full house at the Blue Note in New York. - In 2009 he participated in the “Moscow City Jazz Festival”and was also in Caracas where he
was a soloist for the “Young Orchestra of Caracas”. In 2010 he travelled around Spain with Pianist Maria Teresa Madeira and around Russia and Italy with his quartet, besides participating in various jazz festivals around Brazil.[excerpt of career profile at official website, here]
To give you an impression of the span of music recorded at the Ventos do Norte CD, I'll insert two officially uploaded videos at YouTube by Gandelman. Here is first the audio-track of Gandelman's arrangement of Ratinho's famous "Saxofone Porque Choras"
To end this small presentation of Ventos do Norte, here is Gandelman's arrangement of "Triste De Quem", a composition by Moacir Santos and Vinícius de Moraes
Ernesto Júlio Nazareth (1863 - 1934) was born in Rio de Janeiro and learned to play the piano as a child with his mother. After her passing away in 1873, Ernesto continued his piano studies and began composing. His first piece, the polka "Você Bem Sabe" was written and published when he was just 14 years of age. He had and open ear for the popular music beeing played in the streets and favoured by choro musicians, his own works for piano were influenced by maxixe, lundu, habañera and choro. Nonetheless, as a classical musician he would not allow such popular denominations into his own music, instead he would classify his pieces as i.e. 'Brazilian tangos'. - Nazareth worked as a pianist at the prestigious movie theater Odeon of Rio de Jainero, where he wrote one of his most famous compositions, "Odeon". Many musicians would go to the Odeon theater just to see and hear Nazareth play. Later he got a job at a music shop to support his living and growing family, there he was hired to play the sheets asked for by customers. Among the music sheets were his own compositions and according to some sources he was very demanding towards people, who themselves would try to play his pieces, frequently telling the possible buyer to interrupt the performance! - By the late 1920'ies Nazareth began facing hearing problems that worsened towards the end of his life. A depression following the passing away of his daughter and wife intesified the decay of his mental health - he was hospitalizied in 1933 and died the following year. - Ernesto Nazareth left a legacy of compositions favoured by both classical and popular musicians. His first composition labeled 'choro' is "Apanhei-te Cavaquinho", other well-known pieces are "Brejeiro", "Ameno Resedá", "Bambino", "Dengoso", "Travesso", "Fon Fon" and "Tenebroso". Nazareth's popular works remain a core repertoire of Brazilian choro, performed by numerous artists in various settings to this day. His extensive work is composed of more than 200 pieces, however, many of his compositions have only recently been saved from oblivion and made accessible for the public thanks to the extensive research by Brazilian pianist Alexandre Dias.
Alexandre Dias (b 1984) initiated his classical piano training at the age of 10, and pursues a career as a concertist and researcher. Since 1999 he has been researching the works and discography of Ernesto Nazareth.In 2007 he recorded his first CD containing rare music by Nazareth, available here, and in 2009 he was the first to review Nazareth's complete scores, which are now available for free here. - As a major force and contributor to the celebration of the 150 years of Ernesto Nazareth in 2013, Alexandre Dias produced and coordinates the excellent resource website devoted to Nazareth hosted at Instituto Moreira Salles. - From 2007 the Sovaco de Cobra website published a series of articles with the headline Raras de Ernesto Nazareth by Alexandre Dias reviewing rare compositions by Nazareth and accompanied by soundfiles demonstrating Dias'marvellous pianistic interpretation of the discussed scores. The recorded piano pieces were later uploaded for free download at the Piano Society website, but are no longer avaiable from this web. Instead you may purchase an extended issue of this material as mp3 files here, or as regular 5 CD albums, here.
The 5 CDs contain 67 tracks of rare compositions by Ernesto Nazareth, many of them recorded for the first time here. The interpretations of the music are exellently performed by Alexandre Dias, the CDs should be available in your collection of recordings devoted to choro and related music, if you decide to listen to the best contemporary piano interpretation of Ernesto Nazareth. - Alexandre Dias continues his extensive research of Nazareth, recently he has found and recorded a Nazareth polca titled 'Nazareth' - to end this, here's Alexandre's version of this piece originally dedicated to Nazareth's wife - enjoy!
The accordion is a popular instrument in Brazil and is often closely associated with the Northeastern forró music, a sort of popular folk-music combining and mixing different European dance styles like the polka, mazurka, schottische, and quadrille a.o. with African rhythmic influence, traditionally performed by a forró trio with the accordion (- or as the instrument is named in Brazil: Sanfona) as melodic lead-voice, the triangel and the zabumba (bass) drum as supporting rhythmic accompaniment. An important figure in the evolvment of the forró and the spreading of the music to other parts of Brazil was the accordionist, vocalist, songwriter and composer Luiz Gonzaga.
Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento, Sr.("Gonzagão", 1912-1989) was born in the countryside of Pernambuco as the son of a peasant and accordion player. As a child he was soon attracted by music and the accordion, he accompanied his father by playing the zabumba and singing at parties and religious celebrations.In 1930 he left home to join the army and toured Brazil with an army band until 1939. Gonzaga then decided to remain in Rio de Janeiro with a recently purchased accordion. He used to perform popular music of the time in the streets and in bars, and after noticing that the Northeastern immigrants missed the music from their hometowns, he started to play the kind of music he knew well from his younger days in Pernambuco. At a talent-show he played examples of this Northeastern music and was acclaimed by the audience and won the contest.After discovering this niche in the market, Gonzaga became a regular at radio shows and started making records. In 1943, he dressed up in typical Northeastern costumes for the first time to perform live, and got hyped. Later on, as well as playing popular tunes on the accordion, he began to sing his own material. His greatest hit ever, "Asa Branca" (written with Humberto Teixeira), was recorded in 1947 and covered countless times by many different artists.
Gonzaga worked on the radio until 1954, enjoying huge popularity. He is widely recognized for singlehandedly taking the baião style and the accordion to a wide audience. Gonzaga is often mentioned as the King of baião, here's his prototype of the baião, a smash-hit of the late 1940s
During the 1960s, as the public taste shifted, Gonzaga found himself stranded from big city stages, so he toured the countryside, where his popularity never abated. In the 1970s and 1980s, he slowly re-emerged, partly due to covers of his songs by famous artists like Geraldo Vandré, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, his son Gonzaguinha and Milton Nascimento. - In 2012 the Centennial of Luiz Gonzaga was celebrated all over Brazil through new recordings, events and concerts by contemporary artists, records by the master himself were reissued and his music was studied and appreciated by a new generation. Among the many activities paying homage to the importance of Luiz Gonzaga in
Brazilian popular music, I like to point you to a recently released CD that celebrates Gonzaga's contributions to choro, a music genre and style he knew well and also excelled in during his early career in the 1940s.
The CD is recorded by Marcelo Caldi (b 1980, Rio de Janeiro), a musician, composer, accordionist, pianist, arranger, orchestrator and Brazilian singer, who has released several CDs already documenting a wide range of different music influence from the Argentine tango to choral works. As an instrumentalist and vocalist Marcelo Caldi has recorded and performed in a family trio named Libertango, and his work as an accordionist in the forró and choro style was documented in the CD 'Forró e Choro Vol. 1' (2009, together with reed player Fábio Luna). The shown CD 'Tem Sanfona no Choro' (2012) continues to set focus on Marcelo Caldi's involvement with the accordion and
is solely dedicated to the music of Luiz Gonzaga showing off Gonzaga's early works in choro and related styles. The recorded music has also been transribed in a recently published book by Marcelo Caldi released by the Instituto Moreira Salles together with the accompanying cd, available for purchase here. - The music CD alone is available for purchase as mp3 download from Amazon and other online providers. You may learn more about Marcelo Caldi's career from hisofficial web (- in Portuguese only).
The shown CD contains thirteen tracks of delightful and most enjoyable accordion music, Marcelo Caldi has the lead-voice throughout and is accompanied by a rhythm section consisting of bandolim or cavaco, violão 7 cordas and percussion, one of the tracks have piano overdub and another has alto sax added as second lead. To give you an impression of Marcelo Caldi's renditions of Gonzaga's works in the choro style, I'll insert a couple of videos uploaded at YouTube presenting some of the music at the 'Tem Sanfona no Choro' cd. - Here's first Marcelo Caldi performing Gonzaga's choro "Pisa de Mansinho", Caldi is accompanied by Nando Duarte (violão 7 cordas) and Fabiano Salek (percussion) from a presentation at Sala Funarte Sidney Müller, Rio de Janeiro, February 2012
From the same performance, here's a reading of Gonzaga's "Araponga"
From a presentation earlier this year, Marcelo Caldi performed as lead artist together with Conjunto Época de Ouro also at the Sala Funarte Sidney Müller, Rio de Janeiro, one of the tunes played and uploaded at YouTube was Gonzaga's "Sanfonando", also available on the CD. Enjoy!