Friday, August 25, 2006

Maestro Gaó & Orquestra Colbaz

In Sao Paulo in 1929, Maestro Gaó (Odimar Amaral Gurgel) established a distinctive choro sound through his Orquestra Colbaz, who was organized to work for the Columbia recording company. The group included flute, bandolim, violin, violão, alto sax and accordion. Their bandolimist was José do Patrocinio Oliveira, known as Zé Carioca. The orchestra also included the violin of Ernestro Trepiccioni, and the timbre of the instrument provided an original sound which singularized the Cobaz among the choro groups. Orchestra Colbaz recorded frequently in the 1930's, including the first recording of Zequinha de Abreu's famous choro "Tico-Tico no Fubá" for Columbia Records in 1931.
Alvaro Neder writes about Maestro Gaó in AMG:
"He began his musical studies at five with his father, the bandmaster Acilino, learning violin, trombone, flute, and piano. At nine he was already a professional pianist, playing in the local cinema, and at 11 he was the leader of the orchestra of the same cinema. In 1923, he moved to São Paulo, SP, enrolling in the Musical Conservatory and also becoming the pianist of Casa Di Franco, where he received the nickname Gaó. In 1925, he was hired by Rádio Educadora Paulista, playing in several formations from solo to orchestral, and in popular and erudite contexts. In 1929, he became the artistic director at Columbia, where he formed the Orquestra Colbaz, who, in 1931, did the first recording of Zequinha de Abreu's "Tico-tico No Fubá." In 1930, he was hired by Rádio Cruzeiro do Sul as a director and producer of shows that became famous, like Hora dos Calouros (presented later by Ary Barroso) and the Programa da Saudade. With lyrics by Vicente Lima, he published one valse for each month of the year through Vitale. In 1931, he wrote, arranged, produced, and recorded the music for Wallace Downey's film Coisas nossas. In the same year, he was appointed best pianist of São Paulo in a contest promoted by the newspaper A Gazeta de São Paulo. In 1932, he recorded his choro "Teimoso." Four years later, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, becoming the artistic director of Rádio Ipanema and also working at the prestigious Rádio Nacional as director of their jazz orchestra. In 1937, he performed for three months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, also playing in Uruguay. Returning to Brazil, he continued his work for radios Cruzeiro do Sul and Cosmos, also organizing the Orquestra Columbia, who animated balls and dances at élite clubs and recorded several albums. In 1938, he returned to Rio to work at Rádio Nacional, taking charge, in the next year, of the musical direction of the Cassino da Urca, where he worked until 1945. In that year, he moved to the U.S.A. where he stayed until 1951, working as a pianist and bandleader for the U.S. government, entertaining war veterans. He also recorded several 78 rpm albums for Coda. Returning to Brazil, he worked from 1951 to 1957 for Rádio Nacional (São Paulo). In 1957, he again went to the U.S.A., where he remained until his definitive return to Brazil in 1967. "

Audio samples of Orchestra Colbaz available at the IMS online search facility


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Answers To Discographical Info Request

The previous posting at this blog dealt with some discographical questions concerning two recordings by the Orchestra Columbia of Brazil from 1930. I was anxious to know, if the Hawaiian guitar on both titles possibly was played by Gastão Bueno Lobo, as the music resembles his compositions from this period. However, I had my doubts in advance regarding Lobo's participation, as he ought to be in Europe at the time of the recordings according to other sources on Lobo's career.
More about Lobo in my published article at
The two titles by the Orquestra Columbia in question are:
Angela mia (Columbia, 5.257,A)
Felicitaciones (Columbia, 5.257,B)
Click on titles to listen to the audio, downloaded from the IMS online search facility
Thanks to the help of Daniella Thompson the following details can be added. Daniella wrote:
"The composers of "Angela Mia" are Erno Rapée and Lew Pollack."Angela Mia (My Angel)" was a 1928 American pop hit. The recording with Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra was #1 on the pop charts that year, and that of Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra was #2. Francisco Alves recorded "Angela Mia" with Simão Nacional Orquestra (really Simon Bountman and Orchestra Odeon) probably late that year, since his recording was released in January 1929."

According to Daniella it can be confirmed that the recording was made in Brazil 1930 near the middle of that year judging from the catalog number. - Regarding the question about Bueno Lobo's supposed participation in the two recording Daniella has the following answer:

"I have every reason to believe that the Hawaiian guitar on those Columbia cuts was played by Zezinho (José Patrocínio de Oliveira), now better known as Zé Carioca. Between 1929 and 1931, Zezinho participated in approximately 120 recordings at Columbia. He was João Pernambuco's second guitar on the composer's legendary recordings. Zezinho was a highly respected multi-instrumentalist, being a master of the banjo, cavaquinho, bandolim, guitar, tenor guitar, and Hawaiian guitar. - In 1939, Zezinho was playing in Romeu SIlva's orchestra at the Brazilian pavilion of the New York World's Fair. There he met his old friend Garoto, who was working for Carmen Miranda as a member of Bando da Lua. The following year Zezinho joined Bando da Lua, settled in LA, and provided Disney with the inspiration for Zé Carioca. He was the parrot's voiceover in Disney's south-of-the border films and appeared in person in the "Os Quindins de Iaiá" segment in the film 'The Three Caballeros,' dancing with Aurora Miranda. He also recorded several albums in the US under the artistic name Zé Carioca. But Zé wasn't a carioca at all. In the Disney films you can clearly hear his paulistano accent. "

Daniella Thompson has an extensive article on Zé Carioca on her web .

You may enjoy the Disney cartoon featuring the parrot Zé Carioca, "Blame It On The Samba", by clicking here


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Discographical Info Request

While browsing the IMS online search facilities for audio samples of the Brazilian recordings by Gastão Bueno Lobo I came across the following 78 rpm recordings by Orquestra Columbia from 1930:
- Título da Música: angela mia Intérprete: orquestra columbia Compositor: - Acompanhamento: - Gênero: valsa Gravação: 1930 Lançamento: 1930 Gravadora: columbia Disco/Álbum: 5257 Lado/Faixa: lado A
-Título da Música: felicitaciones Intérprete: orquestra columbia Compositor: - Acompanhamento: - Gênero: valsa Gravação: 1930 Lançamento: 1930 Gravadora: columbia Disco/Álbum: 5257 Lado/Faixa: lado B
My curiosity was caught, as both sides of the the record have a Hawaiian guitar in a leading role playing the theme accompanied by strings and sharing lead with an instrument that resemples slide or clay whistle. The music sounds rather Italian (- in the Neapolitan school) and has the same romantic touch as more of Bueno Lobo's own compositions. However, I have not been able to trace this recording in the Funarte database of Brazilian recordings, further I have found no info on the Orqestra Columbia from the time of the recording date. I should be happy, if some of the readers may be able to help with further info and answers to the following:
- Does Gastão Bueno Lobo participate on these two sides, playing the Hawaiian guitar (-and double on banjo at the A-side)?
- Who are the composer and arranger of the two recordings?
- Could it be confirmed, that the recordings were cut in Brazil 1930?
- Did Bueno Lobo cut other recordings for Columbia prior to 1932, as a staff member of the Columbia house band/orchestra?
Any help would be much appreciated, so feel free to post your comment, if you have any info concerning the mentioned recordings.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nó em Pingo D'Água: "João Pernambuco"

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to the shown recording by the choro ensemble, Nó em Pingo D'Água, performing elaborate arrangements of compositions by João Pernambuco. Nó em Pingo D'Água consists of Mário Sève (flute), Pedro Amorim (mandolin), Jorge Eduardo (7-string acoustic guitar), Rogério Silva (6-string acoustic guitar), Wanderson de Paulo (cavaquinho) and Márcio Gomes (pandeiro).The ensemble unites with pianist, composer and arranger Antonio Adolfo on all tracks, and some tracks have guest staring by Maurício Carrilho (acoustic guitar), Mauro Senise (soprano sax) and Norato (trombone).
All tracks are composed by João Pernambuco, one of the originators of the guitar choro tradition in Brazil, and the tracks are:
1. Interrogando 2. Mimoso 3. Sonho de Magia 4. Graúna 5. Choro em Sol 6. Sentindo 7. Rosa Carioca 8. Brasileirinho 9. Dengoso 10. Valsa em Lá 11. Sons de Carrilhões 12. A Estrada do Sertão
The cd is recorded 1983 and released by Atração (ATR 32010) in the Acervo Funarte series. This cd may be no longer available, but you may have an opportunity to listen to it at the new web radio by Funarte, Canal Virtual.
This web radio gives access to many of the released recordings in the Acervo Funarte series and thus offers the opportunity to listen to different Brazilian music of high quality.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Doce de Coco

The Jacob Do Bandolim CD Doce De Coco, released by Paris Jazz Corner 982 944, has been announced in a July Choro blog. Now I've had time to enjoy this recording.

The CD contains 24 tracks from the late 1940s and early 1950s, most previously released for the Brazilian RCA-Victor.

Jacob (Jacó for friends) Pick Bittencourt was born in Lapa, in the middle of the red light district of Rio de Janeiro. He was a very opinionated man; he disliked Bossa Nova, the modest singers he heard on the radio, journalists and other people part of the entertainment business.

In 1947 he entered the Continental studios in Rio to make his first two recordings, Gloria ( composed by Bonfiglio de Oliveira) and his own composition Treme Treme, which is to be found on this CD ( track 18 ). Although he had a band of his own for ten years ( Jacob e Sua Gente) he didn't make any recordings before.

Six more recordings were made in 1947 and 1948 in the Continental studio before he decided to join RCA-Victor. This CD gives a good view on Jacób Do Bandolim ( as he called himselve ) earliest recordings. One of these great tunes is Flamenco, a 1948 recording by Jaco together with César Faria e Seu Conjunto (track 12 ).

Choro as choro should be.

He became a well known radio announcer with his own live radio show for Radio Guanabara, called Jacó e seu bandolim. Each show opened with the tune Despertar Da Montanha, a choro that became the signature tune of the program (track 7 ). Then he played five or six choros , which were to be discussed. The program became very popular and preserved the choro music for oblivion. Mind that in Brazil too, rock and other US pop music was rising.

Thanks to his live performances of Jacob on the bandolim, this instrument became very popular in the early 1950s. Mind that the bandolim wasn't used in the choro music before that time. Before the 1950s the mandolin was used - Both instruments have four double courses of strings but the shape and playing technique of both instruments differs. The bandolim has an oval shape and a flat back and a somewhat deeper body than a mandolin. The bandolim is played with a pick made of tortoiseshell or plastic.

The liner notes of the record are written in French (with one summary in english) and contains full discographical information; a rarity in choro reissues.

If you want to experience choro music or the music of its inventor Jacob do Bandolim this CD is a must.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


Fon-Fon (Otaviano Romero Monteiro) (1908-1951) was the first in Brazil to have a group with saxophone, trumpet, and trombone sections. In his orchestra he had some of the best musicians of Rio in the '40s according to available info.
Alvaro Neder writes a profile in AMG:
"At ten, he was already a member of a banda de pífanos (traditional northeastern group of rustic flutes) in his city. He began his formal studies of music around 1926. In the next year, he moved to Rio de Janeiro RJ, where he enlisted in the army. There, he joined the regiment's band and improved his saxophone playing with frevo master Garrafinha, the band's counter-master. Soon he was playing in dance bands throughout the city, leaving the army in 1930. With one of those bands, he toured Argentina for a whole year. Returning to Brazil, he joined Romeu Silva's orchestra, soon followed by Sílvio Souza's. In 1939, he tried unsuccessfully to organize his own orchestra. Later, with a new formation, he had his orchestra hired by the Cassino Assírio, with arrangements by Radamés Gnattali. Those were the high times for Fon-Fon e Sua Orquestra. In 1941, he toured with it through Buenos Aires, Argentina, performing at the Radio Splendid. Between 1942 and 1947, the group was most requested as accompanist for Brazil's biggest stars. In 1946, he had a hit with Fon-Fon's choro "Murmurando" (Odeon). In the next year, Fon-Fon e Sua Orquestra was invited by the Club des Champs Elisées and went to Paris, France. After the engagement, continued in Europe where toured through several countries until Fon-Fon's demise in Greece, five years later."
I have found no info available on the recordings by Fon-Fon e Sua Orquestra in the Funarte database of Brazilian recordings.
There is a sample discography in Dicinoráio Cravo Albin, inserted below:
• Cláudio (1932) Columbia 78 • Rato, rato/Deixa por minha conta (1944) Odeon 78 • Turbilhão de beijos/Odeon (1945) Odeon 78 • Um baile em Catumbi/Murmurando (1946) Odeon 78 • Relembrando/Liszamba (1946) Continental 78 • Soluços/Aguenta a mão (1946) Continental 78 • Urubu malandro/Remeleixo (1947) Odeon 78 • Já vai tarde/Você não pensou (1947) Odeon 78 • No meu tempo era assim/É assim que eu gosto (1948) Odeon 78 • Fon-Fon et as musique du Brésil (1950) London LP
If some of the readers of this blog are able to provide further info on the recordings by Fon-Fon, feel free to post a comment. I have not been able to trace items containing re-issue of the listed recordings above, nor does a photo of Fon-Fon and his orchestra seem to be available.

Trio Surdina - Discography

Yesterday I had an inquery regarding info on the recordings made by the Trio Surdina. I have done a little research myself since yesterday and found out that there are 36 entries on recordings by Trio Surdina in the Funarte database of Brazilian recordings Furthermore I found a listed discography in Dicionàrio Cravo Albin, inserted below.

• Trio Surdina toca Ary Barroso (1953) Musidisc EP • Trio surdina (1953) Musidisc LP • Nem eu/O que é que a baiana tem/O mar/Não tem solução (1955) Musidisc 78 • Fita amarela/Três apitos/Conversa de botequim/Com que roupa (1955) Musidisc 78 • Amor secreto/Contigo em la distancia/Verdad amarga/Uma aventura mas (1955) Musidisc 78 • Na madrugada/Duas contas/Nós três/Canto Karabali (1955) Musidisc 78 • Sinceridad/Contigo/Angelitos negros/Canciõn del alma (1955) Musidisc 78 • Rio de Janeiro/Inquietação/Brasil moreno/No tabuleiro da baiana (1955) Musidisc 78 • Meu limão meu limoeiro/Rio/Favela/Terra seca (1956) Musidisc 78 • Sin ti/Oracion Caribe/Babalu/Para que sufras (1956) Musidis 78 • Felicidade/Joãozinho boa pinta (1956) Musidisc 78 • Vai haver barulho no "chateau"/Feitio de oração (1956) Musidisc 78 • Dora/João Valentão (1956) Musidisc 78 • Peixe vivo/Casinha pequenina (1956) Musidisc 78 • O relógio da vovó/Malagueña (1956) Musidisc 78 • Na madrugada/Com que roupa (1956) Musidisc 78 • O mar/Não tem solução (1956) Musidisc 78 • Fita amarela/Três apitos (1956) Musidisc 78 • Olhos verdes/Matinada (1956) Musidisc 78 • Trio surdina interpreta Dorival Caymmi, Ary Barroso e Noel Rosa (1956) Musidisc LP • Ouvindo trio Surdina - Volume 3 (1956) Musidisc LP • Molambo/Maria-la-ô (1957) Musidisc 78 • Trio Surdina (1957) Musidisc LP • Aquarela do Brasil (1957) Musidisc LP
Daniella Thompson has an article on Fáfa Lemos and the Trio Surdina at her blog spot from January 12, 2004. Search for this at or go to Daniella's other web for further info.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Trio Surdina

Searching info on Garoto I came across the name of Trio Surdina. This trio consisted of violinist Fáfa Lemos, accordionist Chiquinho and Garoto on guitar. The trio was formated 1952 to perform at a late night radio program and had great success with Brasilian radio audience in the early 1950'ies.

Alvaro Neder writes a small profile of the Trio Surdina under the entry of violinist Fáfa Lemos in AMG:

"Paulo Tapajós, musical director for Rádio Nacional, created the show Música em Surdina (music in mute), under the winning concept of taking the excellent soloists hired by the station from the orchestral mass and putting them in small groups. So, Tapajós created the Trio Surdina: Lemos, Garoto (violão and several other string instruments), and Chiquinho do Acordeon (accordion). Sometimes the trio was joined by Vidal (bass) and Bicalho (percussion). After prime time, they would entertain the listeners for hours, playing refined instrumental music until the daily closing of the broadcasts. Playing international music in Brazilian rhythms, they also incorporated Noel Rosa classics ("Com que Roupa?" sung by Lemos); "Ninguém me Ama" (Antônio Maria/Fernando Lobo, a hit in the voice of Nora Ney); and the trio's own compositions, such as the choro "Relógio da Vovó" and the baião "Nós Três." In 1953, the trio released the first of a series of LPs (Musidisc): Garoto's "Duas Contas," which can be considered a precursor of bossa nova, regarding lyrics, harmony, and melody. Tied by contract to the radio, the trio was emulated by some or all of its members in recordings for singers under a great deal of denominations. For example, "Vingança" (Lupicínio Rodrigues) was recorded by Linda Batista in 1951 (RCA), where pianist Carolina Cardoso de Menezes subbed the accordion of Chiquinho's, and "Risque" (Ary Barroso) was recorded next year by the same singer, this time with the exact formation of Trio Surdina".

If some of the readers of this blog spot have more info on Trio Surdina and the recordings they made, please feel free to post a comment.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Época de Ouro

In the early 1960'ies Jacob do Bandolim teamed with an ensemble of experienced choro musicians including Dino Sete Cordas, César Faria, Carlinhos, Jonas and Jorginho. This ensemble was later to be named Época de Ouro and is deservedly famed in Brazil - not only as do Bandolim's backing group but also as having a leading role in the choro revival of 1970'ies and later. Época de Ouro disbanded after Jacob do Bandolim's passing in 1969, but reunited under the leadership of César Faria in 1973 and survived a rotating membership since.
In AMG Alvaro Neder writes a profile of the group
Soundclips from the shown cd by Época de Ouro including a small review available at AMG by clicking here or on picture.
More soundclips from recordings by Época de Ouro available at AllBrazilianMusic

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dilermando Reis

Dilermando Reis (1916-1977) was an accompliced master of the Brazilian guitar tradition founded by the likes of Americo Jacomino Canhoto and João Pernambuco. He was born in in São Paulo, but lived most of his life in Rio de Janeiro, where he worked actively in radio and recordings. Reis worked also as a teacher of the guitar and as a composer . He played different types of guitar music and recorded pieces by renowned composers , as well as popular Brazilian composers. His preference was the traditional Brazilian guitar style: waltzes and choros. He recorded more of his own compositions, many of which became standards of Brazilian popular guitar.
A career profile and some soundclips available at AMG

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

João Pernambuco

Jão Teixeira Guimarães - better known as João Pernambuco (1883-1947) - is considered one of Brazil's most important guitarists and composers of popular works for guitar in the choro genre.
A career profile by Alvaro Neder in AMG reads:
"The son of a poor family in upcountry Brazil, he began to learn the viola at an early age with low-life cantadores of the streets and popular fairs of the northeast and, at 12, was already playing at parties. After his parents' demise, he moved to Recife PE, working as a blacksmith and in several minor jobs. In 1902, he moved to Rio, where he worked as a hand laborer, continuing to play and compose. As an illiterate musician, he used to give his compositions for others to write, and that way several were stolen from him. With Catulo da Paixão Cearense, he began a partnership with "Engenho de Humaitá" (written in 1911, it would be transformed into "Luar do Sertão," the unofficial Brazilian anthem of tremendous importance, credited only to Catulo and only recently properly acknowledged as Pernambuco's composition). Another toada, "Caboca di Caxangá" (a big hit in 1913's Carnival), followed the same fate. But the association with Catulo also provided him with access to the high bourgeoisie and intelligentsia, at whose soirées Pernambuco began to play, he even performed with Afonso Arinos and Rui Barbosa. His conception and creation of Grupo de Caxangá was hugely successful, with the group (which counted with Pixinguinha and Donga, among others, and introduced northeastern percussion and culture in southeast) was extremely popular between 1914 and 1919. Villa-Lobos, knowing of his problems with stolen songs, proposed himself in good faith to register and transcribe several of his songs, which he did. Pernambuco also participated with Pixinguinha's Os Oito Batutas and Os Turunas Pernambucanos. With Donga and Pixinguinha, he toured Brazil commissioned by Arnaldo Guinle, collecting Brazilian folkloric music. As a violonista, he recorded for the first Brazilian-established label, Casa Edison, and for Columbia and Phoenix."
Soundclips of some of João Pernambuco's compositions available at AMG
Enjoy a videoclip of a relaxed performance of one of Pernambuco's most popular compositions, "Sons de Carrilhões", click here