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.



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