Friday, February 29, 2008

Meu Brasil Brasileiro - Preview Of New CD

About a year ago I introduced the three charming young ladies shown above at this blog. The trio consists of three sisters from Porto Feliz, São Paulo state, Lia (violão de 7 cordas), Corina (flute) and Elisa (bandolim), who devote their skills to choro and do performances as Choro das Tres. In performance the three sisters are accompanied by their father, Eduardo Ferreira on the pandeiro and Adriano Andrade on cavaquinho.

Choro das 3 has made concerts and appearances in TV-shows with Luizinho 7 cordas, Conjunto Época de Ouro, Milton Móri, Zé Barbeiro, Ed Gagliardi, Arnaldinho do cavaco a.o., and now the trio has just released their first CD in Brazil.

The cd is released by Som Livre and is already available for purchase in Brazil, while the American and remaining market has to be patient until medio March. Click on cd-cover to see tracklist - the repertoire of the cd contains well known choro standards. I have ordered a copy already and will make a review later, when I have had the opportunity to listen to the cd. Until then, learn more about Choro das 3 from their website (-in Portuguese) and enjoy a review of one of their first uploaded videos, inserted below.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Elizeth Cardoso

A couple of days ago Hans Koert published a great contribution regarding Elizeth Cardosa and a famous concert/live-recording from 1968 at the keepswinging-blogspot

Enjoy it here in the English version as the entry for the comming week.

On the 19th of February 1968, fourty years ago, Elizeth Cardoso, one of the great vocalists of Brazil, performed in concert with the man who discovered her, Jacob Bittencourt, better known as Jacob do Bandolim. This concert, which featured the Zimbo Trio and Jacob's Época de Ouro, was recorded and released on the album Elizeth Cardoso, Jacob do Bandolim, Zimbo Trio & Época De Ouro. ( Museu Da Imagem E Do Som ).

Elizeth Cardoso was born in Sáo Francisco Xavier near Rio de Janeiro in July 1920. As a five years old girl she was already performing on stage, but her life changed when she was discovered as a 16 years old girl by Jacob do Bandolim, who invidted her to perform for Rádio Gunanabara. She became a celebrated radio star and performed during the 1930s and 1940s with a big orchestra, but she had to wait until the early 1950s before she had a big hit of her own with the tune Cancao de Amor, composed by Chocolate and Elano de Paula. I found an instrumental version played by Caetano Veloso I love to share with you.

The album, Elizeth Cardoso, Jacob do Bandolim, Zimbo Trio & Época De Ouro contains fragments of the program at the Teatro Joao Caetano in Rio de Janeiro, the 19th of February 1968, fourty years ago, with Jacob do Bandolim on ...... bandolim (what's in a name?) with Jacob's band Época de Ouro, featuring Dino on the 7-string guitar, Carlos Leit, nicknamed Carlinhos on guitar, Jonas Silva on the cavaquinho and Gilberto D' Avilla on the pandeiro. On some tracks Elizeth is accompanied by her Zimbo Trio, featuring Hamilton Godoy at the piano, Luiz Chavas on the bass and Rubinho on percussion. I found a 1970 fragment where you can hear Elizeth Cardoso singing Sei La Mangueira.

During the period of this concert Elizeth Cardoso was the star in several TV programs and shows, like Rosa de Ouro. On the album you can find a selection from that show in Seleção do musical. I can let you listen to one of the tracks to be heard on the album, titled Barracão, where you can hear Jacob do Bandolim accompany her sweet voice. Elizeth passed away May 1990 as one of the great divas of Brazilian music.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flor Amorosa

Valentine's Day, the 14th of February, inspired my friend and co-editor of the choro-music blog, Hans, to post a great contribution about Joaquim Calado's 'Flor Amorosa' at the keepswinging-blogspot

Enjoy it here in the English version as this week's contribution.

This tune, Flor Amorosa, is one of the earliest examples of choro. It was composed by Joaquim Antonio da Silva Calado ( or Callado ). He was a flute player and composer and lived in the 19th Century (1848 - 1880). He founded a group, called Choro Carioca, around 1870 that had a flute, a cavaquinho and two guitars, what we now recognize as typically choro band instruments. He used the name Choro for the very first time. The music was played on the plantations and the name Choro became a label for those typically instruments, but also for the music and for the social gatherings. If Choro music is new for you, you should have a close look to all three fragments posted. Choro music had, except a kind of musical interaction, also a very important social roll in the 19th century society of poors and slaves. They came together and took their instruments; sitting in a circle, a Ronda, so they could have eye contact easily, to interact to the others sitting in front of them. While being gathered they played the well known folk tunes, choro's, and each instrument, each musician, each choroes, starters as well as skilled ones, were invited to play along.

Clado was, except a skilled flute player, also a very good composer, who must have made hundreds of compositions for people who had to celebrate something. As he was invited to play on festivities he loved to make special compositions. Alexandre Pinto says in his book: .... When a lady or gentleman asked him to compose a choro dedicated to the guest of honor, he did not sa no, grabbed whatever piece of paper if he had no manuscript, took a pencil and zaz !! He would start to write and in a moment he would give it to a chorao who played it, becoming a deam for all of the guests because of its clarity and beautiful inspiration ( from O Choro: eminiscencias dos choroes antigos)

His most famous composition is Flor Amorosa, which has already all elements typically for choro music and is stil played nowadays. Well, for me, this tune, can replace My Funny Valentine and become the symbol for this day of friendship. Choro music is a very social event, being together, in a ronda, making music together, in peace.

Valentine Cards can be send to:

Hans Koert

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dilermando Reis Revisited

Dilermando Reis (1916-1977) is deservedly considered one of the most important guitarists in Brazil after Garoto. He began his career in the 1930s, when he moved from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. There he gave guitar lessons at the 'Bandolim de Ouro' and 'A Guitarra de Prata' music stores and made the acquaintance of fellow educator João Pernambuco. He worked sporadically at Radio Guanabara and in 1945 formed the regional for the Radio Club of Brazil that included Waldir Azevedo on cavaquinho. In 1956, he signed a contract with Rádio Nacional, where he remained until 1969. He recorded many successful LPs of his own compositions and arrangements, and in 1970 Radamés Gnattali dedicated his 'Concerto #1' to Reis, who recorded it that same year. In 1972, he recorded the LP 'Dilermando toca Pixinguinha' (- re-issued on cd, see picture below) containing arrangements of well known pieces by Pixinguinha in a duo setting - one of the most successful choro recordings before the revival and still highly recommended.- Dilermando Reis also gave concerts abroad and has been featured on TV in the USA. He had many students, both professional and amateur guitarists, the most famous actually was the president of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek!

Dilermando Reis composed many solo pieces for guitar, including choros and waltzes, below I insert some examples uploaded at YouTube. I also point to the progam by Fábio Zanon devoted to Dilermando Reis in his 'O Violão Brasileiro' series at Rádio Cultura, SP (- click on headline to learn more about the mentioned program featuring audio samples by Reis, the progam may be downloaded at Zanon's blog).

One of Reis' most popular pieces probably is 'Xodó da Baiana', here performed in a duo setting by Alessandro Penezzi & Caio Oliveira

As mentioned above, Dilermando Reis also composed waltzes, here is an example of one of his well know pieces, 'Uma valsa e dois amores', performed by the accomplished Ovidiov

A typical choro by Reis is his 'Dr. Sabe Tudo', here performed by Ovidiov


Friday, February 01, 2008

Recommended Links!

We had a reaction from Zé Carlos Cipriano regarding my contribution recently on Ernesto Nazareth's 'Odeon'. Zé Carlos manages the 'Sovaco de Cobra' website, which is a great resource site (-in Portuguese) concerning Brasilian music, he wrote: "Sovaco de Cobra has an investigative musical series on the carioca composer Ernesto Nazareth, presenting first-hand recordings and texts regarding his rarest compositions. Its name is "Rare Music of Ernesto Nazareth" and it has a english version!". Click here to reach the mentioned articles.

Up till now 4 of the articles have been translated into English with carefully researched details and available audio by Alexandre Dias, a first rate pianist and music researcher, who also maintains the official website of Ernesto Nazareth, 'Rei do Choro'

I recommend a visit at both Sovaco de Cobra and Alexandre Dias' website, if you like to learn more, just follow the links.

Mentioning Sovaco de Cobra I also want to point to the published excellent series of articles on music compositions by Garoto, 'O cancioneiro de Garoto' from the research of Jorge Mello. Earlier Zé Carlos has mentioned that this series, which have already reached more than 20 entries, will be available in English later. Each article has audio example of the music discussed and is defenitly worth consulting for further details regarding Garoto's legacy.


This week Brazil is celebrating carnaval with a lot of official festives. Although choro is not designated for carnaval, this musical idiom, however, has contributed with a composition that probably will be performed during carnaval. I refer to 'Brasileirinho' by Waldir Azevedo, which seems to capture the spirit of Brazil's carnaval, at least this is my impression from viewing a performance of the tune uploaded at YouTube featuring vocalist Alcione accompanied by well known stars of choro: Waldir Azevedo (cavaquinho), Déo Rian (bandolim), Abel Ferreira (cl), Altamiro Carrilho (flute) and Waltel Branco (violão). - Let's celebrate carnaval and choro, enjoy this rendition of 'Brasileirinho'