Friday, August 15, 2008

Choro elétrico - Quatro A Zero

Traditionally choro performance has been closely related with the Regional, an ensemble using acoustic instruments like violão (6 & 7 cordas), cavaquinho, pandeiro for accompaniment and bandolim or reed (flute, clarinet or saxophone) playing the melody. Less often the piano or the accordion has been used as solo voices in the traditional choro Regional,however, notable exceptions being Grupo Chiquinha Gonzaga featuring the majestrina at the piano - or, from a later period, the Radamés Gnattali Sexteto featuring two pianos, accordion and electric guitar as alternating solo voices. Radamés Gnattali's ensemble was considered to be an experimental unit expanding the sound of the traditional Regional, the music performed also expanded the boundaries of the classic choro composition by incorporating other influences from various sources, erudite as well as popular forms including jazz harmony. Radamés Gnattali's influence as a renewer of the choro genre cannot be overestimated - his work as a composer, pianist, arranger and conductor had a profound effect on the conception of choro with performers like Jacob do Bandolim and later the Camerata Carioca featuring stellar instrumentalists like Joel Nasciemento, Mauricio Carrilho, Henrique Cazes and Raphael Rabello a.o. Also a younger generation of choro performers has been inspired by the experiments of Radamés Gnattali, an example is the quartet ensemble, Quatro A Zero.

The Quatro A Zero ensemble was formated 2001 by four students of music at the Universidade de Campinas with a common interest in choro. The group consists of Eduardo Lobo (guitar, violão sete cordas & bandolim), Danilo Penteado (electric bass and cavaquinho), Daniel Muller (piano & accordeon) and Lucas de Rosa (drums & percussion). Together these four musicians have renewed the conception of the choro genre by incorporating humor and musical influences from jazz and rock, but still with due respect and a deep understanding of the founding elements of the choro. The group has participated in various musical projects in Brazil and was elected second place in a prestigious musical contest 2004 - the same year their first cd was issued by Zabumba Records, 'Choro elétrico', shown below.

The music performed at the cd covers compositions like "Bolacha queimada" (Radamés Gnatalli), "O gato e o canário" (Pixinguinha), "Sarau para Radamés" (Paulinho da Viola), "O vôo da mosca" (Jacob do Bandolim), "Atlântico" (Ernesto Nazareth), "Os Carioquinhas no Choro" (Altamiro Carrilho), "Baile em Catamby" (Eduardo Souto), "Segura ele" (Marco César & João Lyra) and "Chiquinha Gonzaga", part of the Retratos suite by Radamés Gnattalli, further a couple of pieces by members of the group: "Choro infinito" (Eduardo Lobo) and "Conta outra" (Danilo Penteado). - The Quatro A Zero ensemble performs the mentioned titles with great skills and surprising sequences revealing humor and highly elaborated interplay - the group indeed acts as a unit, and the cd is recommended as a splendid example of the expansion of the traditional choro interpretation. - Learn more about Quatro A Zero and the cd from the group's official website (- in Portuguese only, yet) which also offers the opportunity of listening to sound clips from the 'Choro elétrico' cd, click here

I found a couple of fragments of live performance by Quatro A Zero from 2006 accompanying bandolimist Joel Nasciemento, inserted below. - Here's a performance of the choro "Entre Mil, Voce"

From the same live performance here is an incomplete version of Jacob do Bandolim's "Vibrações" - please, bear with bad image and audio qulity



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