Saturday, July 28, 2012

Esdras Mariano (Lalão) - Violonista

Sometimes you do discoveries you didn't expect. I had such an experience recently after listening to the great CD by Yamandú Costa and Rogério Caetano, which I recommended in the previous entry. Among contributors to the repertoire of the disc there is a composer who didn't ring a bell in my limited knowledge of Brazilian composers. The name of this composer is stated as Lalão, and only after some research and googling I found a MySpace profile of this mysterious person.

The MySpace profile does not give info about the person on the photo above, but you have the opportunity to listen to the composition that put me on the trail of research for info on Lalão, 'Choro para Yamandú', here in a version slightly different from the version by Yamandú and Rogério, but definitly just as enjoyable and well played. Judging from the photo(s) of Lalão I counted on the fact that it is Lalão's own version of this earcatching guitar choro that is uploaded at the profile and further that Lalão himself is a great guitar player. After some more googling I found out that the real name of Lalão is Esdras Mariano and that he is from Recife, Pernambuco, a self taught guitarist 'discovered' by Yamandú Costa during one of his visits to this region and moreover a great friend of his.Further info on Lalão/Esdras Mariano is only to be found in an appraisal (- in Portuguese) by journalist and bandolonista Luis Nassif, which tells that this almost anonymous genius of the violão has been playing and composing for the violão during more than 40 years while earning his living as a bricklayer and a parttime musician as a member of both rock and jazzinfluenced local bands. An interesting detail noted by Nassif is that Canhoto da Paraiba praised Lalão's skills and recommended him as the only other violonista around, who would be able to do his (Canhoto's) part of the show in a concert dedicated to his music after he himself was paralyzed and unable to play any longer. Another detail in Lassif's article mentions that Yamandú and Lalão will play together and record a selection of Lalão's compositions, and this info is confirmed in another short notice from the website of the Muzak recording studio. Here it tells that Yamandú and Lalão have recorded together and that the producers try to raise funds to issue the disc.
The disc has not been issued yet, but meanwhile we are looking forward to the recorded co-work between Yamandú and Lalão, you have the opportunity to listen to (- and even freely download) 15 brillant pices of choro and valsa by Lalão uploaded at a profile for Esdras Mariano in a Brazilian web, click here.

Among the 15 pieces you have Lalão's version of 'Choro para Yamandú', two guitars are heard - probably Yamandú on violão sete cordas, while Lalão plays the lead on the six-string violão. Several of the uploaded tracks have two guitars in interplay, while the remaining are solo pieces by Lalão/Esdras Mariano, everything excellently executed and probably the takes designated for the promissed cd-issue. - On YouTube you have the opportunity to watch Lalão/Esdras Mariano play some of his latest compositions, and there is also uploaded an interview with this great violonista. Below I'll insert some of the uploaded music videos to give you an impression of this great musician and composer in live performance. - Here is first Esdras Mariano playing his choro titled 'Renascando'

Here is a live performance of Esdras Mariano's 'Burguêsinha'

From another studio live recording, here is Esdras Mariano's valsa titled 'Clarice'

Finally, from the same recording session here is a performance of the choro 'Vagalume'