Wednesday, December 04, 2013

When You Wish ... New Choro Recordings For Christmas

December is a hectic month for most people, preparations for the season's holidays seem to occupy much of your time, many wishes and expectations are stated and have to be confronted - especially if you have kids in your family. But even resonable grown-ups also have wishes and expectations, thus, if you - dear reader - are a resonable grown-up and have a wish of some new choro recordings for Christmas, but don't know what to expect, I have had a little help from the charming and generous Zé Carioca to help guiding your wishes and let your expectations materialize.

Bandolinist Hamilton de Holanda released the shown CD, Mondo de Pixinguinha, some months ago, and if you haven't added this to your collection of choro recordings already, it's an obvious wish for Christmas. The CD has twelth tracks of compositions by Pixinguinha performed by Hamilton in interplay with international as well as Brazilian musicians. The aim of the CD was not just to record a selection of Pixinguinha's compositions reliving a part of his music. According to Hamilton's notes, it was also to give musicians from other countries with a different background the opportunity to participate in Pixinguinha's legacy in new interpretations of the presented music. On these conditions the tracks are recorded in various places and countries with participation of great pianists like Chucho Valdés and Omar Sosa (Cuba), Stefano Bollani (Italy), Mario Laginha (Portugal), the French master of the accordeon Richard Galliano and the US jazz trompetist Wynton Marsalis. The Brazilian musicians, besides Hamilton, are André Mehmari (piano), Carlos Malta (tenor sax) and Odette Ernest Dias (flute). Ten tracks are duet performance featuring Hamilton in interplay with the mentioned foreign artists - the first track is a solo interpretation by Hamilton of the well known "Naquele Tempo" and the last track is a quartet version of "Carinhoso" by the Braszilian crew. Every track has new variations of the presented music, the CD gives the listener a great opportunity to explore and enjoy new aspects of Pixinguinha's music performed by true masters in amazing interplay, higly recommended - anytime. - You have the opportunity to buy and listen to all tracks in streaming audio at Hamilton's official web, the CD is also available in mp3 format for purchase here. - To give you an impression of the music and musicians on the CD, here's a video presentation featuring a live performance by Hamilton in interplay with  accordeonist Richard Galliano and pianist Omar Sosa - the music is Pixinguinha's "Ingênuo"

A capella sextet ORDINARIUS
2013 has celebrated the 150. anniversary of Ernesto Nazareth, one of the founding figures of choro. Many concerts, activities and new recordings by contemporary artists have been managed in Brazil to celebrate the jubilee. To participate in this renewed interest for Nazareth's legacy a vocal ensemble - the a cappella sextet ORDINARIUS - pointed me to the group's version of "Brejeiro" - inserted here
This wordless and very skilled a cappella version of Nazareth's tune reminded me of some of the vocal arrangements of classical music presented by the Well known and succesful US ensemble The Swingle Singers. -  You may learn more about ORDINARIUS here and also have the opportunity to listen to their debut CD in streaming audio.
Another remarkable presentation of Nazareth's music is available on the shown CD by Grupo Choro & Companhia - Nazareth: Fora dos Eixos, released last year. The title of the CD (- meaning 'off-axis') points to what is to be expected of the enclosed music. The presentation here is of compositions by Nazareth that are outside the repertoire of well known titles like 'Brejeiro, 'Odeon', 'Apanhei-te, cavaquinho' and other popular pieces. The chosen material for the CD is new arrangements of unpublished or neglected scores from the preserved archive of Nazareth's written music. The CD has eleven tracks of delightfull, well arranged and skillfully performed music, more info on single tracks available at Discos do Brasil, here. - The Choro & Companhia ensemble was originally formated in 1985 in Brasilia by a.o. Hamilton de Holanda and his brother Fernando César, today the group is a quartet and only Fernando César (violão and violão 7 cordas) remains from the original group. The other members of the quartet are Pedro Vasconcellos (cavaquinho), Ariadne Paixão (flute) and Amoy Ribas (percussion). On the CD the quartet is extended with guest performers in some of the tracks, they are Juninho Alvarenga (banjo), Alexandre Días (piano), Hamilton de Holanda (bandolim), Ricardo Dourado Freire (clarinet, clarone) and Roberto Corrêa (viola). All involved in the project have created an exciting recital of unknown works by Nazareth in up-to-date arrangements, the CD is higly recommended and an obvious choice for all lovers of original Brazilian music. The CD tracks are available for purchase in mp3 format here. - Choro & Compania presented the repertoire of the Fora dos eixos-CD in a TV production by TV Câmara, the show is almost one hour and has spoken information in between the music. It is well worth lending you attention, even though you don't speak or understand the Portuguese language (- no subtitles in English). Use extended view to have the best experience, enjoy

The Choro das trés ensemble continues their successful career and released the shown CD this summer in advance of a lenghty tour of the US. The CD is the third outing by the group and the title Boas Novas ( - meaning 'Good news' in English) points to the contents.There are 14 tracks of new choro pieces especially composed for Choro das trés, some of them by members of the ensemble, but most of them by friends and members of the choro society in the São Paulo area. The CD is produced by Choro das trés and released by the group's own label, Macole - more info to be found here. - The music on the CD contains great examples of contemporary choro that continue the tradition in a flawless and most enjoyable performance, highly recommended.The future of choro still looks bright thanks to the dedication and devotion to this original Brazilian music by talented and skilled musicians like Choro das trés. - The Boas Novas CD was presented in a live performance with participation of some of the contributors of the repertoire, a video fragment from the concert mixed with filmed footage from the recording of the CD is inserted below to give you an impression of the presented music - enjoy


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