Saturday, June 25, 2016


This month the choro music weblog celebrates its 10th year of existence and to mark this jubilee I have chosen the Portuguese word 'alegria' to summarize my own experience of having had the opportunity to explore and share a small part of the tradition associated with the Brazilian genuine music known as choro. Alegria means 'joy' in English and for me it has been a joy to share my experience of choro related subjects with readers of the blog. I am forever thankful that my late friend and originator of the choro music weblog, Hans Koert (1951-2014), created a platform to expose choro outside Brazil for an English speaking public with interest in sharing our common passion for this great music. - To celebrate the jubilee of the blog, I like to point you to a couple of recently released choro related CD albums and a TV recorded concert which altogether evaluate the meaning of 'alegria' in this context.
Trio Brasileiro - Caminho do meio (Casa do Som, CD 2015)
The great Trio Brasileiro has recently released the ensemble's second CD, Caminho do meio, and generously made it available for free download at the official website of the group. Further, the audio has also been uploaded at YouTube by Dudu Maia, the bandolinista of the trio, accessible here. Trio Brasileiro was formed in 2011 and integrates Dudu Maia (bandolim), Douglas Lora (violão 7 cordas) and Alexandre Lora (pandeiro and percussion). The trio released its first CD in 2012 titled Simples Assim including a repertoire of both classic choro tunes and compositions by the group members, the CD is still available for purchase here. The new CD has a repertoire of 12 tunes, 11 of them compositions by individual members of the trio, the last track is the trio's version of J.S. Bach's Allegro from violin sonatta II. The music composed by the trio members represents influence from different sources of Brazilian music tradition, notably those associated with the North East of Brazil, but it's dificult to differentiate further for this listener. The many flavours of choro, however, are recognisable throughout these magnificent recordings by Trio Brasileiro which were recorded and produced at Dudu Maia's studio in Brasilia, Casa do Som, in 2015. Highly recommended!
Anat Cohen and Trio Brasileiro - Alegria da casa (Anzic Records, LLC 2016)
Trio Brasileiro has enjoyed international success since the formation of the ensemble in 2011, especially an American public in the US has been introduced to the rich Brazilian instrumental music tradions associated with choro and related genres by frequent visits of the trio at concerts, workshops and choro conventions. In 2013, Trio Brasileiro and the New York based female clarinetist Anat Cohen had a collaboration which resulted in the recording of the shown CD album Alegria da casa. The CD was recorded in September 2013 at Dudu Maia's Casa do Som studio in Brasilia and has been released internationally last month by Anat Cohen's own label, Anzic Records.
Anat Cohen and Trio Brasileiro (photo from CD package)
Anat Cohen is a highly estimated reed player, notably known for her contributions in jazz and a successful international career as a prizewinning clarinetist with several recorded albums in her own name and in collabarotion with internationally acknowleged artists. Besides jazz related project, Anat Cohen has also contributed to choro and helped spreading the music to an American public since 2001, i.e. through her collaboration with Brazilian musicians in her own Choro Ensemble which released two CD albums in 2005 and 2007. Learn more about Anat Cohen's career and recordings at the official website, here
Tracklist featured at Alegria da casa CD
The music featured at the CD contains both arrangements of clasic choro compositions like Murmurando and the two Jacob do Bandolim pieces, Feia and Santa Morena, besides three compositions by Anat Cohen and Douglas Lora each and the title track Alegria da casa by Dudu Maia. The eleven tracks at the CD represent different aspects of choro and related instrumental genres with plenty of space left for improvisation and great interplay. Together the four musicians have created a magnificent musical result that leaves the listener the opportunity to enjoy the virtuosic playing by all involved and the spontaneous atmosphere of the performance - highly recommended! - The CD is available for purchase here

As mentioned above, Anat Cohen has long been involved in choro besides her career as a jazz artist and she is currently leading a choro quartet in New York named Choro Aventuroso featuring three Brazilian musicians. Her musicians are Vitor Goncalves (accordion), Cesar Garabini (violão 7 cordas) and Sergio Krakowski (pandeiro). In the fall of 2014, Cohen and Choro Aventuroso had the opportunity to showcase at Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC, and the performance was recorded and transmitted at the npr TV chanel. The concert has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below to share a great musical event celebrating choro - enjoy it in full screen mode!



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