Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Demise of Jacob do Bandolim

Jacob do Bandolim (1918-1969)
In March 1967 Jacob do Bandolim suffered the first of three heart strokes, this happened during a live performance. Two years later, primo August 1969, Jacob was in Brasilia to recieve treatment by a cardiologist, Dr. Veloso, after suffering yet another stroke. After returning to Rio Jacob decided to pay his old friend, Pixinguinha, a visit on August 13 to discuss plans of recording an album solely devoted to music by Pixinguinha. Upon returning from his visit, he got a third heart attack and this time with a fatal outcome - he died in the arms of his wife, who found him lying on the porch in front of their home in Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro.
Jacob and Epoca de Ouro (1960s)
Jacob was only 51 years of age, when he passed away on August 13, 1969, but at the time of his untimely death he had already achieved well-deserved fame and respect thanks to his unremitting efforts for disseminating knowledge and love for genuine Brazilian music, first and foremost choro and related genres. Jacob's work as a musician, researcher and producer of radio programs had helped to establish a successfull career, which was at its peak at the time of his death. An important decision in his career led to the formation of his most successful ensemble, the Conjunto Epoca de Ouro formed by Dino 7 Cordes, César Faria and Carlos Leite (guitars), Jonas Silva (cavaquinho) and Gilberto D'Avila (pandeiro). This ensemble accompanied Jacob in his weekly jam sessions (saraus) at his home during the 1960s and participated in the recording of his most successfull LP, Vibrações, released in October 1967. 
LP front, Vibrações, RCA Camden 1967
This year the LP Vibrações by Jacob e seu Conjunto Epoca de Oro celebrates its 50th year jubilee. On this date today we should honor Jacob do Bandolim and his efforts of keeping choro alive in a difficult period of popular music in Brazil by listening to the twelve tracks of this masterpiece. Luckily, the audio of all twelve tracks has been uploaded at You Tube and is accessible by following this link -  Here I'll just point to some anecdoctal info on the title track of the LP, the famous choro composed by Jacob. Déo Rian has told that Jacob composed the choro Vibrações in March 1964 while visiting a car wash shop owned by one of his choro friends. Waiting for the car wash to be finished, Jacob asked his friend for pen and paper and then wrote down the music of Vibrações by heart without having access to his instrument and gave it to his friend and owner of the car wash office, whom he asked to put a name on the music. The next day  his friend came to his house and exclaimed that he had created a masterpiece, which was to be named Vibrações (in English: vibrations) - the tune radiated the spirit of choro and generated good vibrations. Let's end this entry by listening to a live performance of Vibrações, probably recorded at a roda de choro in Brasilia in 1967 when Jacob and his Conjunto Epoca de Choro participated