29 julho 2006

Toninho Horta - Moonstone (1991)

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Toninho HortaAntônio Maurício Horta de Melo nasceu em Belo Horizonte, no bairro Floresta, em 2 de dezembro de 1948. Filho de Prudente de Melo, mestre-de-obras, e Geralda Magela Horta de Melo, funcionária pública. Seu pai tocava violão e a mãe, violão e bandolim. O primeiro músico da família foi o avô materno, João Horta, funcionário da Central do Brasil que montava uma banda em cada lugar em que morava. Paulo, um de seus cinco irmãos, foi quem mais o incentivou para música. Aos 10 anos, Toninho começou a tocar violão e, aos 13, fez sua primeira composição, "Barquinho Vem". Aos 19 anos, iniciou a carreira de músico profissional tocando na noite. Na adolescência, conheceu Milton Nascimento, Márcio e Lô Borges e Beto Guedes – aos dois últimos ensinou harmonia. Mas foi a partir do Festival de Belo Horizonte, em 1969, que começou a união musical do grupo. No final dos anos 60, foi para o Rio de Janeiro, onde trabalhou com artistas como Elis Regina. Em 1972, organizou arranjos de base, tocou guitarra, baixo e percussão no disco Clube da Esquina. Após 10 anos nos EUA, em 1999 retornou ao Brasil com uma carreira internacional consolidada. Hoje dedica-se ao seu selo Minas Records e a publicação do Livrão da Música Brasileira, compilação de cerca de 700 partituras, abrangendo desde Carlos Gomes até compositores contemporâneos.


The sound of Brazil are ringing together from its deepest reaches. Few feel its diverstity more intimately than Toninho Horta, whose elegant regional colors have been global ambassadors of the country's rich musical gifts for decades. Toninho Horta - by Cristiano QuintinoHorta embraces the most beautiful gestures of fingerstyle bossa nova, accompanying his own vocal lines with a grace that transcends mere harmonization; at a turn, he dispatches felt-toned octaves in soaring bop mode that utterly desegrates the invocations of jazz, classical, folk and african rythms within his shifting, surreal progressions. "I love to show a conception of my music", asserts Horta in an English riddled with the dialect of his native Belo Horizonte, the capital of the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. "That's much more meaningful to me than to just play guitar".

Although his compositions and fluent playing brought him recognition from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro, it wasn't until Milton Nascimento's popular breakthrough that the city-and Horta especially-became a touchstone for a growing international awareness of Brazilian music. Horta accompanied Nascimento in 1970 for the singer's very first performance in Rio, and two years later participated in the making of the landmark recording Clube da Esquina. Toninho's first solo album Terra dos Passaros was recorded during a period when his works were being covered by everyone from Sergio Mendes to Flora Purim to Norman Connors' Starship Orchestra.

A self titled follow-up, released in 1980, featured the contributions of a professed Horta disciple whose own music has carried that pervasive influence to audiences worldwide: Pat Metheny.

When Toninho immigrated to New York in the mid '80s, he spent time in the clubs alongside two former Pat Metheny Group members, drummer Danny Gottlieb and bassist Mark Egan, as well as percussionist Manolo Badrena. To hone his craft, he did two taxing semesters at the Juilliard School. "When I took the placement tests, he laughs, "they said, Ah, you don't know anything about music! And you have to start again with the rudiments if you want to study here. It was very strange, but it was an interesting experience."

Toninho Horta - by Fernando LibânioDiamond Land, Toninho's American label debut of last year, represented the results of his dabblings in orchestral study: Its lush, sweeping arrangements are propelled by a guitar voice that sings his melodies with a provocative sweetness. Moonstone is a return to the intimate setting that lends a more organic quality to Horta's compositions, several of which he performed unaccompanied at the urging of producer Ricardo Silveira, a fine Brazilian guitarist in his own right. For the ensemble pieces, Toninho is joined again by Egan and Gottlieb, along with the Brazilian vocal group Boca Livre, drummer Paulo Braga, bassist Steve Rodby, pianist Eliane Elias and percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, among many other stylistically diverse musicians.

The record is an exquisite statement of melody and mood; on the title track, Horta reunites with Metheny-whom Toninho is often surprisingly said to "sound like"- for a subtle acoustic dialog that brings the two guitarists together more inseparably than ever before. "A lot of people I speak to make the comparison", Toninho smiles, "but there are many guys who play the electric guitar more similarly to the way I do, like John Abercrombie. Lee Ritenour came to see my show in California, and Al di Meola saw me recently, and the guys loved the stuff. Lee told Ricardo, 'Toninho's incredible because he doesn't play licks'. I try not to sound like anybody else, and I prefer to make my mistakes and have more limited playing in terms of scales. I don't want to play licks. It's good, but I never want to do it. I have my licks, "he laughs, "but that's my way".

Why the more focused approach?
I've always loved orchestration. When I was very young, between 10 and 13, I listened to much American stuff, like Stan Kenton, Stan Getz, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald and I loved the big arrangements. Then one day I started playing guitar, and realized it's better to use six strings most of the time: I'd play with five fingers of the right hand to make a big sound, and use a lot of open strings to get more of an orchestrated sound. On both of the records I did in Brazil, and Diamond Land, I put too much (laughs). I had the opportunity to show my stuff playing-wise, but also to invite friends to play with me in the kinds of music that enjoys a lot of orchestration-very full. But Ricardo told me, "Toninho, you have to concentrate more on yourself now, on playing more". and besides, I promised the people at the record company that on the next album, I'd make it all just myself, and maybe some decoration. But between the last album and Moonstone, I'm more focused in my music, because I think the people in the company and maybe the United States want to listen more to me than a lot of stuff around it. Toninho Horta - by Cristiano QuintinoI love to play guitar, but I don't think I'd want to be a guitarist like Pat Metheny, because I like composing, singing, playing piano, production-I co-produced the first album I did here. But I thought I'd make it more simple, with less outside people, to show more of the styles, acoustic and electric, that I can play.

If you were to make a record that would really represent Toninho Horta, would it involve just singing and playing acoustic guitar?
Yeah. What got me into playing electric guitar was hearing people like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow. But I never took lessons, I just listened a lot. I started when I was 15 years old. My older brother Paulo is a bass player, and he's got a lot of American records. I listened all the time, but never copied one phrase from those guys. Maybe one chord. But I just listened and listened, and I never got a teacher in Brazil. And I really listened to Brazilian musicians, guitar players like Baden Powell, Chiquito Braga, Joao Gilberto, of course, and Jorge Ben. Growing up in Belo Horizonte, I met many musicians, but I found my style maybe when I was 18; at that time people said 'Toninho, you've got good harmony, god ways of music'. I would like to have studied then, but it's good now.

Some musicians have a creeping fear that if they learn the musical language, they'll get taken in by all the rules and find it more difficult to express themselvs. Did you experience that while studying at Juilliard?
Well, I got into a lot of orchestration, but then again, my idea was only to stay in Juilliard for a short time. I took an exam there, and it was so bad, even though I studied in Brazil in a private theory class for about two months before. At Juilliard, I made it through the beginning of harmony in four voices. I had a good time, and my teacher, a conductor named C.Jeffrey Langley, told me, "You don't need this", he made tests of all the others in the class, and they all knew that a Bb major scale had these notes with the accidentals or whatever, but when he started a test at the piano, on singing and identifying notes, I was always the best of the class. I have no theory, but a lot of experience. But I had a good time there; it helped in, learning to write better. A little bit, not too much (laughs).

Did it help your playing?
For playing, no, and for composing, no. Just for writing and understanding something about basic theory. But for applications like playing my music with other guys, definetely not.

Because studying harmony strengthens arranging skills, it also often helps guitarists learn more about moving the differents voices around on the instrument. Didn't your solo playing benefit from that?

Of course, but not intentionally. I always prefer a more natural sound. I've listened to all kinds of music at all times in my life. Right now, I listen to (arranger) Claus Ogerman and think about it, and that helps translate ideas, just keeping information. But when I sit with the guitar to compose a song, I never remember any scale or musician. I just play; maybe an old song of mine, or one by Antonio Jobim or Jorge Ben or Cole Porter (sings Porter's "I love you") - I love that song. Then I start to improvise lines, find some idea, and then I open my mind and start to compose. But I never decide, "Oh, now I'm going to compose a 6/8 song. " I once wrote for a small symphony in Campinas the second biggest city in Sao Paulo. It was a piece called "Earth", in four movements, and in this kind of work, you have to concentrate: I wanted to start with a big earthy sound, and then a happy song, so I had to compose a slightly faster part, and then be able to create sadness. I can work in a focused style, but I never think about the time, the rythm, or the chords. I just compose and play. It's easier for me, and it's best for the people who listen. It seems so natural.

When you compose, do you create the melody first and then build an accompaniment around it?
It all comes at the same time. Always together. Melody, harmony, and rythms.

When you came over to America, did people immediately compare your style to Pat Metheny's?
Yeah, of course. All the time (laughs). The first time I heard it it bothered me, but not now, because it happened so much that I got used to it. Pat and I have the same idols on guitar, and he's self taught, too. Like I said, I started when I was very young-my brother and mother showed me some chords. So Pat and I have some similarities. I met him in 1980 in Brazil: Celia Vaz, a brazilian guitar player who studied with Pat at Berklee, introduced us, and the first time we got together, he loved me as a person and for my playing. I loved him too-I bought Pat Metheny Group and American Garage (both on ECM) before I went to see him. And I remember saying, "If only someday I can play with Mark Egan (laughs)! "It was incredible because after we played together the first time, he said, "Toninho, would you like to make a record?" Some people told me that Pat and (Pat Metheny Group keyboardist) Lyle Mays, when they were at Berklee in 1972 and 1973, had Milton's first album, Clube da Esquina, which they bought in Brazil, and after that, they started to listening to Brazilian music, and more from the composers of Minas gerais. Since that time, he has gotten into many interesting records. Toninho Horta and Pat MethenyWhen Pat and Lyle came to Brazil, they said " Let's go to Clube Da Esquina to take pictures", but esquina is just a corner; it doesn't have a club (laughs), it's only a name. Close to the Minas Gerais corner in Brazil, there was a house belonging to (singer) Lo Borges' family: his father, his brothers, everybody playing and singing and writing songs, and sometimes I'd go and play with them. People would come and play until Milton broke out in Brazil in 1967, and then we started to play with him. I think my similarity to Pat is more natural than anything else. I loved him, and I never listened to just one solo. He's listened to my stuff a lot, but I don't think he copied anything. It's a similarity of emotion.

Did you improvise "Moonstone", your duet with Pat?
He's known the song from a long time ago. He invited me to play with him at the wedding of (actor) Robert Duvall. I played acoustic and he played electric. Pat always loved that song. And when he came to record my album, I asked, "Pat, what are we going to play-maybe 'Diana'? Because he also liked that one, and I never recorded it in the States. We played that and another song, and then we just started playing "Moonstone". We just started playing it. He gave some ideas about the form, then he improvised, then I improvised, then we played together, just very simple. We made six takes, and used the fourth one. I'm happy because Ricardo originally thought Pat wouldn't play on the record, but we are friends, and it's good because we wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to get together. We had a great time there.

Do you play a custom acoustic?
I use an Hermanos Conde, from Madrid, Spain. It's a flamenco guitar. Paco De Lucia may use a similar one, but his model is more classical. Mine is flamenco.

What's the difference?
It's cheaper and lighter. and the classical has a slightly wider neck. But for me, it's perfect because it's very easy to play. I don't have nails, and the guitar is very flat and easy to get at. For recording, it's very nice. I never use a pick with acoustic-only fingers.

Do you amplify that guitar?
No, I like it direct. I sometimes use an equalizer, a very old 6-band MXR pedal. But I have a Shadow pickup on the Hermanos Conde, and they might use a Boss DD-3 digital delay. For this album, I also played a Roland GR-303 guitar, but I only use the syntheseizer part once or twice a year. I use plain guitar, maybe some chorus, but not too much, through a Roland JC-120 amp. I used that for "Francisca," "Bycycle Ride". On "Liana", I used a 1959 Telecaster, which I borrowed from the studio owner, for a slightly brighter sound. Some people brought a (Gibson) ES-175 just for the recording, which I played on "Yarabela" and "Spirit Land", but then I decided to use only acoustic on that song. Then my Hermanos Conde cracked while recording, and I had to get another instrument. My friend lent me an acoustic/electric Takamine for the last two songs I did, "Gershwin" and "Saguin", which I performed by myself. It sounded a little different, with a little more middle, but it's okay. The music is more important than the equipment.

Have you ever worked with Joe Pass?
I met him at G.I.T. in California, where I did a seminar with Abe Laboriel. I met some guys from Brazil there around '83, and was supposed to come and do a seminar on Brazilian music, but I didn't have any time. Then a friend introduced me to Joe Pass the same week, who told me that Abe was doing a seminar for Latin music and asked if I would get involved. Larry Carlton was there (drummer) Ralph Humphrey, and a percussionist, and I played "I love you", I played a solo only with chords, and the people loved it. I have a tape of the people (mimics wild crowd noice). 300 guitar players in G.IT., never heard a chord solo!

Your Latino rythms must have freaked everybody out?
Yeah (sings straight ahead jazz rythms, then more anticipated rythms). It's got the feeling of jazz, but with special syncopations all over the place. The United States is incredible. When I was very young, I listened to all sorts its music, and it's great to get the opportunity to play my music here. Toninho Horta - by Cristiano QuintinoI worked in Rio for 10 years, and my producer told me, "Your place is the United States, not Brazil. "In Brazil there aremany good musicians and a lot of rythms, like baiao, samba, modinha- because Brazil is so big. The north is heavy influenced by Africa. The state of Bahia has african influences, and instruments like the congas (sings percussively)- Minas Gerais, my state, is heavily influenced by Spain and Portugal. Modinhas are like waltzes- not like jazz waltz-but Chorinhos and Modinhas have many influences from Spain and Portugal; mandolins, violins and guitar for example. The melodies and rythms are very Spanish. The rythms are very folk-song-like. And Rio de Janeiro has a more urban influence. Brazil is great musically, but to make music there, it's very, very hard, economically, politically, and socially. You see, you> have contemporary jazz, rock and pop. In Brazil now, we have instrumental music (laughs). The musicians don't have many opportunities, and to play at nights at clubs is hard. Also, there isn't much information. Here, you can buy the records of John Coltrane or Chopin or debussy, and you have the solos of Tal Farlow and Barney Kessel and Joe Pass. And the Berklee school, you get a thousand people playing the same thing, which actually is kind of bad. In Brazil, you don't have this, because it's hard to get a teacher and have big schools and information and books. I hope to release in Brazil a Real Book with about 350 songs by composers from Minas Gerais. Many important guys have risen from Brazil. The cultural secretary of Minas Gerais may be able to give the money for the project. It's important for the United States, because Brazilian music is better here again now, and there is interest in these harmonies and melodies.

Do you feel a responsability to the music of Brazil, or are your own concepts and playing your priorities now?
I have to be true, because until now, I haven't in a way. If I didn't make a record with more of myself playing, it's because I sometims feel insecure. When I play guitar and sing, or I accompany another person, it's easy for me. But when I have to play my music, play the melody and improvise, it's more difficult. This may be because until now, I've used too many people playing with me on a record, just because I loved it. But I never prepared much forehand. I find the songs and the form, but most of the time I write in the studio:"Oh, you just played it! Improvise here, make fills here, and if you want to, change it!" I like to show my music, and I am not interested in particular aspects. I have to concentrate more on playing than on the conception of the songs, but that's okay. Each of us has his own way. 100,000 people can play with more technique and ideas than I can, but I think when I play a phrase, I play it my way, and nobody plays like that but me.

16 julho 2006

Embalo - A New Concept of Brazilian Music (1999)

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Mesmo morando em Munique, na Alemanha, há 30 anos, o trompetista Julio Barbosa nunca separou-se das raízes brasileiras. De férias no Rio, Julinho, como era conhecido no meio musical, também veio negociar a edição do seu último CD gravado na Alemanha e "reciclar-se musicalmente para saber quais as novidades da MPB", como disse em entrevista ao GLOBO.

Embalo"Em 1969, viajei com o conjunto A Brasiliana para uma turnê na Europa, que durou cinco anos", conta Julio. "Fiquei na Alemanha porque me ofereceram inúmeras oportunidades de trabalho."

Julio foi um dos mais destacados trompetistas brasileiros nos anos 50 e 60, com passagem pelas orquestras dos maestros Cipó, Severino Araújo, e Peruzzi, com o saxofonista Moacir Silva, além de liderar seus pequenos conjuntos e gravar vários discos em seu nome. "Foi uma época de ouro na música brasileira", lembra. "Quase todas as emissoras de rádio tinham suas próprias orquestras, havia muito trabalho para os músicos".

Julio começou na Europa com a banda de Max Greger
Julio nasceu em Friburgo, aprendeu trompete na escola e tornou-se profissional quando veio morar no Rio. "Como quase todos os instrumentalistas, fui influenciado pelos músicos de jazz. Clifford Brown e Dizzy Gillespie foram meus primeiros mestres, mas meu estilo se identificou mais com o de Miles Davis".

Na Europa, ele integrou a orquestra do conhecido maestro alemão Max Greger, e depois atuou com outras formaçoes. "Tocar nas bandas européias foi um grande aprendizado que incorporei á minha experiencia anterior acumulada nas orquestras brasileiras". O trompetista acentua que nunca deixou de vir ao Brasil, procurando atualizar-se com as novidades da MPB. "Sempre mantive contato com a nossa música, que toco com meu conjunto alemão reforçado com Hermeto Pascoal, Paulo Russo (baixo), Ivan Conti (bateria) e Dom Chacal (percussão)". "Estou mantendo contato com algumas gravadoras para lançar o meu CD no Brasil, para as novas gerações conheceram o meu trabalho".

Gosto dos jovens molda mudanças na música popular
O trompetista avalia as inúmeras mudanças da música popular nos últimos tempos:

"A música conheceu transformações radicais em todo o mundo, moldada ao gosto dos jovens, é para eles que nós tocamos".

José Domingos Raffaelli - 07/01/2000 - extraído do jornal O Globo
Para mais informação, visite o site do Julio Barbosa


Julio BarbosaThrilling and funky Brazil jazz by Munich-based sextet Embalo. Band leader, composer and arranger Julio Barbosa from Rio de Janeiro is an agile trumpet player who has worked with Sergio Mendes, Purim/Moreira, Paulo Moura, and Deodato, among others. The other band members are at the same top level, so I am surprised that this CD has not yet been published by an international label. The taut energetic playing, the catchy melodies with effective breaks and rhythm changes, complete with jubilant improvisations by all band members, who will not even in the most exuberant samba-fusion ever lose the central thread: All this guarantees a truly liberating listening experience.

This result is due in part to the renowned musicians who added some finishing touches to the recording in Rio: Hermeto Pascoal, Paulo Russo, Ivan Conti, and Dom Chacal. The title "Partido Baixo" is a melodic tribute to Conti and Azymuth. And "Baiãosinho" and "Mestre Pascoal" are dedicated to Hermeto Pascoal. Embalo's Brazil concept is a great enrichment to the German jazz landscape and its otherwise rather neglected Latin segment.

Frithjof Strauß - extracted from Jazz Podium
For more info, visit Julio Barbosa's site

15 julho 2006

Quinteto Armorial - Do Romance ao Galope Nordestino (1974)

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Quinteto ArmorialQuantas vezes, na história de qualquer país do mundo, se conseguiu fundir em uma dúzia de peças musicais o regional no universal, e o popular no erudito? A julgar pela trajetória da cultura ocidental, onde a tendência da diversificação social urbana é sempre a de afastar os dois tipos de criação, através do alargamento das distancias entre povo e elite, esses momentos de reconhecimento mútuo de padrões culturais comuns não foram muitos. Por isso mesmo, o aparecimento de um desses raros exemplos no Brasil - neste mesmo instante em que a tendência é considerar "universal" a média descaracterizadamente musical produzida ao nível da cultura de massa - só pode ser saudado como um milagre.

O milagre, no caso, é representado pelas músicas do LP Quinteto Armorial - Do Romance ao Galope Nordestino, lançado pelos Discos Marcus Pereira sob o número 403.5025, e que torna público o trabalho realizado desde 1970 no Recife pelo Quinteto Armorial, sob a liderança e a orientação do teatrólogo Ariano Suassuna.

Decididos a realizar um levantamento da sobrevivência da música renascentista - que na península Ibérica casou processos de cantos árabes com o som das vihuelas, e sob o nome de romance ainda pode ser ouvida no Nordeste - Suassuna e os cinco jovens componentes do Quinteto Armorial foram buscar no canto dos cegos e nos benditos e incelenças da religiosidade popular um tesouro de sugestões musicais.

É esse material, maravilhosamente recriado (e não pastichado e mal disfarçado por enfeites de uma sovada harmonia erudita romântica, como foi tão comum na chamada Música Nacionalista), que o Quinteto Armorial revela agora, em 12 composições de um nível raramente atingido dentro da música brasileira, erudita ou popular.

Ao som da viola sertaneja do compositor Antônio José Madureira, da rabeca o violino de Antônio Carlos Nóbrega de Almeida, do violão de Edílson Eulálio, do pífano e flauta de Egildo Vieira e do marimbau de Fernando Torres, composições como Revoada e Ponteio Acutilado transportam numa ponte de quatro séculos a Renascença para o Nordeste, para repetir a experiência fantástica da fusão da plangente monodia do marimbau dos cegos com a polifonia do violão, esse descendente do alaúde, enquanto o viola soa cortante e metálica com um clavicórdio.

Embora seja impossível destacar qual a melhor faixa desse LP surpreendente e maravilhoso, onde tudo é perfeito, não se pode deixar de chamar a atenção para a composição intitulada Rasga, do jovem tocador de rabeca e violino Antônio Carlos Nóbrega de Almeida, que fecha o disco na última faixa com uma consagração definitiva. Não sabemos se o autor intitulou sua composição de Rasga numa alusão ao toque de viola denominado de "rasgado", em que as unhas do tocador apenas raspam as cordas, mas - embora ele talvez nem sonhe - sua composição não passa de variações em torno de uma chula gaúcha. De jato - e isto é realmente surpreendente, porque revela afinal a unidade subjacente da cultura popular brasileira, apesar de todas as deformações a que tentam sujeita-la através da massificação dos sons da moda - o tema central usado por Antônio Carlos Nóbrega de Almeida pode ser ouvido na chula, dança gaúcha, recolhida e adaptada por Barbosa Lessa e Paixão Cortes, que a gravou em 1962 no LP da Philips Folclore do Pampa - Paixão Cortes (P 632.103 L). Como afirmação de unidade cultural, num país marcado por tantas diferenças aparentes, isso não deixa de ser sensacional - e revelador.

Culturalmente tão importante quanto está sendo importante economicamente à descoberta de petróleo da bacia de Campos, o disco Quinteto Armorial - Do Romance ao Galope Nordestino, também deveria ser saudado em manchetes, por todos os jornais. Porque se a descoberta de novos lençóis de petróleo anuncia a perspectiva de um desenvolvimento independente da "ajuda" das empresas multinacionais, a revelação musical do Quinteto Armorial vem mostrar que, das profundezas da criação popular, também se pode tirar uma cultura autenticamente nacional.

Quem ouvir, dirá se não estamos com a razão. Mas, pelo amor de Deus, não deixem de ouvir.

Ainda sem uma programação definida para o Rio, o Quinteto Armorial será lançado oficialmente em São Paulo em três espetáculos, um para críticos e convidados e os dois outros abertos ao público, a preços populares. Sábado próximo, no Teatro Municipal, e domingo, na concha acústica do Ibirapuera, os concertos terão o patrocínio do Departamento de Cultura da Prefeitura Municipal de São Paulo; na segunda-feira é a própria Discos Marcus Pereira quem promove o espetáculo especial para convidados, no Museu Lazar Segall. O lançamento em São Paulo será complementado por diversas apresentações em TV, devendo o mesmo ocorrer no Rio, provavelmente em fins de janeiro.

José Ramos Tinhorão - Jornal do Brasil - Rio de Janeiro - 10/12/1974 - extraído do site do Antônio Nóbrega


Antonio MadureiraOne of the most important groups that brought together Brazilian classical and popular/folkloric musics, the Quinteto Armorial was derived from the Armorial Movement, led by Ariano Suassuna. Their work consisted of the adaptation and execution of Brazilian Renaissance pieces and European medieval-influenced ones, inspired by the Northeastern folklore. Formed in 1970, the first formation of the Quinteto Armorial was absorbed by the Orquestra Armorial de Câmara, which performed in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The group was awarded with the São Paulo's Association of Art Critics' award (APCA) in 1974, the year in which they recorded Quinteto Armorial — Do Romance ao Galope Nordestino (Marcus Pereira). They recorded three more albums until 1980, when was dissolved.

Alvaro Neder - extracted from All Music Guide

05 julho 2006

Carlos Malta & Coreto Urbano - Tudo Coreto (2001)

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Carlos MaltaSe tem alguém que vive - literalmente - de música, é Carlos Malta. Autodidata, toca todos os tipos de saxofone e flautas. Ex-músico de Hermeto Pascoal, arranjador e compositor, criou os grupos Coreto Urbano e Pife Muderno. Agora, ele lança o CD Tudo Coreto, pelo selo Rádio MEC, ao lado dos músicos do Coreto Urbano. "O grupo nasceu em 94 e um dos objetivos era dar asas à minha veia de arranjador, possibilitando explorar os instrumentos de forma incomum", conta Malta. Para alcançar esse resultado, foram reunidos instrumentistas com trabalhos solidificados em orquestra sinfônica: Eliezer Rodrigues, Lulu Pereira, Carlos Vega, André Boxexa, Rodolfo Cardoso, Nelson de Oliveira, Oscar Bolão, Sérgio de Jesus e Dirceu Leite. "Para eles foi muito interessante, pois ao contrário das orquestras, onde ficam esperando sua vez para tocar, no grupo trabalham o tempo todo!", brinca, destacando que a banda é a única no mundo com esta formação.

Carlos MaltaEm Tudo Coreto, cada uma das dez músicas tem uma sonoridade específica e, sem convidados, é um trabalho que mostra a realidade do grupo. Salva dos 21, por exemplo, é para Malta o "portrait" do Coreto Urbano. "Ela é a que mais revela a versatilidade da banda, pois passa pelo maxixe, funk, polca, frevo... Já Lamentos (Pixinguinha/Vinícius de Moraes) valoriza o ataque da nota, onde o que parece apenas um instrumento, é na verdade tuba e trombone baixo. E Luz do Sol (Caetano Veloso) tem uma melodia delineada com sax soprano", detalha.

Malta conta que todas as músicas do disco fazem parte da primeira leva de arranjos do Coreto Urbano. "Salva dos 21 foi a primeira música que compus para a banda; para Folia em Formosa fiz arranjos para diferentes formações; Barrigada já havia sido gravada no disco com o Pife Muderno", enumera. O CD ainda tem Até Amanhã (Noel Rosa), Arrastão (Edu Lobo/Vinícius de Moraes), Baião de Lacan (Guinga/Aldir Blanc) e Ladeira da Preguiça (Gilberto Gil).

Não há definição mais perfeita para a música do Coreto Urbano do que a do próprio Carlos Malta: "Sempre em movimento, com os ingredientes em ebulição". Depois de oito anos de formação, o grupo finalmente chega ao primeiro CD, "Tudo coreto".Carlos Malta Enxutíssimo em suas dez músicas, o CD é uma viagem pela criatividade dos também dez músicos. Ainda paira sob a música brasileira aquela idéia de que instrumental não prende o ouvinte. Para contradizer o preconceito, aí estão Malta e seu grupo, que através da realidade de seu som trabalhado de forma pura e sem altas tecnologias de estúdio - o CD foi gravado no velho estúdio da rádio MEC, onde a acústica é o equipamento mais importante -, seduz os ouvidos mais desacostumados ao instrumental.

Gravado no estúdio sinfônico da Rádio MEC, "Tudo coreto" é o primeiro CD de Malta com o Coreto Urbano, mas o sétimo de sua carreira. "O primeiro foi Rainbow, gravado na Suíça em 94, e que está esgotado", destaca ele, que tocou 12 anos com Hermeto Paschoal. "Em 93 parti para carreira solo. Foi minha 'puberdade musical', eu desenvolvia trabalhos para várias vertentes e chegou uma hora que eu precisava registrar aquilo tudo, senão iria enlouquecer", exagera. Malta brinca, dizendo que fez então o contrário de todo artista: lançou uma coletânea para depois lançar as obras separadamente. "Foi o disco Escultor do Vento, de 97. Tem músicas do Pife, de Pixinguinha e duas do Coreto, que resolvi regravar pois faziam parte do repertório da banda, que são Luz do Sol e Rua da Guia", revela.

Satisfeito por estar incluído no cast da Rádio MEC - "eles dão apoio à cultura baseada na arte, e não no comércio" -, Malta diz que o show de lançamento do CD deve acontecer no final de março, no Bar do Tom. Enquanto isso, vai tocando a pré-produção do novo CD do Pife Muderno. "Vamos gravar e lançar ainda este ano", garante o musicaholic.

Mônica Loureiro - extraído do site CliqueMusic


Working within a wall of woodwinds, switching from baritone sax to piccolo, from soprano sax to alto flute, performing solo, without benefit of accompanying musicians, the young musician on stage in the dark recital hall was assured and comfortable, no doubt aware that his technical command was considerably better than any of his contemporaries. I was witnessing an almost schizophrenic duality: on up-tempo, overtly rhythmic numbers, the musician's tone was indomitable, coarse, threatening, fierce, and there was a feeling of pushing things to the edge; on ballads the tonal quality became sensual, tender, sumptuous, with an expansive sound and delivery that created a cloud I could sink into and float away on. Talk about being relaxed! It was 1992, and I was in Rio at CIGAM (Curso Ian Guest de Aperfeiçoamento Musical). It was an epiphany, a performance experience that has remained etched in my memory.

Carlos MaltaNow every time I write or say something about Carlos Malta, I find myself consciously holding back accolades. But he is undoubtedly one of the world's fastest and most imaginatively advanced improvisers, with a vision that streaks ahead of his flying fingers, throwing out whirlwinds of ideas in prodigal handfuls—beautiful melodic lines, cliff-hanging climaxes, startling tonal devices, the whole held together by a colossal drive. An exciting tone colorist and obvious master of extended techniques, Malta's open ears and senses led him early on to experiment with an ever-widening circle of possibilities, to abandon notions that the flute has only one basic tone quality and is capable of producing only one note at a time, and to radically expand the instrument's sonic resources, its sound envelope.

Not only is Malta an undisputed master of the flute family (including ethnic fifes, Japanese shakuhachi and Chinese di-zi), he virtually brought the soprano sax into prominence in Brazil as a distinctive solo instrument. And there is little argument about his similar accomplishments on alto and tenor, or to the categorical statement that Malta is Brazil's premier baritone saxophone player, in a class of his own, omnipotent, and unchallenged in terms of sheer tonal quality, ability to improvise, and rhythmic drive. A virtuoso and an innovator, Malta has extended the range of the often-cumbersome instrument upwards into the high harmonic sphere and freed it of its stigmatized position in the sax family while loosing none of its substance or grandeur.

Malta's early apprenticeship with Hermeto Pascoal's O Grupo was an important developmental period for him as a leading soloist, and it passed on his first acclaim as one of Brazil's greatest solo virtuosi—a reputation his effortless improvisations and omnipresence as an arranger or session musician on literally hundreds of record dates and tours sustains with consummate ease. Says Malta, "During my time with Hermeto, I had the chance to listen to him on woodwinds, and his best lesson was 'create your own sound.' I mean, for a kid like me who never got any solos on recordings, I was ready to listen and to practice. I was ready to go." O Grupo was also where Malta embraced the influences of other significant soloists and innovators and established the patterns that nurtured his sophisticated conceptual development as a composer and arranger.

By any yardstick, Carlos Malta's career has been overall an astonishing as well as a personally rewarding one. There is little doubt that Malta is an important figure in Brazilian music as well as one of the most exciting musical personalities ever recorded. But a far more important index to the validity of an artist's work than the opinions of reviewers and critics, favorable or unfavorable, is the judgment of his peers. Former bandmate Jovino Santos Neto told me, "Malta is a unique player in a world where so many horn players sound alike. It's very hard to find saxophonists who play the entire family of reeds, from soprano to baritone and even harder for them to keep their signature sound with all the variations in timbre among these horns. Malta is also a virtuoso flautist who has taught me a lot about the essence of the instrument. Carlos MaltaI worked closely with Carlos for ten years, and he was consistently brilliant in the handling of his vast arsenal of instruments. Additionally, he has a strong stage presence, and his own fine recordings attest to the quality of his musicianship."

Malta speaks Portuguese, French, and English fluently, but his communication often transcends language—something I discovered almost ten years ago at CIGAM. I spoke with Malta shortly after his group Pife Muderno returned to Brazil from their performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and just before he left to perform with Gilberto Gil and Lenine in Paris. I was charmed by his ease and generosity, his humility, and by his enthusiasm for musical life in general. We discussed his numerous projects, his instruments, and sonorous architecture.

Brazzil — How was New Orleans?
Malta — It was incredible. We arrived on the 28th of April, and (Marcos) Suzano, Bolão, and I conducted a panel discussion where we talked about Brazilian rhythms and the traditions and transformations of Brazilian musical culture. The day after that, we played the festival and hosted another panel. The next day, another panel and a performance in Congo Square. Between all that, we performed at night at Café Brasil. People were just crazy about us! Everywhere Pife Muderno has been, we've received emphatic responses. In Venezuela, the people loved us, and the journalists at PercPan (Panorama Percussivo Mundial) in Salvador got so excited that we were invited to the Paris edition. We're going to Japan in August. It's a very import year for Pife Muderno.

I know the critics went crazy with the CD. O Dia, Jornal do Brasil, and O Globo cited it as best release of last year. Can you talk a little about the other players and your harmonic concept for the group?
The concept I had in mind when I formed the group was to construct a harmonic field of flutes and pit it against a harmonic wall of percussion. The banda de pífanos is the family of sound with which Pife Muderno is primarily associated. We are, however, a modern band, a band built up in the center of the city. We have a classical flautist, Andréa (Ernest Dias), an orchestral player with a huge reputation; Bolão, a multi-dimensionalist and a kind of partner of mine who performs in both Coreto Urbano and Pife Muderno. There is Marcos Suzano, who brings the pimenta, the seasoning from Rio with his pandeiro, which is not a very common instrument in a banda de pífanos, but one of the secrets of Pife Muderno. And then we have the authentic seasoning from Campina Grande, Paraíba, on zabumba, the guy who makes all the difference, Durval. If you can think of Suzano's pandeiros as a bass instrument and Durval's zabumba as a piano—he plays low and medium frequencies on the top skin of the zabumba and high frequencies on the lower skin—we've got piano, bass, and drums. This is the whole idea behind the group. When you listen to the tuning, the drums are really connected to the flutes in a harmonic context. Suzano really plays the bass line and Durval gets the (sings), which is the piano, the piano part! And this is the mix of Pife Muderno. We blend in bass flutes, alto flutes, Chinese and Indian flutes, and fifes from Caruaru, Brazil, with this rhythm section and come up with some very subtle harmonies.

I know Alain Marion from his work with Pierre Boulez's high-powered Ensemble InterContemporain. You dedicated the Pife Muderno CD to him. What is your connection to Marion?
Alain Marion was a French contemporary, classical flautist, one of the finest to pass over this earth. I first met him when he came to the International Flute Festival sponsored by Associação Brasileira de Flautistas here in Rio. They had invited me to perform the Villa-Lobos piece "Assobio a Jato" (Jet Whistle), which is a very difficult piece. Incidentally, this piece is recorded on my Rainbow CD. Alain Marion just got crazy with my playing. It was wonderful to listen to the standing ovation he initiated. He called my work a "bridge from earth to heaven." The things he said about how you play and what you think about when you play resonated with my own ideas. And for some reason he went completely crazy with the sound of the Brazilian fife. I was introduced to Jean-Pierre Rampal through Alain. They were like father and son. We formed a remarkable bond, and then suddenly, he died from a heart attack while on tour in South Korea. He was about 66 years old, which was too young for me. I was finishing the Pife Muderno CD at the time, and the dedication was my way of showing homage to him and connecting the French and Brazilian flute. Lately, I've been working with a friend who lives in Paris on a project called Maison du Pife. It's an association sponsored by the city of Paris whose objective is the exchange of artists between France and Brazil.

You formed both Pife Muderno and Coreto Urbano in 1994. Why undertake so much at one time? How could you possibly manage two groups that were so different?
Yes, they are twins, born in '94. Coreto Urbano, one week in a cultural center here in Rio, and the next week, Pife Muderno. After leaving Hermeto's band, I was having a hard time. I was playing, but as we say, playing for survival. A lot of people still don't know that I am writing my own music and leading my own groups. They think that I still play with Hermeto, but he hasn't made any group recordings since Festa dos Deuses. He's playing everything himself on his new CD, Eu e Eles. Those years with Hermeto were crazy times, and I left with a sense of respect for my first impressions and the insight to sculpt with my ears, not with my eyes. But I had no group to perform my own work, to hear how it sounded. Coreto Urbano was originally a way to develop my pencil, to write arrangements.

In spirit, Coreto Urbano is a revival of those little bands from past times, when we had those gazebos, the coretos, before we had computers and TV's, when people could sit in the square and listen to music, when there were no cinemas and everything happened at the coreto. That was entertainment, and this is the spirit of Coreto Urbano. But to that sound from the gazebos, to that brass and percussion music, I've brought a Gil Evans harmonic concept. As you can hear on "Luz do Sol" and "Bagunçando o Meu Coreto" from the Jeitinho Brasileiro CD, these are very, very hard arrangements, especially "Bagunçando o Meu Coreto." The lines are really challenging for the players. And this is a piano-less band and bass-less band. I mean, there are only seven people blowing, and it sounds like a huge band. It's very hard for any musician to get in the kind of shape that these players are in and to gel on that level, but all the players in Coreto Urbano are orchestral musicians who came to explore fresh ideas and to improvise. We're planning to record a CD, just Coreto Urbano, during the second half of this year.

When I listen to Coreto Urbano on the Jeitinho Brasileiro CD, I hear your mentor's influence. How much has Hermeto Pascoal's unique harmonic approach influenced your writing and arranging?
I can say that just about everything I've approached in the harmonic field, I developed with Hermeto. The group would meet with him in the afternoon and we would write arrangements and compose together. We could see all the time how he was creating—right under our noses—how simple he made it seem, and how strong he was, always showing lots of respect for our contributions. Many aspects of my arranging and composing were developed just by observing him. Being with Hermeto was an intensive experience for me, so sometimes my sound has whispers of someone who was educated by him. You know, there is a big difference between being educated at GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) or Berklee (College of Music) and by Hermeto Pascoal.

Was it your work with Hermeto that helped you develop your multi-horn capacities?
A lot. A lot, of course. When I came to Hermeto, I was playing flute, piccolo, and soprano sax. The next thing I knew, I was playing tenor, and then during a trip to Paris, I took up alto and baritone at the same time. Baritone was really weird in the beginning. I was getting a lot of back pains, because it is such a heavy instrument. It's much heavier than tenor, and your position has nothing to do with it. With the tenor you can get a comfortable position by resting the instrument on your leg, but baritone, no chance, man. You have to hold that horse in your hands. So there I was with seven instruments in front of me, and, of course, the first thing Hermeto wrote was a "do-or-die" piece for baritone called "Arapuá." It was amazing how I started to...had to develop. I had to learn, because I was usually the player responsible for exposing his themes on saxophones and flutes, and I often had to invent ways of playing pieces that seemed unplayable. But that experience taught me to trust my playing anywhere, anytime. It's because I've played very, very hard lines, that I know the value, the real value, of every single note. Hermeto is a muse and a really generous person who trusted me as his porta voz. He always appreciated my Brazilian way, this jeitinho Brasileiro that I suggest in my playing. And to Hermeto, a man who can perform amazingly on any instrument, this is very important. He told me, "Hey, kid, come on, play these things." (laughs) Very nice.

Do you use circular breathing?
Yes, sometimes you can't cut a note. Hermeto's music has many passages where I had to use circular breathing. Even on the flute, and it is a very serious thing to do on the flute. On saxophone and clarinet or double reed instruments, it's difficult, but on flute, it's really hard. There is no resistance for the air column, so you have to create it inside your body to make it work. Very funny, but the sensation is very nice. I like the sensation. Feels like you're going to die! (laughs)

Hermeto wrote many different horn parts for you within the same arrangement, so you not only had to learn the parts, you also had to learn how to drop one horn and pick up another one quickly. Did that take lots of extra work or did it come naturally?
That was some challenge! After playing the saxophone for some time, the muscles of the mouth hurt from the reed and mouthpiece, so I had to learn how to manage. Some of those albums, like Só Não Toca Quem Não Quer...changing from baritone to piccolo flute, for example, is a crazy switch. The reference is so large. But it was something that I wanted to learn. Now when I go into the studio and I'm asked to play flutes and saxophones on the same recording, I always say, "Let's do the saxophones first." And they flip. "Really! Are you sure?" Developing on diverse instruments has brought me to the core of what's happening with my music now.

How do you keep in good shape on so many instruments?
When I have to concentrate on a particular instrument for a concert, I keep that instrument close by. Even if I'm watching TV, I'll have the instrument in my hands and be practicing some fingerings, without disturbing anyone, you know? I'll get a soprano sax mouthpiece out and play some notes and do some tonguing just to exercise the muscles. Or, for example, if I'm working on the computer writing arrangements, I'll have an instrument next to me, just to practice some ideas or to build up the embouchure. That's the key to managing a better sound faster. It's just knowing what you have to do, so you're not uncomfortable when performing.

Does the key have anything to do with a particular kind of reed?
You might find this a little curious, but I use plastic reeds on all my saxophones. You know, those crappy things everyone hates? They are the only ones that allow me to switch from one instrument to another. Because the climate here is so warm and wet, a good bamboo reed in the morning looks like a potato chip by the afternoon. It's impossible, impossible! But like an angel from North Carolina, a saxophone player came to visit us. He had a nice sound, so I asked him what kind of reed he was using. He told me, "This is a plastic reed." I said, "Oh, man, tell me about it." Now I have sound for a week, for a month, for a year, and no more problems. I had to learn how to bring out that good sound, but I already had it in my head.

Who did you listen to in order to develop that sound? Who were your inspirations?
You know, I fell in love with soprano sax after hearing Wayne Shorter's Native Dancer. Shorter became a very strong reference point for me. Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Thijs Van Leer (Focus) were also strong influences. You know, not long ago, I was a special guest at a recording session for a group from Holland and Thijs Van Leer was also invited. Thijs Van Leer! It was very funny, because he was one of my heroes. The Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru, definitely is a strong influence. My other heroes are the classical flautists, Rampal and Marion, and I love Copinha, Nicolino Cópia. If Altamiro Carrilho is the Pelé of the flute, then Copinha is the Garrincha1. Yeah, Copinha was amazing. Copinha was the flautist on all the Brazilian bossa nova recordings. The bossa nova style asked for a cool sound; Copinha had that cool sound.

But Altamiro Carrilho is the player with the most individual sound. I used to listen to him when I was a kid. There was a TV show Altamiro used to play on with his little band, which had a tuba and an accordion played by Hermeto Pascoal. Yeah, man, Hermeto used to play with Altamiro Carrilho's little band on TV. So funny. They wore little hats, those caps and dressed in marching band uniforms. I always watched it. And later on, the tune "Primeiro Amor" was used as an overture for one of the soap operas here and Altamiro Carrilho played it. Every night I would wait up until ten o'clock just to hear that fucking tune. I had to listen to the flute before I could go to sleep. (laughs) Last month, I was called to do a recording of that famous Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda duet "Um a Zero." I played tenor sax and Altamiro played flute. It was incredible. Dino Sete Cordas looked at me and said, "Pixinguinha is standing right beside you, man." (laughs)

Do you recall a point in your life when you knew you were going to be a musician?
Oh yeah, I had been complaining a lot after reading a magazine article titled "Leve Sua Vida na Flauta." That was an expression here a long time ago that meant an easy way of life, like a playboy's. The article told about the mysteries of the flute, with pictures of Gilberto Gil, Hermeto Pascoal, Jeremy Steig, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. It's amazing, because at this point, I've met all the guys that were mentioned. Right now, I'm working with Gilberto Gil. We're performing this weekend in Paris and next week here in Rio. We were talking just yesterday about how strong the fife culture is here, and he told me that after hearing the Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru, he knew they had to appear on his album Expresso 2222. The first track on the album is "Pipoca Moderna." But that's getting ahead of my story. I read that article and got completely crazy about becoming a flautist, so my grandmother, who knew nothing about music, bought me a Yamaha blockflöte, a recorder. But it was kind of boring, because the article showed the big flutes. "I want one of those," I told her. "I want a silver one." She said, "Hey, you've got to practice first. It's very expensive to buy a flute. You'll just leave it lying around." I said, "Oh, no! I want to practice. I want to be a musician." So I waited three years, just looking in the store windows, standing there looking and wishing. It was something like platonic love. Then one day I dragged my father to one of the stores. It was the 6th of September, 1975. I remember the day. I told him, "You're not leaving until you buy me this flute." The guy in the store told my father that I knew how to play, because I had picked up the flute and played (imitates rapid passage) right there in the store. My father bought me a very good French flute, a Louis Lot, which was a wish come true.

Do you like the Haynes flute?
I've played Haynes flutes and felt very good vibrations. I've also played on a Marigeaux. Andréa plays on a Marigeaux; they're very good. Odette (Ernest Dias) also has a Louis Lot with a golden embouchure plate. Oh, man, is that an amazing flute. Sometimes you can take a Japanese flute and find a lot of sound initially, but after a while you get bored with it, because its sound can only be pushed so far. I have two American flutes. My bass flute is an Armstrong, and my second C flute is a Gemeinhardt. I also have a rare piccolo with a C-foot. A friend of mine, a very old man, who has since passed away, had an instrument shop in São Paulo, and when I found it there I said, "Oh, man, this is mine!"

Carlos, how do you feel about playing flute with electronic effects?
You know, I have a friend who uses a lot of effects on flute, and I've tried some things at his house. He's from Switzerland and uses a kind of digital delay and some pedals for solo concerts. Very nice. I think it's very interesting. When you have this touch for electronics and some ideas to develop during a solo concert, electronic effects are useful. But we have to be conscious of exaggerated colors, the exaggerated use of effects. It should just be a question of having another key on the instrument. Something that attracts me more is a kind of chamber constructed from various materials, like metal, wood, and leather. Each material in the walls of this chamber would present its own timbral characteristics, and players would go into this chamber and generate and respond to the inventory of sound possibilities. In 1993, when the cellist Daniel Pezzotti and I were working on the Rainbow project, we gave a concert in Curitiba, and the producer constructed two huge wooden pyramids on the stage. Microphones were placed inside the pyramids, and we went inside these structures to make sound explorations. It was wild! These pyramids were tuned (sings a perfect 5th), like surdos. No one could see us, and we did crazy things inside these sound installations. Sometimes adding some electronics, like a delay or a good reverb or some echo makes for a nice ambience, but I like the structural idea more. I'm more unplugged.

Speaking of structural ideas, can you tell me a little about the recording of "Camaleão" on the Jeitinho Brasileiro CD?
You remember Hermeto's tune "Cannon" that sounds like it had been written in a tunnel, like a time tunnel? Well, my idea to record in the tunnel was to create one of the longest soprano saxes in the world and to create chameleonic images by playing underground, under Corcovado, you know? Rebouças tunnel runs underneath Cristo Redentor (the stature of Christ the Redeemer) and connects the south side of Rio (Lagoa) to the north side (Rio Comprido). It's very, very Carioca. I called my friend and we took a portable DAT unit and a pair microphones into the tunnel. It's about two miles long, so the lows get really, really low. There was no traffic, because we went the night they clean the tunnel. When I got to the mouth of the tunnel, the supervisor ran over and started giving me hell, "Hey, man, what do you think you're doing? What are you thinking about?! I suppose you'll bring a whole orchestra down here tomorrow night and throw a big party. What are you thinking?!" It was a crazy scene, but we recorded it there, man, at two o'clock in the morning.

This year you've got another set of twins: Pixinguinha Alma e Corpo and Pimenta. Those arrangements for string quartet just penetrate and expand—the quintessence of musical ecstasy!
Yes, it's beautiful, just a beautiful thing, the works of Pixinguinha arranged for saxes, flute, and piccolo with string quartet. Pixinguinha Alma e Corpo, is a poem, a poem. I wrote the arrangements in 1997 for the Pixinguinha centennial and always wanted to record them. They're highly unusual in the Pixinguinha tradition where we have so many recordings, but always in the same choro atmosphere, like you're playing outside on the veranda, on the balcony. But these arrangements transform Pixinguinha's music into something for the concert hall with an erudite atmosphere, or chamber music quality. And Pimenta is an homage to Elis Regina. That was her nickname, an homage for Pimentinha. It's a memoir of tunes eternalized by Elis, like Jobim's "Chovendo na Roseira" and "Águas de Março," Milton Nascimento's "Cais" and "Nada Será Como Antes," Edu Lobo's "Upa Neguinho," Gilberto Gil's "Ladeira da Preguiça," and João Bosco's "Bala com Bala." The production has a very nice, live atmosphere. I just performed the project last night at a spot here in Rio called Arte Sumária with Tríade, a group that plays on the recording.

I should tell you that I'm partial to baião anyway, but "Nada Será Como Antes" with Tríade is burning! The 12-string sounds like a sitar and that extended flute solo...haunting!
Yes, Tríade is an excellent trio from Rio composed of Dalmo C. Mota, berimbaus and 6 and 12-string guitars; Augusto Mattoso, double bass; and Luiz Sobral, drums. The group's name means triad, or 3-tone chord.

Carlos, a couple of months ago you mentioned a project with the Alto Xingu Indians? How did that come about?
The idea was Ana's, my wife. We were in Brasília, and she suggested that we see the Memorial dos Povos Indígenas (Memorial of the Indigenous People). It's (Oscar) Niemeyer's architecture and breathtaking. We met Sandra Wellington there, the English girl who directs the memorial and who is a close friend of Aritana, one of Brazil's most important Indian chiefs. Somehow the idea of recording and producing a concert evolved and everyone got crazy with the idea. So we had this gathering there in Brasília. The Indians brought their flutes, their sacred flutes, the Jakuí and the Takuara, very holy objects. Music is sacred to them. Their existence is connected to the universe through music. They celebrate the morning, the sun, the mid day, the sunset. They celebrate the moon and the birds. Music is supernatural, and flute blowing is used as a mediator between the human and spirit worlds. Playing their flutes invokes the presence of the spirits and makes those powers accessible to the people. Whoever carries music inside himself is a kind of magic person. Our concepts of virtuoso musicians mean nothing to them. A flawless performance of Chopin means nothing to the Indians.

We played together, bass flute with the sacred flutes. I was improvising on their harmonic fields, and an amazing bond was created. The whole thing was just magic, one of the greatest experiences of my life. We recorded the main song of the Kuarup and also the main song of the Yawareté, the celebration of the birds2. Yeah, man! We could tell at the time, there in Brasília, right after the session, that we had captured something magical with exquisite musical color, full of spirit, full of heart. It was completely new to our ears, something as strong as those Bulgarian voices. The chief told us, "No one has ever had permission before to put a microphone up to the mouth of the singer during the Kuarup." Yeah, man, this is a religious ceremony, a very strong ceremony. It was really special for all of us. The Indians will have a CD, with all copyrights going to the Kuarup Foundation, which is very important, because they have been taken advantage of so often by people who go there taking pictures, making books, and a lot of money, with the Indians receive nothing. That's exploitation!

You seem to have a full plate, so I'm wondering what next?
In July, I will be performing an homage to Charlie Parker here in Rio, which is a genuinely gratifying project for me. It is a challenge, but I love playing his solos note-for-note on my Selmer alto. What a player! What an innovator! He built up a solid wall of sound like Pixinguinha...roses, thousands of roses coming from his horn.

Carlos, what are your views on the current trends and future of instrumental music?
I think everything that has good intentions and good direction is important. It's also important for new labels and new producers to come out and for alternative ways of selling records to develop. Because in the end, what is most important for us is to have recognition for our work. We need multinational companies here that have some concept of our music. I saw Roy Hargrove at the Village Vanguard at the beginning of his career, his first concert in New York. He was so nervous, man, but his producer was sitting next to us saying, "Roy is a big jazz star." And that's it, man. That's the thing we need here in Brazil, the same spirit, the same respect, like the trends in the United States and Japan. And I'm quite sure, as Tom Jobim once said, "The best way for the Brazilian musician is the door of the airport." But just to get out and close the door, no. I like to come back, and I like to tell my friends here what's going on. I think this is a maxim, a good phrase once you come back. I'd like to build up something here similar to what I saw and felt in New Orleans, in New York, in Tokyo, in Los Angeles. I've never seen anything like that festival in New Orleans—thirteen stages working simultaneously. You couldn't hear sound bleeding from one stage to another, and it was an open-air venue, like a fairground where they have horse races. It was amazing, the control of the air they had. There were no sound wars between the different performance spaces. The sound just went. Rio has a lot of places like that, but we haven't developed them yet. There are so many things to build up here. We need to use those models and good influences to support festivals here. And it's nice because we're a young country.

Carlos, thank you very much for allowing me to take so much of your time. It was an honor and a pleasure to talk with you.
Enjoy the sounds!

1. Mané Garrincha was Brazil's (some say the world's) second best soccer player ever, right after Pelé. He died a couple of years ago after a long period of heavy drinking and was possibly the last great representative of romantic soccer. Garrincha reached the climax of his career in 1962, in Chile, where Brazil won its second World Cup without Pelé, who had been injured during the first match. Some say Garrincha won the cup for Brazil. Garrincha's position practically doesn't exist in today's soccer: right wing forward. Pelé was a scorer (center forward) in the beginning of his career, but later became an advanced mid-fielder, a position that in Portuguese is called ponta de lança (spear head). Pelé and Garrincha never played for the same team (except on Brazil's national team). Pelé played for Santos (from São Paulo state) and Garrincha for Botafogo (Rio).

2. The Kuarup is a ritual rarely performed, that celebrates life, and is reserved only for chiefs and warriors. It is the highest tribute the Xingu Indians will bestow upon a person.

Bruce Gilman - extracted from Brazzil Magazine

01 julho 2006

Altamiro Carrilho e Sua Bandinha - Rio Antigo (1961)

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Altamiro CarrilhoDepois de tocar tarol na banda Lira de Árion, começou a estudar flauta. Iniciou a carreira nos programas de calouros, tendo obtido o primeiro prêmio no Calouros em Desfile, de Ary Barroso. Fez fama como improvisador e participou de numerosos grupos, discos e shows. Em 1949 gravou seu primeiro choro, "Flauteando na Chacrinha", no ano seguinte montou seu próprio conjunto na Rádio Guanabara. Em 51 substituiu Benedito Lacerda no conjunto regional de Garoto, contratado pela Rádio Mayrink Veiga. Lá acompanhou grandes estrelas como Vicente Celestino, Orlando Silva e Francisco Alves.

Formou o grupo Altamiro e Sua Bandinha, que teve programa na TV Tupi e emplacou o sucesso "Rio Antigo", com mais de 700 mil cópias vendidas. Nos anos 60 excursionou fora do país, e na década seguinte passou a ser um dos flautistas mais requisitados, por conta do movimento de redescoberta do choro. Continua em atividade, participando de gravações e shows, privilegiando o choro.

Extraído do site CliqueMusic


Altamiro CarrilhoOne of the most important choro flutists ever, Altamiro Carrilho put together a solid virtuosity and an ease for improvisation that in his 58 years as a professional artist (completed in 2001, having recorded over 110 albums) brought him the praise of both classical and popular renowned musicians, along with a consolidated popularity. His trademark was the insertion of excerpts of classical pieces into choro, and vice versa, as he did in the cadenza of the Concerto #2 in D Major KV 314 ahead of the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre (1976). As an accompanist, he worked with Orlando Silva, Vicente Celestino, Elizeth Cardoso, Moreira da Silva, Francisco Alves, Sílvio Caldas, Caetano Veloso, and Chico Buarque, among many others. His maxixe "Rio Antigo" sold 960,000 copies in just six months back in 1956, bringing him national fame. Carrilho also presented the highly successful TV show Em Tempo de Música, and toured through many countries, having being praised as one of the world's best soloists by conductor Boris Trisno. As a classical music soloist, he played lead on several orchestra pieces like Mozart's Concert in G at the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (1972). His album Clássicos em Choro was awarded with the Villa-Lobos trophy as Best Instrumental Album, and his Clássicos em Choro No. 2 won the gold record. In 1993, he was awarded with the Prêmio Sharp as the Best Arranger of Instrumental Music for his work on the album Altamiro Carrilho — 50 Anos de Choro, and, in 1997, he won it again for the Best Instrumental Album, Flauta Maravilhosa.

Altamiro CarrilhoHaving four generations of musicians and conductors in his genealogical tree, becoming a flutist at age five was somewhat natural for Carrilho. Since he was nine, he had started working because of his father's illness, but he continued to study music at night. At 11, he joined the Banda Lira de Arion playing the snare drum. When he was 16, he moved to Niterói (Rio de Janeiro) and became a regular at the radio shows presented by Dante Santoro and Benedito Lacerda. During that period, he won first place in Ary Barroso's novice show. His improvisational skills soon brought him invitations to join the groups led by César Moreno, Canhoto, and Rogério Guimarães. He recorded for the first time in 1943, on a Moreira da Silva album. His first record as a solo artist was recorded six years later, with his choro "Flauteando na Chacrinha." His own regional (small group) was formed in 1950 to work at the Rádio Guanabara. In May 1951, he joined the Regional do Canhoto, replacing Benedito Lacerda. Working at the Rádio Mayrink Veiga, the group accompanied the biggest stars of that period, like Orlando Silva, Vicente Celestino, Moreira da Silva, Francisco Alves, and Sílvio Caldas. In 1955, he formed the Bandinha de Altamiro Carrilho, and, in the next year, he achieved national success with his maxixe "Rio Antigo." Through the TV Tupi show Em Tempo de Música, he and his Bandinha attracted large audience levels for two years. In 1957, he was replaced by Carlos Poyares at the Regional do Canhoto. From 1963 to 1969, he did several international tours through countries like Spain, Portugal, France, England (where he recorded programs for the BBC and NBC), Germany, Lebanon, Egypt, and the former U.S.S.R. (for a three-month season in which he was praised by the conductor Boris Trisno as one of the world's greatest soloists). Carrilho continues to perform and record, and was decorated in 1998 by the President Fernando Henrique Cardoso for his services to the country.

Alvaro Neder - extracted from All Music Guide
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