Adriano Giffoni (1959, Ceará) has been making music since he was 15 years old. He started playing the guitar in several bars in the historical city of Olinda and Recife (Pernambuco) before moving to Manaus (Amazonas), where he began his formal studies as an acoustic bass player.He attended the Conservatory of the University of Amazonas and also had additional training at the University of Brasília, Musical School of Brasília, UNIRIO and a few others extension courses with names such as Professors Ian Guest, Sandrino Santoro. He also took classes with Zeca Assumpção. With such strong educational background, Giffoni has been giving workshops throughout Brazil and the world since 1994. Escola Pró-Arte (Rio de Janeiro), Escola Pró-Música (Minas Gerais) and Musikconservatorium (Copenhagen, Denmark) are just a few examples of where Giffoni has presented. In addition to that, he has also found time to write many books for bass players, including the following titles: Música Brasileira para Contrabaixo and Brazilian Music Workshop. Having been on the
A-list of many Brazilian performers as the bass player of their choice — he has performed with Leila Pinheiro, Djavan, Zizi Possi, Gal Costa, Nana Caymmi, Leny Andrade, Fátima Guedes, Maria Bethânia and many more — Giffoni still finds time to release top-notch solo works. His first solo CD wasAdriano Giffoni (1992, Perfil Musical) and was followed by Madrugada Carioca (1994, Perfil Musical), Contrabaixo Brasileiro(1997, Perfil Musical) and Caçula (1999, Perfil Musical). His latest project was the creation of a bass quartet in 2001. With that novel idea and support of fellow bass players Felipe Lydia, Norton Daiello and Mauro Rocha, the new Baixo Brasil quartet released its first self-titled album.
This CD proves that a bass can be a harmonious instrument as well as one for accompaniment and solo, of course. For this debut release, the quartet plays mostly Giffoni’s music, but their repertoire is focused on other Brazilian giants, such as Edu Lobo, Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil, among others. The album repertoire draws from the rich Brazilian musical tradition and presents afoxé, toada, frevo, samba, maxixe and baião and partido alto. Giffoni plays the fretless, 4- and 6-string bass, Lydia is on the electric bass andbaixolão, Daiello plays the 4- and 5-string bass and Rocha completes the quartet on a 5-string bass and baixolão. In some tracks, Murilo Silva is a special guest on a 5-string bass andbaixolão. The opening afoxé, “Festa Baiana,” is a bouncy number that will certainly start your feet moving to the rich sounds of this bass ensemble. The same goes with the funky partido alto “Bom Partido” and “Samba de Candango.” The frevo “Ladeiras de Olinda” as well as “Maxixe” offer a different sound to those traditional Brazilian rhythms but keeping their same vigor.
Baixo Brasil is an innovative ensemble (the only bass quartet in Latin America). The fact that the album has no other instrument other than basses makes this release a very daring project, too. I’m sure that bass lovers find in Baixo Brasil a reason to be ecstatic. Adriano Giffoni and his bass partners are pushing the boundaries of Brazilian instrumental music.
Perfil Musical 75041 (2001)
Tracks (all music by Adriano Giffoni, except where noted):
- Festa Baiana
- A Mesma Toada (Adriano Giffoni – Mário Alves)
- Bom Partido
- Cascavel (Antonio Adolfo)
- Ladeiras de Olinda (Adriano Giffoni – Mário Alves)
- Samba de Candango
- Bebendo na Fonte
- Suíngue da Cor (Luizinho Duarte)
- Samba de Malandro