Back in 2008 a new CD ended up in my hands. It was Paula Mirhan & Wagner Barbosa’s Amanhecer. The 11 original songs in that album covered Sambas, Bossa Nova and Baião. It was a promising release by a new duo.
Fast forward to 2013 and welcome the Barbosa Trio. Paula’s smooth vocals have been replaced, and the new trio has a daring new and vibrant sound! The Barbosa Trio is formed by Paraná-native Wagner Barbosa (guitar, vocals), Ceará-born Rafael Mota Rodrigues (percussion) and Poland-native Kuba Palys (piano, vocals). This world-class trio joins hands and talents to produce a lively album, Alegria | Szczescie (that’s Polish for happiness, the album title). Although most of the nine songs in the album have Wagner’s name associated with it (he also produced and arranged the songs), the group expands its talents with other music by Tom Jobim, Edu Lobo and even a Lennon-McCartney tune! The repertoire works well in this trio format, and the arrangements are very good, too. The trio also invites special guests to augment their fresh sound. Toninho Ferragutti (accordeon) is featured in the title track; Jurandir Santana (guitar) appears in “Água de Beber”; Jorge Helder (bass) and Marcus Teixeira (acoustic and electric guitars) are present in “Nothing New”; and the Polish group Ritmodelia adds up more impact with their percussion. Vocalists Joanna Chmielcka, Lu Amaral and Adonias Jr. are also featured in Alegria | Szczescie.
The music in the album is very lively and takes advantage of Rafael’s sharp percussion. This is not to say that the CD does not slow down at times. “Alegria,” for example, adds a baião flavor with Toninho Ferragutti‘s featured accordeon solo. The echo of “Assum Preto” in the opening of “Black Bird” is beautiful and justifiably turn that Lennon-McCartney classic more Brazilian. The additional guests — Jorge Helder and Marcus Teixeira — add another musical dimension to the beautiful ballad “Nothing New.” Another good example of the group’s ability to handle well-known tunes is their approach to “Água de Beber.” The trio presents that classic Bossa Nova song in an entirely different arrangement. The use of guitars and percussion in a non-Bossa Nova performance works like magic. Kudos to the group and special guest Jurandir Santana on guitars in that track.
Alegria | Szczescie brings up a different side of known songs and adds nice compositions in a good repertoire. You can check that for yourself and even download the album at Wagner Barbosa‘s website.
Alegria | Szczescie
- Pererê (Demétrius Lulo – Wagner Barbosa)
- Rastapé (Wagner Barbosa)
- Alegria (Wagner Barbosa) w/ Toninho Ferragutti
- Black Bird (John Lennon – Paul McCartney)
- Nothing New (Wagner Barbosa) w/ Jorge Helder & Marcus Teixeira
- Gaveta (Wagner Barbosa – Dani Gurgel)
- Água de Beber (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) w/ Jurandir Santana
- Pata de Elefante (Wagner Barbosa) w/ Ritmodelia
- Vento Bravo (Edu Lobo – Paulo César Pinheiro)