Finally on CD!
What can be better than having a new Cesar Camargo Mariano CD? Two of his albums, of course. Not only do we have a brand new recording with Duo, but there is also the long awaited CD reissue of Samambaia. Together, these two albums give you a good dosage of the Mariano touch along with two Brazilian guitarists.
In the original liner notes for Samambaia, Mariano sums up the dream realization it was to record that album with Hélio Delmiro, one of Brazil’s most respected and sough-after musicians:
No dia 17 de agosto de 1981, entramos no estúdio e apresentei a ele um dos meus temas, Samambaia. E mais uma vez foi confirmada a identificação musical e sensitiva do duo pois no meio da exposição do tema, Helinho “saiu tocando” e a faixa foi gravada “na primeira”.[On August 17, 1981, we got to the studio and I showed him one of my themes, Samambaia. Once again the musical and sensitive identification of this duo was confirmed, for while I was showing Helinho the theme, he just “started playing right off the bat” and the track was recorded on its first take.]
Affinity, artistry, sensitivity, musicianship – those words are a few of the terms that come to mind when one tries to classify the work created by Cesar Camargo Mariano. Whether arranging for the best in Brazilian music – e.g., Elis Regina, Simone, Nana Caymmi and many more – composing, producing or playing, Mariano excels in every way and in each release he puts out or is involved in. He innovates and sets new standards to be followed by other musicians. So, it was with such anticipation that fans worldwide finally received the CD version of Samambaia. In addition to Mariano’s and Delmiro’s own compositions, such as the title track, “Emotiva Nº 4” and “Maria Rita” (a beautiful lullaby to Mariano’s daughter), this recording also features some Brazilian classics. “Carinhoso” and “No Rancho Fundo,” for example, touch on the traditional whereas the suite for “Milagre dos Peixes” explores more contemporary sounds in Milton Nascimento’s elaborate and intricate music. Those tracks give these consummate artists the chance to freely showcase what they are capable of doing. That is nothing short of spectacular. The same can be said of Delmiro’s “Das Cordas,” with its flamenco introduction and subsequent dazzling solo. Mariano’s own “Choratta” beautifully mixes choro with Bachian influences.
Twenty-one years later, another landmark encounter takes place with yet another Brazilian guitarist. This time Mariano brought to the studio another long-time friend: Romero Lubambo. The result, as expected, was the outstanding Duo, which just recently won the 2003 Tim Award for Best Brazilian Instrumental album. From the bouncy and dynamic opening track, “Samba Dobrado” (Djavan), to the unpredictably serene and beautiful “Wave” (Jobim), Duo is full or surprises – from the music and musicians to the classy liner notes with gorgeous close-up photos of the instruments themselves. One remarkable trait of Mariano’s arrangements lies on his ability to recreate and make even the most well-known songs sound new. He did that in his last album, Nova Saudade, with “Chega de Saudade,” for example. In Duo, besides the previously mentioned “Wave,” there are others that are noteworthy. “Joy Spring,” “Mr. Jr.,” “Fotografia” and “April Child” come to mind. Just a like spring day blossoms with colors and life, so does the arrangement in “Joy Spring.” From the slow, piano beginning, this tune grows and shifts into a nice samba. In “Mr. Jr.” and “”April Child,” both Mariano and Lubambo let loose and get down to just plain fun. Both artists dazzle you with their individual solos in those tracks. In closing Duo, Mariano and Lubambo truly saved the best for last. Jobim’s “Wave” receives a well-deserved new arrangement that puts that song in new heights. The gentle guitar and peaceful piano solos are like nectar from the gods.
Cesar Camargo Mariano & Hélio Delmiro
EMI 748143 2 (1981) (reissued 2003)
- Samambaia (Cesar Camargo Mariano)
- Carinhoso (Pixinguinha – João de Barro)
- Emotiva No. 4 (Hélio Delmiro)
- Curumim (Cesar Camargo Mariano)
- Das Cordas (Hélio Delmiro)
- Milagre dos Peixes (Suite) (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Choratta (Cesar Camargo Mariano)
- No Rancho Fundo (Ary Barroso – Lamartine Babo)
- Ninhos (Hélio Delmiro)
- Maria Rita (Cesar Camargo Mariano)