Dec 04 2013

Hamilton de Holanda: Trio

A Dazzling Dedication to Music


TrioHamilton de Holanda still is a very busy person. After each album release or show one can start to wonder what his next project will be. As the title suggests, Hamilton (1976, Rio de Janeiro) shows up in a trio formation this time. To accompany him, Hamilton invited André Vasconcellos on the acoustic bass and Thiago da Serrinha on percussion. André Vasconcellos (1979, Brasília) already worked with De Holanda on his three Brasilianos projects. Percussionist Thiago da Serrinha (Rio de Janeiro) is known for his addiction to the African influences in samba. He’s not only a percussionist but also plays the cavaquinho and bandolin, as he does in Leila Pinheiro’s band. Two musicians with an interest in the Brazilian music history in combination with a faultless technique. To accompany a musical wizard as Hamilton de Holanda, such qualifications are an absolute must.

On Trio the musicians show their chops in a varied repertoire. Dazzling technical tour de forces don’t stand in the way of the listening pleasure, on the contrary. On his ten-string mandolin Hamilton de Holanda plays each of the many notes with an unbelievable functionality. While listening to his music you tend to forget all about technique; it’s only the music that counts. More than half of the tracks are composed by the leader himself. They include five so called caprices. Inspired by Niccolò Paganini (Italy, 1782 – 1840), Hamilton also composed a few dozen caprices in order to improve his technical skills. The first we hear is the album’s opener “Capricho de Raphael,” dedicated to the late great 7-string guitarist Raphael Rabello (1962 – 1995). “Capricho do Carmo” is dedicated to another legend in Brazilian music: Egberto Gistmonti, who was born in Carmo (1947, in the state of Rio de Janeiro). There are also a few Chico Buarque classics. “O Que Será” gets a pleasant rendition and “Sinhá” comes complete with the whistling; you don’t even miss the voice of the master. One of the most beautiful moments comes with “Desejo de Mulher,” a song Hamilton wrote with Zélia Duncan for Brazilian jazz singer Célia (Célia Regina Cruz; 1947, São Paulo). It’s a very intimate and fragile composition. The song smoothly flows over into “Capricho de Santa Cecília” with which Hamilton pays tribute to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. “Pai” is one-third of Baden Powell’s “Três Temas da Fé Afro-Brasileira” from his album “Canto on Guitar” from 1970. It’s a typical afro-samba as we know it from Baden Powell (1937 – 2000). It’s followed by “Teba,” a solo performance by the master musician Hamilton de Holanda!

Hamilton de HolandaEach track on this album shows Brazilian (music) history from another angle. That’s what makes the album so enjoyable. The musicians do a great job. The bass has a nice woody sound, the percussion sounds crystal clear, never bombastic, always subtle. The two accompanists give the leader the best possible frame to do his thing.

With Trio Hamilton de Holanda reached another highlight in his busy career. The album is beautifully recorded and comes with an informative packing. You can visit Hamilton on his website (also in English).



Hamilton de Holanda
Brasilianos BRP011 (2013)
Time: 46’36”


All compositions by Hamilton de Holanda, except where noted.

  1.  Capricho de Raphael
  2.   Capricho do Sul
  3.   Negro Samba
  4.   Sinhá (João Bosco – Chico Buarque)
  5.   Capricho de Espanha
  6.   Capricho do Carmo
  7.   O Que Será? (Chico Buarque)
  8.   Desejo de Mulher (Hamilton de Holanda – Zélia Duncan)
  9.   Capricho de Santa Cecília
  10. Aboio (Hamilton de Holanda – Yamandú)
  11. Pai (Baden Powell)
  12. Teba