Aug 01 2012

Leo Gandelman: Vip Vop

Catchy Quality


Vip VopBlame it on the summer heat, but I cannot stay away from cool sounds in Brazilian music. Recently I wrote about the innovative music of Jovino Santos Neto, the passionate jazz of Brazilian Trio and and the stylish guitar of Joe Carter. Yes, Brazilian Jazz is irresistible, and when it’s performed with the quality and energy we find in those artists and also in Leo Gandelman, the music transcends barriers and becomes truly universal. Gandelman can expertly perform classical, jazz and pop with the same ease. His musical abilities see no genre boundaries, and whatever he plays, he makes an indelible mark with his arrangements.

This celebrated sax player, arranger and producer has wowed audiences everywhere he has performed. He’s been a constant presence in jazz festivals in all corners of the globe, whether in Londrina (Paraná), Guaramiranga (Ceará) as well as cities in Europe, North America and Asia.
Some of the prizes he garnered include the 1990 APCA best instrumentalist and 1991 APCA best producer, best soundtrack for soccer legend biopic Estrela Solitária (based on Garrincha’s life) and the prestigious TIM 2007 best instrumental and producer for his CD Radamés e o Sax. Besides his own albums, he has also produced successful releases for Marina Lima, Gal Costa and Paula Morelenbaum among others. Furthermore, he is no stranger to movie and television soundtracks, including music for documentaries, novelas, special series and major motion pictures.

Vip Vop is Leo Gandelman’s thirteenth solo album, and it is as catchy as its title sounds. Produced along with David Feldman (who’s also on piano), Vip Vop also features Rafael Barata and Renato Massa (drums), Alberto Continentino and Guto Wirti (bass). The energy these musicians bring when playing together is infectious and impressive. They don’t seem to stop not even for a breath as you are swooshed in the music almost all entirely written by David Feldman and Leo Gandelman themselves with the notable exception of Ruy Guerra and Edú Lobo’s classic “Reza.” The first time things slow down a bit is with the seductive ballad “Luz Azul (Blue Light),” a beautiful composition with piano and sax swaying in a delicious and very intimate bossa. Simply gorgeous!

Noted music conservationist Charles Gavin said it well when he wrote the release for the album:

É por isto que, quando ouvimos e assistimos Vip Vop, ouvimos e assistimos também a arte de Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Moacir Santos, Luiz Eça, Roberto Menescal, J.T. Meirelles, Victor Assis Brasil, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Johnny Alf, João Donato, Paulo Moura e muitos outros. Sem eles nós não estaríamos aqui, não é? Vip Vop é sobre isto: celebrar o que a música brasileira tem de melhor. Em frente, Leo!

[That is why when we hear and watch Vip Vop, we also hear and see the art of Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Moacir Santos, Luiz Eça, Roberto Menescal, J.T. Meirelles, Victor Assis Brasil, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Johnny Alf, João Donato, Paulo Moura and many others. Without them we would not be here, right? Vip Vop is all about celebrating what Brazilian music has to offer. Onward, Leo!]

Leo Gandelman

Leo Gandelman honors the Brazilian tradition of those giants in this solid album. Leo is synonymous with quality. Vip Vop is a must-have album. A deluxe package is available with the full high-definition CD and a bonus DVD featuring the music played live in its entirety plus a documentary shot during the making of Vip Vop.

You can read more about the artist and album, including videos, in his website.



Leo Gandelman
Vip Vop
Far Out Recordings FARO 165CDX (2012)
Time: 53’23”


All music by David Feldman and Leo Gandelman, except where noted.

  1. Sinal Vermelho (Red Sign)
  2. Nego Tá Sabendo (They Know)
  3. Vip Vop (Very Important People/Very Ordinary People)
  4. Luz Azul (Blue Light)
  5. Lançamento (Release)
  6. Numa Boa (Good Vibes)
  7. Neshama
  8. Camisa 7 (Shirt 7)
  9. Reza (Pray) (Ruy Guerra – Edú Lobo)
  10. Neshama Cubana (Cuban Neshama)