You’ll Want More!
What is left to say about a consummate artist who has recorded with a world renowned list of performers ranging from classical to pop and including bluegrass and jazz? Mike Marshall is an accomplished mandolinist who has played and recorded with David Grisman, Andy Narell, Joshua Bell and Bela Fleck just to name a few more recognizable artists. However, since 1996, when he released Brasil (Duets), Marshall has had the choro “bug” in his veins. In 2003, together with Jovino Santos Neto, he released the magnificent Serenata – The Music of Hermeto Pascoal. What is probably not widely known is that Marshall’s passion for Brazilian music has gone beyond playing it. In order to assist other artists who also share the same passion, Marshall created Adventure Music, a label that covers all of Brazilian music, “from samba and jazz to folk and world beat,” he says.
After the recording with Jovino Santos Neto, Marshall decided to form the Choro Famoso group. Besides him on mandolin, Carlos Oliveira and Jamie Bell play 6- and 7-string guitars, Andy Connell and Harvey Wainapel are on clarinet and sax, leaving the percussion in the able hands of Michael Spiro, Brian Rice, Aaron Johnston, Dennis Broughton and Steve Robertson. With such fine ensemble, deciding on the repertoire was the next major step. As vast as the choro songbook is, Marshall had a hard task in his hands. His choice in music for this release could not have been better. He was naturally drawn to the cream of the crop and included music by the greats, such as Jacob do Bandolim, Zequinha de Abreu and Severino Araújo, without forgetting more contemporary names as is the case of Amilson Godoy and Paulinho da Viola. In the end, Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso is a beautiful, homogeneous piece of choro music.
The light and bouncy opener, “Um Abraço Seu Domingos,” is a choro not often heard, but certainly worth of more performances. Classics such as “Cochichando,” “Receita de Samba” and “Noites Cariocas” (all by Jacob do Bandolim) are performed here with such competence that incredulous ears might wonder whether these guys have not been playing choro all their lives. Of the two Paulinho da Viola tunes included here, “Choro Negro” is definitely my favorite. Marshall’s mandolin solo is sublime. He plays that song very softly and yet passionately. In “Espinha de Bacalhau,” Connell’s clarinet solo is captivating, particularly in the staccato notes. The same goes for Bell’s and Oliveira’s guitar solos in “Não Me Toques.” Closing the album, the high energy of “Luís Americano na P.R.E. 3” will leave you begging for more from this fine ensemble.
Read more about and hear samples of this album here.
Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso
Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso
Adventure Music AM1009 2 (2004)
- Um Abraço Seu Domingos (Amilson Godoy)
- Cochichando (Jacob do Bandolim)
- Sarau para Radamés (Paulinho da Viola)
- Receita de Samba (Jacob do Bandolim)
- Choro da Gafieira (Carlos Oliveira)
- Choro Negro (Paulinho da Viola)
- Espinha de Bacalhau (Severino Araújo)
- Noites Cariocas (Jacob do Bandolim)
- Não Me Toques (Zequinha de Abreu)
- Luís Americano na P.R.E. 3 (Luís Americano)