Jan 08 2011

Pascoal Meirelles: Ostinato

(Brazilian) Jazz at Its Best!



After listening to this work of solid jazz, one can imagine how such an album would be welcomed in Europe or the USA. My guess is that many will see the CD as a confirmation of what they always thought about Brazilian musicians: very skilled and original. The music on Ostinato can be qualified as post-bop, but it breaths the air of samba and bossa with a light scent of Minas Gerais (Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta).

Drummer Pascoal Meirelles (Belo Horizonte, 1944) recorded the album near the end of 2007. He invited some of the best instrumentalists and picked out some wonderful compositions. Pascoal Meirelles has worked with an impressive list of Brazilian top musicians, which earned him a spotless reputation. He’s one of those masterful drummers who know precisely how to add support for the soloists. It’s fun to hear how he adjusts his drumming according to the one who’s soloing. It shows how well Pascoal knows who he’s playing with. The musicians participating on this album have worked with Pascoal before, a fact that leads to interesting interaction between the instrumentalists.

Pascoal MeirellesThe album opens with a composition by pianist Jota Moraes, “Romanza.” Guitarist Ary Piassarolo delivers a wonderful solo, as does Mauro Senise on the alto sax. Together with Mingo (percussion), the song’s composer and keyboardist Jota Moraes and bassist André Neiva, Mauro Senise and Pascoal Meirelles were members of the famous jazz ensemble Cama de Gato. They formed the edition of the band that recorded the album Água de Chuva (2002).

The following “Pro JT” is a composition by trumpeter Jessé Sadoc, dedicated to samba-jazz composer and saxophonist João Theodoro “JT” Meirelles (1940-2008). The beautiful horn arrangement echoes the work of legendary bands like the Woody Shaw’s Concert Ensemble or even Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. It’s a fiery piece of samba-jazz in a pure hard-bop format with solos by Jessé Sadoc (trumpet), Idriss Boudrioua on the alto sax, Daniel Garcia on tenor sax, Dario Galante (piano), Sérgio Barrozo (ac bass) and Pascoal Meirelles of course on drums. The same line-up shines on “Jardim.” “Simplesmente” is nothing less then 10 minutes of beauty. In a quartet setting we’re treated with outstanding solos by guitarist Alexandre Carvalho and Daniel Garcia on tenor sax. The bass lines by Sergio Barrozo sound absolutely beautiful and are carefully outlined by the brushes of Pascoal Meirelles. It’s one of the two compositions the drummer dedicates to his ex-girlfriend Simone. “Sissi Steps”, with a nice waltz-theme in the horn arrangement is the other one. “Pro Mr Silver” is of course dedicated to pianist Horace Silver. This Idriss Boudrioua composition certainly does justice to the pianist’s music. In the bass-line you can hear a reference to Horace Silver’s famous composition “Song for My Father.”

The beautiful performed theme of “Tambá”, dedicated to Marcio Montarroyos with Guilherme Dias Gomes on trumpet, is the perfect introduction to “Julinha.” On what would be his last studio recording, the late Marcio Montarroyos (1948-2007) is featured on flugelhorn on that track. It leaves the listener with the feeling of saudades to the work of this great musician!

Jazz and bossa nova pianist Osmar Milito creates his characteristic sound on the electric piano in the trio setting of “Tão Simples Como o Jazz.” Bassist Paulo Russo hums along with his bass solo before speeding up with walking bass lines to support the pianist and drummer.


The album closes with the title track, “Ostinato,” a duet by marimba and trumpet. As the title suggests the trumpet (Jessé Sadoc) solos against the repetitive lines of the marimba (Pascoal Meirelles).

This album by Pascoal Meirelles certainly deserves international attention. There are no weak moments and everything sounds just perfect! How about all those jazz festivals in Europe and the US that are looking for interesting names? What are they waiting for?



Pascoal Meirelles
Delira DL546 (2010)
Total Time: 56’23”


  1. Romanza (Jota Moraes)
  2. Pro JT (Jessé Sadoc)
  3. Jardim (Daniel Garcia)
  4. Simplesmente (Pascoal Meirelles)
  5. Pro Mr. Silver (Idriss Boudrioua)
  6. Tambá (Pascoal Meirelles)
  7. Julinha (Ugo Marota)
  8. Tão Simples como o Jazz (Pascoal Meirelles)
  9. Sissi Steps (Pascoal Meirelles)
  10. Ostinato (Pascoal Meirelles)