Two years after it was formed, Quarteto Maogani released its first album. Between that time and this first release, the quartet was busy taking part in Projeto Pixinguinha and being a special guest in Leila Pinheiro’s show Catavento e Girassol. In fact, it was from that album that the group obtained its name, which was mentioned in Aldir Blanc’s “Madeira de Sangue.” Blanc himself was honored to write the liner notes for this debut album.
The media and other artists seem to be unanimous in praising the glories of Quarteto Maogani. So, assembling a number of special guests for this first album was an easy task. We have the pleasure of hearing the Quarteto performing along stellar names of Brazilian music, including Célia Vaz, Jane Duboc, Zé Nogueira, Leila Pinheiro and the incredible Guinga. The musical production for the album was the responsibility of Maogani. With a repertoire that includes music by guitarists Baden Powell, Marco Pereira and Garoto, the Quarteto was completely at home performing beautiful arrangements written by its own members. In this first album, the group formation was Paulo Aragão, Marcos Alves, Carlos Chaves and Sérgio Valdeos.
One of the most famous contemporary guitar pieces in Brazilian music, César Camargo Mariano’s “Samambaia” is the strong opener for the album. Originally recorded for the 1981 César Camargo Mariano and Hélio Delmiro’s Samambaia album, this piece is considered a landmark number in Brazilian instrumental music. Nothing more deserving that having Quarteto Maogani feature this composition here. The exciting baião “Baiambê,” with only one previous recording (Mario Adnet’s 1980 Alberto Rosenblit & Mario Adnet) is also featured here with a rich 4-guitar sound. While keeping the tempo in “Cai Dentro,” the Quarteto continues its dazzling trajectory. They pause a little to feature Guinga in the vocals on “Morro Dois Irmãos.” Guinga gives a touching rendition for one of Chico Buarque’s favorite songs. The Garoto choro “Enigma” brings special guest Pedro Aragão on mandolin. The arrangement here is classically Radamés Gnattali with a slight change because of the addition of the fourth guitar and mandolin. Another guest arranger, Marco Pereira contributes a fine rendition for “Lôro,” which holds a special place in the Quarteto’s hearts since it was the first piece the group performed when it was formed. Having performed along with Nó em Pingo D’Água in some live concerts, the Quarteto invited Celsinho Silva to provide the effusive percussion in Guinga’s “Di Menor” bouncy arrangement. We then come to the amazing arrangement for “Baião de Lacan,” which features vocals by Leila Pinheiro. She also recorded that number in her Catavento e Girassol album, but the arrangement recorded here was written by the Quarteto four members. The result is a magnificent duel, if you can call four guitars and a vocalist that! It is interesting to note that all songs recorded in this album were not originally conceived for four guitars with the exception of Marco Pereira’s “Dança dos Quatro Ventos.”
If acoustic guitars are closely associated with Brazilian music, then Quarteto Maogani can be thought of as Brazilian soul in its core. This debut album elevates Brazilian guitar music to deserving heights.
Maogani – Quarteto de Violões
Rob Digital RDCD010 (1997)
- Samambaia (César Camargo Mariano)
- Baiambê (Mario Adnet – Carlos Chaves)
- Cai Dentro (Baden Powell – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Morro Dois Irmãos (Chico Buarque) – w/ Guinga
- Enigma (Garoto) – w/ Pedro Aragão
- Lôro (Egberto Gismonti)
- Di Menor (Guinga)
- Baião de Lacan (Aldir Blanc – Guinga) – w/ Leila Pinheiro
- Zá-zá-zá (Mi Abuelito Me Enseñó) (Carlos Haire)
- Dança dos Quatro Ventos (Marco Pereira)
- Lago Puelo (Ian Guest) – w/ Célia Vaz & Jane Duboc
- Corrupião (Edu Lobo)
- Milonga Sentimental (Piana – Manzi)
- Palhaço (Geraldo Carneiro – Egberto Gismonti) – w/ Zé Nogueira