Adriano Giffoni (1959, Ceará) has been making music since he was
15 years old. He started playing the guitar in several bars in the
historical city of Olinda and Recife (Pernambuco) before moving to
Manaus (Amazonas), where he began his formal studies as an acoustic
bass player. He
attended the Conservatory of the University of Amazonas and also
had additional training at the University of Brasília, Musical School
of Brasília, UNIRIO and a few others extension courses with names
such as Professors Ian Guest, Sandrino Santoro. He also took classes
with Zeca Assumpção. With such strong educational background, Giffoni
has been giving workshops throughout Brazil and the world since 1994.
Escola Pró-Arte (Rio de Janeiro), Escola Pró-Música (Minas Gerais)
and Musikconservatorium (Copenhagen, Denmark) are just a few examples
of where Giffoni has presented. In addition to that, he has also
found time to write many books for bass players, including the following
titles: Música Brasileira para Contrabaixo and Brazilian
Music Workshop. Having been on the A-list of many Brazilian
performers as the bass player of their choice -- he has performed
with Leila Pinheiro, Djavan, Zizi Possi, Gal Costa, Nana Caymmi,
Leny Andrade, Fátima Guedes, Maria Bethânia and many more -- Giffoni
still finds time to release top-notch solo works. His first solo
CD was Adriano Giffoni (1992, Perfil Musical) and was
followed by Madrugada Carioca (1994, Perfil Musical), Contrabaixo
Brasileiro(1997, Perfil Musical) and Caçula (1999,
Perfil Musical). His latest project was the creation of a bass
quartet in 2001. With that novel idea and support of fellow bass
players Felipe Lydia, Norton Daiello and Mauro Rocha, the new Baixo
Brasil quartet released its first self-titled album.
CD proves that a bass can be a harmonious instrument as
well as one for accompaniment and solo, of course. For this debut
release, the quartet plays mostly Giffoni's music, but their repertoire
is focused on other Brazilian giants, such as Edu Lobo, Milton Nascimento
and Gilberto Gil, among others. The album repertoire draws from the
rich Brazilian musical tradition and presents afoxé, toada, frevo,
samba, maxixe and baião and partido alto. Giffoni plays the fretless,
4- and 6-string bass, Lydia is on the electric bass and baixolão,
Daiello plays the 4- and 5-string bass and Rocha completes the quartet
on a 5-string bass and baixolão. In some tracks,
Murilo Silva is a special guest on a 5-string bass and baixolão.
The opening afoxé, "Festa Baiana," is a bouncy number that will certainly
start your feet moving to the rich sounds of this bass ensemble.
The same goes with the funky partido alto "Bom Partido" and "Samba
de Candango." The frevo "Ladeiras de Olinda" as well as "Maxixe"
offer a different sound to those traditional Brazilian rhythms but
keeping their same vigor.
Baixo Brasil is an innovative ensemble (the only bass quartet
in Latin America). The fact that the album has no other instrument
other than basses makes this release a very daring project, too.
I'm sure that bass lovers find in Baixo Brasil a reason
to be ecstatic. Adriano Giffoni and his bass partners are pushing
the boundaries of Brazilian instrumental music.