Labeling can be misleading sometimes. When you look at Aprendiz and read the first line in the notes, you are likely to be confused. It says:
Aprendiz – aquele que busca o caminho. (Benvinda D’Angelo)
[Apprentice – the one who seeks the path.]
Further reading the liner notes, one realizes Maio’s intention. Aprendiz is reverence to life and nature, and as such, it does make listeners and artists apprentices.
Recently I heard Cesar Camargo Mariano saying that Brazilian instrumental music is alive and well in Brazil. We know that is true outside of Brazil. Now Aprendiz, though recorded back in 1999, proves that Mariano is not wrong. Mixing live recordings done at Supremo Musical in São Paulo (October 1999) with studio tracks, Aprendiz is far from being the work of a beginner. Maio, who wrote all 11 tracks and plays both electric and acoustic bass – and sometimes the flute – divides the performances with Tiago Costa (piano) and Eduardo Ribeiro (drums). In addition to this accomplished trio of musicians, special guests Teco Cardoso (saxes), Léa Freire (flutes), Daniel Alcântara (flugelhorn), Alexandre Foo Silvério (bassoon), Silvana Rangel Teixeira (cello) and Filó Machado add a whole new depth to this beautifully produced recording.
Enhancing the fine listening experience that Aprendiz creates, the carefully designed liner notes serve as a good companion for each track. Maio shares with the listener the source of his inspiration. I personally find that an interesting piece of information. Many times it places us in the composer’s mind and allows us to understand the feelings or emotions he created through music. That is the case of “Belluno,” a melancholic song highlighted by Silvério’s soothing bassoon solo. Listening to the song and looking at the photo of Belluno, one cannot help but be transported to those narrow and charismatic streets of that northern Italian city. The same is true about “Bolerito (Bolero para Paquito),” dedicated to Paquito d’Rivera. Alcântara’s flugelhorn solo is passionate and provides a beautiful contrast to Maio’s five-string vertical bass lines.
The musical variety here, in addition to Maio’s musicianship, is a major force in Aprendiz. Sometimes slow and tender as in “Muito Prazer,” sometimes exhilarating and playful as in “Primeiro Choro,” Aprendiz leaves the listener satisfied. In closing the album, Maio uses his fretless five-string bass in “By All Means” as a short introduction to “Baião Means…,” with the astonishing vocal and guitar solos by Filó Machado. Besides the clever word play in the song titles, the infectious baião rhythm and Machado’s vocals close the album with high energy.
Rogério has created a beautiful CD, starting with the title. Humility doesn’t take up space. He’s a talented musician and inspired composer. Waltzes, baiãos, maracatus in 7/8, etc. This is Rogério’s Brazil. Suggestive, modern, rich. Congratulations!
With great affection,
You can read more about Aprendiz and hear sound samples in Rogério Botter Maio’s site.
Rogério Botter Maio
Eldorado 946175 (2000)
All tracks by Rogério Botter Maio, except where noted.
- Bolerito (Bolero para Paquito)
- Primeiro Choro
- Muito Prazer
- Só pra Variar
- The Other “One”
- Ainda É Cedo
- Aprendiz (lyrics by Silvana Vasconcelos)
- By All Means
- Baião Means – w/ Filó Machado