Jun 14 2007

Trio Madeira Brasil: The Sound Of Rio – Brasileirinho

 

Brazil’s Heart and Soul

 

The Sound of Rio: BrasileirinhoThough for many people Samba and Bossa Nova are the most recognizable Brazilian music form, nothing is more Brazilian than Choro. It accurately embodies a nation’s heart and soul. Historian and music expert Ricardo Cravo Albin dates the beginning of choro in Brazil to 1808, with the arrival of the Portuguese royal family in Brazil. The fast growth experienced by the country at that time was responsible for many cultural and societal changes. By the mid-1800s, choro appeared in the Brazilian music scene, “not as musical genre,” says Cravo Albin. Choro appeared as a “Brazilian way of playing some musical genres popular in that era.” As with other musical movements in Brazil — Tropicalismo, for example — our people assimilated, absorbed, added and transformed polkas, lundus, minuets and other genres to our own culture, thus creating a new and unique Brazilian genre. It was then in 1870 that flutist Joaquim Antônio da Silva Callado Júnior (Rio de Janeiro, 1848 – 1880) was credited with the actual birth of choro.

Although the musical influence from polka and lundu is not questioned, the word choro itself has different possible explanations, according to Cravo Albin:

1. from Latin “chorus”;
2. José Ramos Tinhorão believes it comes from the verb to cry or chorar in Portuguese;
3. Luís da Câmara Cascudo, on the other hand, thinks choro comes from “xolo” (from slave dances); and
4. Ary Vasconcelos thinks the word is an adaptation of “choromeleiros,” a colonial musical formation.

Trio Madeira Brasil

Whatever the word origin is, and whether you call it choro or chorinho, the fact remains that choro is a powerful musical form. This is clearly evidenced by the DVD and soundtrack of The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho. As Luciana Rabello herself says in the DVD, all major Brazilian composers have experimented with choro. In this CD and DVD, we have examples with tracks by Radamés Gnattali and Tom Jobim, as well as choro legends Jacob do Bandolim and Ernesto Nazareth.

The music in this CD was recorded live at the Municipal Theatre in Niterói (Rio de Janeiro), Bar Comuna do Semente, Dance Hall Gafieira Estudantina, Praça do Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Oficina de Choro and Salão Vogue. The different venues and live atmosphere brilliantly capture the effervescence and glory of choro music. The opener, “Machucando,” brings a full ensemble of choro masters: Zé da Velha (trombone), Silvério Pontes (trumpet), Yamandú Costa (7-string guitar), Trio Madeira Brasil, Henrique Cazes (ukelele), Beto Cazes (percussion) and Netinho (pandeiro). The nostalgic guitar introduction gets a beautiful addition of brass soloists. Then the full, infectious choro takes over. Next, Trio Madeira Brasil — Marcello Gonçalves (7-string guitar), Zé Paulo Becker (acoustic guitar) and Ronaldo Souza (mandolin) — performs the flamenco flavored Jacob do Bandolim classic “Santa Morena.” Luckily, this is one of those tracks also featured in the DVD. It’s simply amazing to see these guys performing this track live. Trio Madeira Brasil is heavily featured in the album and DVD, too. In “Assanhado” Marcos Suzano lends them a hand with his perfect pandeiro accompaniment. It’s another fascinating moment captured live on the DVD. The DVD, on the other hand, takes this track one step forward with the conversation Marcos Suzano has with father/son Jorginho do Pandeiro and Celsinho Silva. These additional discussions present in the DVD go beyond historical testimonies.

Yamandú Costa

From the new generation of guitar players, Yamandú Costa is featured prominently in this CD. His renditions of “Brejeiro” and “Carinhoso” can easily show why his name is coming up among one of the best Brazilian acoustic guitarists of his era.

Though choro can sometimes be perceived as nostalgic, particularly in slow numbers, in many occasions the lyrics for some choro music are very humorous. That is the case, for example, for “Um Calo de Estimação,” with Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente giving a command performance. The lyrics address a home-made remedy for calluses. The old belief is that calluses can be treated with peppers and tomatoes. The hilarious response for such treatment, as the song goes, is that “Oh, gimme a break. I’m not food to be seasoned.”

 

The DVD


BrasileirinhoDuring a Q&A session about his movie Moro no Brasil, Mika Kaurismäki was asked how come there was no choro in Moro no Brasil. That was the genesis of his next movie project, The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho.

Contrary to many recent albums that come out on CD and then on DVD, these two releases do create an excellent and indispensable pair. The CD contains complete performances of some of the music also present on the DVD. The DVD, on the other hand, contains a rich amount of material with interviews and live shots of the performances featured on the CD plus others not included there, as in the case of Elza Soares amazing rendition of “Formosa.” On the CD, that song is performed as a 7-string guitar duet with Marcello Gonçalves and Yamandú Costa only.

Another special appearance on the DVD is the presence of Guinga, who shows that he’s not only an amazing guitarist and composer but also an excellent soccer player! His performance with Zezé Gonzaga in “Senhorinha” is touchingly heartfelt. Other guests featured in the DVD and not present in the CD include Ademilde Fonseca — performing the anthological “Tico-Tico no Fubá” and talking about how lyrics appeared in choro music — Daniela Spielmann and Hamilton de Holanda.

From the opening scene — Rio de Janeiro sunset spectacular views and Arco da Lapa — to all performances and interviews, this DVD is a must-have in anyone’s collection. Director Kaurismäki captures some gorgeous Rio de Janeiro scenes and couples them with this timeless music. The movie is in many ways a documentary, particularly the various conversations among the many musicians. However, as Kaurismäki states in his interview, the musical productions are unique and especially produced for the movie. The live atmosphere was captured as is in all places, such as in the dance hall Estudantina.

The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho brings together generations of choro players, young and old. The music is excellently performed. The CD and DVD are sold separately. If you are like me, however, you will end up wanting both since the music is not the same. Furthermore, the visual complement in Kaurismäki’s movie beautifully shows the art of choro as both music and dance.

The DVD is in Portuguese and comes with complete English subtitles and Dolby 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo tracks. It is also in 16:9 wide screen. Bonus features include an interview with director Mika Kaurismäki (approximately 9 minutes; English only) and 7-string guitarist Marcello Gonçalves (approximately 8 minutes; Portuguese only). There are also seven musical excerpts not included in the movie itself.

You can visit Milan Records to learn more about and hear samples of The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho.

 

ALBUM/DVD INFORMATION

Trio Madeira Brasil et al.
The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho
CD Milan M2-36183 (2007)
Time: 48’35”

DVD Milan M2-36182 (2007)
Time: 90’00”

Tracks:

  1. Machucando (Adalberto de Souza) Trio Madeira Brasil, Yamandú Costa, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  2. Santa Morena (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil
  3. Um Calo de Estimação (Zé da Zilda – José Thadeu) Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente
  4. Brejeiro (Ernesto Nazareth) Yamandú Costa
  5. Assanhado (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Marcos Suzano
  6. O Bom Filho à Casa Torna (Bonfiglio de Oliveira) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  7. Falando de Amor (Tom Jobim) Zezé Gonzaga, Trio Madeira Brasil
  8. Chorinho de Gafieira (Astor Silva) Paulo Moura, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  9. Degenerado (W. Rocha Ferro) Joathan Nascimento, Fred Dantas, Édson 7 Cordas
  10. Papo de Anjo (Radamés Gnattali) Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello
  11. Formosa (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes) Marcello Gonçalves, Yamandú Costa
  12. Bole Bole (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  13. Carinhoso (Pixinguinha – João de Barro) Yamandú Costa
  14. Barracão (Luiz Antônio – Oldemar Magalhães) Zezé Gonzaga, Teresa Cristina, Trio Madeira Brasil, Yamandú Costa, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes

 

DVD Chapters:

  1. Introduction – Papo de Anjo (Radamés Gnattali) Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello
  2. Santa Morena (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil
  3. Saudações (Otávio Dias Moreno) Joel do Nascimento, Hamilton de Holanda, Trio Madeira Brasil et al.
  4. Noite de Lua (Dilermando Reis) Yamandú Costa, Carlinhos Leite
  5. Formosa (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes) Marcello Gonçalves, Yamandú Costa, Elza Soares
  6. Senhorinha (Guinga) Zezé Gonzaga, Guinga
  7. Brejeiro (Ernesto Nazareth) Yamandú Costa
  8. Falando de Amor (Tom Jobim) Zezé Gonzaga, Trio Madeira Brasil
  9. Tico-Tico no Fubá (Zequinha de Abreu) Ademilde Fonseca
  10. Um Calo de Estimação (Zé da Zilda – José Thadeu) Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente
  11. Assanhado (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Marcos Suzano
  12. Degenerado (W. Rocha Ferro) Joathan Nascimento, Fred Dantas, Édson 7 Cordas
  13. Bole Bole (Jacob do Bandolim) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  14. Chorinho de Gafieira (Astor Silva) Paulo Moura, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  15. O Bom Filho à Casa Torna (Bonfiglio de Oliveira) Trio Madeira Brasil, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes
  16. Sonoroso (K-Ximbinho) Hamilton de Holanda, Daniela Spielmann, Trio Madeira Brasil et al.
  17. Carinhoso (Pixinguinha – João de Barro) Yamandú Costa
  18. Barracão (Luiz Antônio – Oldemar Magalhães) Zezé Gonzaga, Teresa Cristina, Trio Madeira Brasil, Yamandú Costa, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes et al.