Jul 16 2007

Yamandú Costa & Dominguinhos: Yamandú + Dominguinhos

When Two Virtuosos Meet


Yamandú + Dominguinhos

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to produce a fantastic album. Just lock up two outstanding musicians for five days in a recording studio and let things happen. That’s what producer José Milton must have thought when he invited accordionist Dominguinhos and guitarist Yamandú Costa to do an album together. The two had met only once before, but that doesn’t show on this recording date. It sounds like the two musicians from opposite parts of Brazil have been playing together for a long time. Yamandú Costa (1980) is from Passo Fundo (Rio Grande do Sul) in Brazil’s south, while Dominguinhos (José Domingos de Moraes; 1941) is from Garanhuns (Pernambuco) in Brazil’s northeast. Yamandú Costa is the rising star in Brazilian (acoustic) guitar music. The older he gets, the more he seems to be able to control his dazzling technique. He more and more lets it serve the composition, instead of the other way around, which was one of the complaints you often heard about his performances. Dominguinhos is a legend. His artistic name was chosen by no one less than Luiz Gonzaga, an icon in northeastern music in Brazil (the so called baião and forró). Accordionist, singer and composer Dominguinhos has recorded more than 30 albums and also writes movie soundtracks. It was Yamandú who suggested Dominguinhos to the producer. It proved to be a very lucky choice.  The two artists complete each other perfectly on the repertoire of this album. Costa modestly provides gentle chords on his acoustic guitar when Dominguinhos is soloing. It’s evidence of growing musicianship the way Yamandú Costa presents himself here. Credits for this also go to Dominguinhos, whose craftsmanship certainly added to direct Yamandú in that humbler role.

Yamandú & DominguinhosThe repertoire both instrumentalists chose is delightful. They obviously are very familiar with the compositions. The classics are performed with a certain playfulness; a challenging approach in a very jazzy tradition. It’s only on the Jobim classic “Wave” that this approach sounds a bit worn out. Dominguinhos tries to give the song another sentiment, but it’s useless; the theme is so familiar that any attempt to drift away from it still sounds predictable. “Bonitinho” is a song that was born in the recording studio. Yamandú gave the idea on which Dominguinhos could work to come to an original composition.  It turned out to be a lovely composition that leads into a superb solo performance by Dominguinhos on his own “Xote Miudinho.” The music sounds extremely northeastern, a perfect example of the style, both the composition as its performance. Yamandú gets the solo spot, too. On Bagualito he can’t resist showing his amazing technique and is pursued to play more notes than imaginable in one minute and forty seconds… The album closes with a funny medley between “Asa Branca” and “Prenda Minha.”  “Asa Branca,” by Luiz Gonzaga, of course represents the northeast. “Prenda Minha” is an old folklore song (that goes back as far as 1880) from Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil’s south. In this perfect way Dominguinhos and Yamandú end their fantastic meeting with a wink. And that’s exactly the feeling that’s left after listening: you’re witness of a friendly meeting between two masters of instrumental music.



Yamandú Costa & Dominguinhos
Yamandú + Dominguinhos 
Biscoito Fino BF690 (2007)
Time: 75’19”


  1. Molambo (Jayme Florence – Mesquita)
  2. Perigoso (Orlando Silveira – Esmeraldino Salles)
  3. João e Maria (Sivuca – Chico Buarque) / Feira de Mangaio (Sivuca – Glória Gadelha)
  4. Estrada do Sol (Tom Jobim – Dolores Duran)
  5. Velho Realejo (Custódio Mesquita – Sadi Cabral)
  6. Chorando Baixinho (Abel Ferreira)
  7. Domingando (Dominguinhos)
  8. Wave (Tom Jobim)
  9. Pedacinho do Céu (Waldir Azevedo)
  10. Bonitinho (Yamandú Costa – Dominguinhos)
  11. Xote Miudinho (Dominguinhos)
  12. Escadaria (Pedro Raimundo)
  13. Bagualito (Yamandú Costa)
  14. Te Cuida Rapaz (Dominguinhos – Anastácia)
  15. Asa Branca (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira) / Prenda Minha (Public Domain)