This is the fourth page in a brief guide to Brazilian choro music, including reviews of old artists and new... It is part of a larger Brazilian Music Guide on the Slipcue.Com website... Please feel free to write if you have any suggestions or recommendations.
This page covers artists under the letters S-Z.
Marcos Sacramento & Mauricio Carrilho "A Modernidade Da Tradicao" (Buda Musique, 1994)
A pleasant, but unchallenging, acoustic set. Features sprightly acoustic versions songs by several well-known MPB, samba and choro songwriters, including Chico Buarque, Nelson Cavaquinho, Caetano Veloso and Paulinho Da Viola. Classical guitar, smooth vocals and light percussion.
Marcos Sacramento "Caracane" (Dabliu, 1998)
Marcos Sacramento & Carlos Fuchs "Fossa Nova" (Olho Do Tempo, 2006)
Marcos Sacramento "Sacramentos" (Biscoito Fino, 2007)
Sergio Sampaio "Warner: 25 Anos" (Warner-Brasil, 2001)
Although Sampaio started out as a rocker, he was soon drawn to older acoustic music such as choro and the samba, as well as regional styles, all of which played with an exceptionally soulful flair. This disc collects over a dozen tracks from Sampaio's second album, recorded in 1976 on the Continental label, Tem Que Acontecer, along with a couple of tracks from singles that came out around the same time. The musicians accompanying him were all top-flight choro players, including luminaries such as flautist Altamiro Carrilho, mandolinist Joel De Nascimento, saxophonist Abel Ferreira, and Joao De Aquino, who also worked on most of the arrangements... It's really quite nice! There are some rock-pop tunes as well, but they pale in comparison; Sampaio didn't have a great voice, but he sure was able to impart a lot of feeling into these recordings! Recommended.
Moacir Santos "Choros & Alegria" (Adventure Music, 2005)
Veteran Brazilian jazzman Moacir Santos doesn't actually perform on this album, but he lent his approval as the original arranger and composer of all these songs, which are culled from a wide swath of his decades-long career... Guitarist Mario Adnet and saxophonist Ze Nogueira prodced this disc as a followup to the album Ouro Negro, which also featured rearranged, newly recorded versions of numerous Santos jazz classics... Like that album, this is laregly a straight jazz set, although this time around the songs are much mellower and less driving; the "smooth jazz" crowd should love this one. Santos explored some of the musical themes of the choro style -- sort of a Dixielandish, pre-jazz style from Brazil -- but does some interesting things to the music, slowing down the normally lightning-fast, slam-bang style to a relative crawl, allowing more room to explore the musical nuances and make the rich harmonic textures more apparent. This is a little too sweet and mellow for me, but if you use this album as a musical counterpoint to classic choro recordings from Pixinguinha and other masters of the genre, you may find it to be a vrey rewarding album.
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Clara Sverner & Paulo Moura "Interpretam Pixinguinha" (CBS, 1988)
Wow! A beautiful, very striking set of piano-clarinet duets which slyly interweaves Pixinguinha oldies with North American Tin Pan Alley standards. Clara Sverner has a brisk, decisive, Gershwinesque flair, and she and Moura are clearly very much in synch. Delightfully playful, lively takes on these old, familiar themes. Certainly one of the most enjoyable choro albums I've ever heard, neither saccharine nor severe. Highly recommended.
Clara Sverner "Mitos & Musicas" (1996)
Clara Sverner "Alma Brasileira" (Sony Classics, 1999)
Sverner plays the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos...
Clara Sverner "Chiquinha Gonzaga Por Clara Sverner" (Ergo/Abril, 1999)
Classical pianist Clara Sverner, who has explored the work of Pixinguinha in a series of collaborations with Paulo Moura, here turns her hand towards the work of another legendary, foundational figure in the evolution of Brazilian popular music. In her day, composer Chiquinha Gonzaga fused indigenous themes with the dominant European forms -- the waltz, the polka, etc. -- helping to create the modern styles that Brazilian pop is built apon: the samba, the maxixe and choro. These tunes were originally composed between 1877-1902, a time when Brazilian music was undergoing tremendous subterranean shifts, yet before the advent of the record industry. Sverner's interpretations are beautiful, though a bit prim; you may be reminded of Max Morath's famous renditions of Scott Joplin's ragtime ouvre... I liked this album, although I felt it tilted more towards the classical end of the spectrum... You might also like to check out the magnificent Gonzaga retrospective that the Revivendo label put out a few years ago...
Trio Madeira Brasil "Trio Madeira Brasil" (TMB, 1998)
A lovely and pleasantly varied choro album, featuring plenty of classics by Jacob Do Bandolim and Pixinguinha, along with several very creative instrumental versions of MPB tunes by Edu Lobo, Chico Buarque and Egberto Gismonti... even a mandolin-ized rendition of Scott Joplin's "The Easy Winners." This talented trio sidesteps the monochromatic pacing of many choro groups by varying the tempo, melodic attack and dynamics of each song. This album is continually surprising and compelling... well worth tracking down!
Trio Madeira Brasil/Various Artists "... E Convidados -- Ao Vivo" (MCD, 2004)
Trio Madeira Brasil & Guilherme De Brito "A Flor E O Espinho" (Lua Discos, 2007)
Marcelo Vianna "Teu Nome, Pixinguinha" (Biscoito Fino, 2002)
An unusual update on the music of choro pioneer Pixinguinha... The old master's spritely instrumental tunes are given new lyrics, written by the likes of Gastao Vianna, Paulo Cesar Pinheiro and Vinicius De Moraes; some of the lyrics are of an earlier vintage, collaborations between Pixinguinha and contemporaries like Joao de Barro and Cicero de Almeida. Youthful vocalist Vianna approaches collection of tunes through the filter of slick, modern MPB, turning the old bouncy choroes into ornate pop ballads. Some tracks retain the upbeat feel of the originals, but others are much slower and more reflective. Definitely a different take on this old material, but fans along both sides of the spectrum will probably be won over by this disc.
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