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Brasilian Report

Mario Adnet: Samba Meets Boogie Woogie

This is a truly remarkable recording and features fifteen tracks that make for a stellar tribute bossa nova, before it became the Bossa Nova. These fifteen tracks were all written and most of them were performed during the 1940s and 1950s. There have been many recordings that purport to pay tribute to various historic periods in music, but none have been so exquisitely rendered […]

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Mario Adnet - Samba Meets Boogie Woogie

Mario Adnet - Samba Meets Boogie Woogie

This is a truly remarkable recording by Mario Adnet, featuring fifteen tracks that make for a stellar tribute bossa nova, before it became the Bossa Nova. These fifteen tracks were all written and most of them were performed during the 1940s and 1950s. There have been many recordings that purport to pay tribute to various historic periods in music, but none have been so exquisitely rendered in the modern context and performed with such panache. Although credit for this Samba Meets Boogie Woogie must go largely to Mario Adnet for the arrangements and musical direction, and also to Alfredo del-Penho for the repertoire research, every performer here also deserves to be credited for his or her contributions. For in the end it is not just this remarkable music that is the highlight of this record, but also the musicians who have pulled it off.

The title of the recording suggests a collision of cultures. This is an explosion between the musical folk art of Brazil and American – and by inference, European – popular song and dance music. But this suggestion is only ironic, even misleading. What is more acceptable is to hear how the music of Brazil reacted and responded to the “invasion” of the popular music of the United States and Europe. Here is the evidence: A roistering extravaganza of the music of Haroldo Barbosa, Denis Brean, Janet de Almeida, Heitor dos Prazeres, Gordurinha, Jackson do Pandeiro and others tongues firmly in cheek as they reacted with typical Brazilian “alegria” to American song.

It is a sort of gentle cutting contest where musicians of the 40s and 50s between the samba that infused all of Brazilian life and the affectations of rock and roll. In “Chiclete com Banana,” for instance, Almira Castilho wrote, “I’ll only put bebop in my samba/when I see Uncle Sam playing the tamborim/If he picks up a pandeiro and a drum…” The irony contained in this song is something that echoes throughout the record. It is a gentle sort of irony that sets the record straight. It is almost as if the musicians of the Brazilian 1940s and 1950s were saying that this bossa nova begat the boogie woogie. The gentle irony of Castilho’s song is echoed in the words – not to mention the music – of the other tracks as well. “Baiana no Harlem,” and “Boogie Woogie na Favela” are other fine examples of the music that will certainly go a long way into making this record one of the most significant documents of Latin American music in 2008.

It is impossible to single out any specific performances on the record, or any one or two musicians who make this record stand out from the many that were released in that year. This is because the record is an ensemble cast recording. Everyone contributes in some way shape or form – whether it is vocally or instrumentally. But deserving of special mention are Rodrigo Campello, who plays seven-string guitar, Marcos Nimrichter, on accordion, trombonist Vittor Santos, Hamilton de Holanda on mandolin and Nicolas Krassik on violin. They keep the instrumental voices fresh. And their brief soloing is imaginative yet all too brief. Also Mario Adnet and Alfredo del-Penho have undertaken a task that is not based on a well-known period in Brazil’s musical history and turned it into a spectacular affair. They have succeeded in bringing to life a rare and little-known period in Latin American music one that may actually grow to become a very popular one, the more this record is played. And for this they deserve a huge round of applause.

Tracks: Adeus America (Farewell America); Boogie Woogie do Rate (The Rat Boogie Woogie); Eu Sambo Mesmo (I Samba); Baiana no Harlem (Baiana in Harlem); Conversa de Samba (Samba Talk); Tintim por Tintim (Bit by Bit); Boogie Woogie na Favela (Shanty Town Boogie Woogie); Eu Quero um Samba (I Want a Samba); Morena Faceira (Naughty Brunette); Nada de Rock Rock (No More Rock Rock); Pra que Discutir com Madame (Why Argue with a Madam); Malandro em Paris (Rascal in Paris); O Trombone do Tribuza (Tribuza’s Trombone); Chiclete com Banana (Chewing Gum with Banana); Brasil Pandeiro (Brazilian Pandeiro).

Personnel: Monica Salmaso; Roberta Sa; Maucha Adnet; Mario Adnet; Alfredo Del-Penho; Ze Renato
Featuring: Hamilton de Holanda; Cristovao Bastos; Jovino Santos Neto; Armando Marcal; Vittor Santos; Jesse Sadoc; Jorge Helder, Ze Luis Maia; and many others.

Record Label: Adventure Music
Year Released: 2008


Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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Brasilian Report

Rique Pantoja: Live in Los Angeles

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Rique Pantoja

The West Coast of the United States has had a rather long – and celebrated – association with the music of Brasil. Rique Pantoja is tapping into the Brasilliance on his Live in Los Angeles album. Moacir Santos created by far the greatest series music when he moved to Pasadena, California from Brasil in 1967. He quickly began turning heads with his spectacular take on the lineage of the [post bebop] cool, melding it with the music of his home-state, Pernambuco, in his very singular mix of other dance forms from Brasil. Other influential Brasilian musicians whose artistry collided with West Coast Cool were Cesar Camargo Mariano, Airto and Flora Purim [when she was there once upon a time] to name a few Brasilians who influenced the North American West Coast sound.

Rique Pantoja: Live in Los Angeles
Rique Pantoja: Live in Los Angeles

Rique Pantoja, by virtue of his extraordinary musicianship, his long-limbed compositions that seem to roll along with their exquisite, naturally danceable rhythms, can also lay claim to this august line of musicians. His music, captured on this beautifully-recorded album seems to express the sheer joy – the alegria – of being alive and in love. The composer [and pianist] seems to indulge fully his predisposition for dreamscapes as he is on stage, allowing the lyrical saxophonist [and flutist] Steve Tavaglione to stretch and take extraordinary melodic and harmonic excursions with winding, lyrical lines of his own seemingly intoxicated by the enraptured emotions ensconced in the music.

The pianist’s poetic fantasies – such as we listen to on “Da Baiana” – evoke images of voluptuous eloquence in the form of a sultry, baiana, rhythmically hip-swishing her way down along fine white sand of the Coconut Coast in Bahia. With rippling keyboard grooves, Mr Pantoja conjures vivid, lifelike imagery of surf beating around us, while Mr Tavaglione’s flute, with cascading lines from the guitar of Ricardo Silveira wail and moan and whistle melodically. Meanwhile the percussionist – Cassio Duarte – and drummer Joel Taylor – re-create the sizzle and steamy seduction of baiana’s rolling rhythm along with the deep rumble of the bass played with extraordinary facility by Jimmy Earl.

“Arpoador” is one of the finest songs on the album that had already mesmerised the audience with its tintinnabulation of the keyboards introducing the opening strains of Mr Pantoja’s magical and mystical song. Even under the Brasilliance of “1000 Watts” the audience seems to be under the hypnotic spell of the music from then on… a spell that is only broken when Rique Pantoja and this marvelous ensemble gently awaken them with the balladic – and balletic – aural dreamscape of “Pra Lili”, to close a beautiful set that offers an astonishing insight into Mr Pantoja’s artistic conception.

Tracks – 1: Arpoador; 2: Julinho; 3: 1000 Watts; 4: Da Baiana; 5: Bebop Kid; 6: Que Loucura; 7: Morena; 8: Pra Lili

Musicians – Ricardo Silveira: guitar; Steve Tavaglione: saxophones and flute; Rique Pantoja: keyboards and vocals; Jimmy Earl: bass; Joel Taylor: drums; Cassio Duarte: percussion

Released – 2022
Label – Moondo Music [MDO-2022
Runtime – 1:08:13

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