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Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves · Outra Coisa

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Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves - Outra Coisa

You cannot call yourself Brasilian if you don’t know your Moacir Santos. The clarinetist turned soprano, alto, tenor and (when the music demanded it) baritone saxophonist, was the equivalent of Louis Armstrong in Brasil. And like “Pops” Santos packed his love of Brasil together with his instruments and travelled abroad preaching to the uninitiated – especially in America.

Moacir Santos had already discovered Jazz working in radio, in Brasil. He exploded on the West Coast of America, his genius permeating orchestral Jazz and although he made just half a dozen records in America (excluding Coisas in Brasil) he cast a long shadow on Jazz with his molten mix of Afro-Brasilian-inflected Jazz.

Editor’s Pick · Featured Album · Outra Coisa

The Brasilian guitarist Marcello Gonçalves conceived of this album; a very difficult one to make if you consider that Gonçalves distills the expansive arrangements of Moacir Santos’ music and brewing from it this sweet cup of mocha on Outra Coisas. Making the connection between Santos and the clarinet, Marcello Gonçalves says that Anat Cohen came to mind. Naturally… Marcello Gonçalves has known Cohen for several years and the two musicians have both worshipped at the altar of originality, which is from where this album springs. It’s clear from the beginning that neither Marcello Gonçalves nor Anat Cohen is making a series of definitive Moacir Santos duets.

And what glorious music this is. Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves are superb. Pick any one of Santos’ iconic “Coisas” for example. In “Outra Coisa” you’ll find that Anat Cohen reduces her (otherwise deep) intensity and plays this piece with all the light shade and fluency of rhythmic inflection that you rarely hear from others. And in “Nanã (Coisa Nº 5)” she slackens the tempo slightly but re-establishes it again for “Coisa Nº 9”. I sat up again on “Paraíso” at a passage of rapt stillness where the guitar of Marcello Gonçalves is in distant conversation with the clarinet of Anat Cohen; Gonçalves’ response to its magic – one of many moments on this album where he and Cohen make you hold your breath.

Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves – Outra Coisa (The Music of Moacir Santos) is a 60th Grammy Awards Nominee Best Latin Jazz Album.

Track list – 1: Amphibious; 2: Coisa Nº 1; 3: Outra Coisa; 4: Coisa Nº 6; 5: Coisa Nº 10; 6: Nanã (Coisa Nº 5); 7: Coisa Nº 9; 8: Mãe Iracema; 9: Oduduá; 10: Maracatucutê; 11: Paraíso; 12: Carrossel.

Personnel – Anat Cohen: clarinet; Marcello Gonçalves: 7-string guitar.

Record Label – Anzic
Running time – 47:03
Released in – 2017


https://vimeo.com/185135211

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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Featured Albums

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

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Roberto Jr. Vizcaino, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaino Guillot - Photo Nayeli Mejia
Roberto Vizcaíno Jr., Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot - Photo: Nayeli Mejia.

Listening to the music of Siempre Más Allá, it certainly seems that the young French pianist, Adrien Brandeis has strengthened the belief that he is a proverbial citizen of the Afro-Caribbean universe. To be clear Mr Brandeis still loves all music and swings as hard as any pianist who loves Black American Music – that is, music that you can sing and dance to. But also continues to be beguiled by the rolling thunder of Afro-Caribbean music. The wild call of the rhythms and the joie de vivre of the questing melodies and harmonies not only appeal to his ear, but also speak to him in the hidden parts of his heart.

By his own admission Siempre Más Allá took root during three tours to Mexico undertaken under the aegis of the Fédération des Alliances Françaises du Mexique. The virtually all-Afro-Cuban repertoire of the album radiates charm at every turn. These disarmingly natural and eloquent performances bring out the music’s inherent drama and penchant for tumbao with a deft touch while indulging Brandeis’ lyrical instincts to the full. Meticulously balanced, the four quartet pieces, the trio and duo pieces feel as if they are chamber works. Brandeis’ astonishingly insightful playing is musically captivating and technically blemishless. Each phrase rings so completely true that one can’t imagine the music played any other way.

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá
Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

The album features Mr Brandeis and a group of very accomplished musicians. These include the celebrated Cuban percussionist Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot [on two tracks] and his son Roberto Vizcaíno Jr., Mexican drummer José Loria Triay make up the wall of percussion. The Brasilian bassist Giliard Lopes brings his distinctive veritas to the whole rhythm section. The big surprise here is, perhaps, the presence of the great Cuban Horacio “El Negro” Hernández sitting in the drum chair on La buena vibra.

Siempre Más Allá is an affirmation of Brandeis’ enduring love and natural affinity for Latin music. Not surprisingly the music seems to echo the famous Latin American phrase: “¡Que rico bailo yo!” [which, in English, exclaims: “How well I dance!”]. This is no hyperbole as the music – in its pulses and rhythms show as Brandeis traverses the rhythmic topography of the Caribbean and Latin America. Along the way Brandeis plunged into the world of changüí, the chacarera, Brasilian gaucho music and the ancient melodic thunder of bàtá drums.

From the get-go listeners will find themselves immersed in quite another world of rippling percussive grooves. The track Ek Bakam, for instance, conjures the intricate architecture; the line and flow of an epic Mayan civilisation located in the Yucatan. Narratives from the Latin world abound – often paying homage to famous traditional musicians. Pancho’s Power is one such chart inspired by the vivid world of the legendary trio Los Panchos. Brandeis gives his percussion section a lot of space when he puts the spotlight on them on Tierra de Oportunidades – a wistful memory of the pianist’s three tours to Mexico, which is also incidentally the popular provincial slogan of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. On Huachi-Huachi Brandeis digs deep into the epicurean delights of the only Latin country in North America with this song in praise of a kind of gourmet Mexican fish: the huachinango.

Brandeis then celebrates his association with percussion colourist Roberto Vizcaíno Jr. with the extraordinary music of Vizcaíno Blues, a piece unique with its exploratory chromaticisms and elegant sonorities that beautifully capture the eloquence of the percussionist in whose praise the music is written. Mindful of the fact that Vizcaíno is Cuban but makes his home in Mexico, Brandeis shapes the rhythmic and harmonic palette of the piece accordingly. On La Buena Vibra Brandeis delivers astonishing pianistic fireworks in the piece’s melodic and harmonic lines, played at a frenetic pace, to mirror the style of its dedicatee, Michel Camilo. The pianist demonstrates an authentic home-grown grasp of Cuban music as he reimages Voy a Apagar la Luz, by the legendary and late-singer Armando Manzanero, here adapted as a wistful solo piano work. Meanwhile on the dizzying ride of Humpty Dumpty the pianist pays homage to another idol: Chick Corea, by revisiting the sparkling composition of the recently-deceased piano maestro.

It is hard not to be mesmerised by this spirited and finely nuanced music artfully crafted in an album by Adrien Brandeis, a pianist who is about to take the world by storm with a recording that is going to be one of the finest by any musician located outside the Latin American sub-continent.

Deo gratis…

Tracks – 1: Huachi Huachi; 2: Alegría; 3: Pancho’s Power; 4: Ek balam; 5: Un peu d’espoir; 6: Vizcaíno’s Blues; 7: Tierra de oportunidades; 8: Humpty Dumpty; 9: La buena vibra; 10: Voy a apagar la luz

Musicians – Adrien Brandeis: piano; Giliard Lopes: contrabass; José Loria Triay: drums; Roberto Vizcaíno Jr: congas and bàtá drums. Featuring Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot: percussion [1, 6]; Horacio “El Negro” Hernández: drums [9]

Released – 2022
Label – Mantodea Music Productions
Runtime – 58:25

YouTube Video – Adrien Brandeis – Siempre más allá (EPK)

YouTube Audio – Adrien Brandeis – Vizcaíno’s Blues

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