It could not have been an easy task to compile the Adventure Music Ten Years 3-CD set to commemorate the label’s decade of recording and documenting some of the finest new music by classic and new Brazilian artists—and artists performing the music of Brazil—living in both Brazil and the US.
But handing over that task to a musician with the pedigree of Monday Michiru proved that it became an adventure (of the storied kind) that has surpassed all expectation. Granted that many of the fine tracks from Adventure Music’s vast archives may not have made it to this voluminous set, but it would appear that the most essential ones still did; and there are a few surprises here as well, especially those from the Moacir Santos, Orquestra Popular de Câmara, the Modern Traditions Ensemble, Claudia Villela and Richard Peixoto, Maeve Gilchrist and Maria Marquez; and surprisingly, the great Colombian singer, Lucia Pulido as well. As Ms. Michiru suggested in her short notes, this is something more to lust after from the label that ought to be better known for what it does for Brazilian music, much of which—especially MPB and later—is almost impossible to get in mainstream channels in North America.
There is another problem with gaining access to Brazilian music; which makes Adventure Music all the more gem-like and it is this: The Brazilian labels are not terribly interested in servicing America and Canada. This might be due to the fact that Brazil is such a vast country and labels such as Biscoito Fino—probably the largest Brazilian label—seems complacent with sales from that country alone. And if this seems like a rant it is because there is an enormous following for Brazilian music—as rich and varied as jazz and modern classical music or Afro-Caribbean music; and this is what makes this 10th anniversary compilation almost too valuable to pass on. Add to that the fact that you have forty-four tracks on the three records in this compilation and there is a very enduring reason for owning this compilation.
There is also the fact that this compilation ought to serve as a touchstone for following much of what is great about Brazilian music and its musicians, of course. One of the leading reasons is to discover the music of the great Moacir Santos. The multi-instrumentalist and composer migrated to the US from the northeast of Brazil via Rio bringing with a mind soaked in tradition and after he had recorded one of the finest albums by a Brazilian, Coisas (Dubas Musica, 1965). Mr. Santos was the Muse for Roberto Menescal, Dori Caymmi, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato and Baden Powell, many of whom came to him for lessons. Adventure music was responsible for two of his last recorded albums, Ouro Negro (2004) and Choros & Alegria (2005). Enough cannot be said of the legacy of Mr. Santos’ music. Simply put he is one of the true legends of Brazilian music and there are those who believe that his influence on those who absorbed the rhythms of Brazil in the rest of the world is as great, if not greater than that of Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto. Mr. Santos is well-represented on this compilation as he is one of the mainstays of the label.
There is also a de rigueur representation of the work of Jovino Santos Neto, a disciple of Hermeto Pascoal, a fine pianist and one of Brazil’s most important imports to the US. Mr. Santos Neto has released almost all of his recent work on the Adventure Music and is also well-represented by some of his finest charts from his collaboration with Mike Marshall, Serenata (2003) and one of his finest albums to date, Alma do Nordeste (2008). The sensational Clarice Assad is also there with a mesmerising medley dedicated to Elis Regina, from her (Ms. Assad’s) album to die for, Home. The Adnet’s are also there, as is Benjamin Taubkin from the first in a great new series entitled Piano Masters. Tom Lellis, one of the finest male vocalists and one of the few who can interpret Brazilian music like no other, is also on the compilation.
Mike Marshall is represented by one of his finest efforts—a duet with Caterina Lichtenberg—“The Cat, the mouse and the chicken”. As well as his “El Diablo Suelta” form his 2005 album, Brazil Duets as well as a couple of his other fine albums. There are fine examples of the ingenuity of both the Brazilian mandolin player Hamilton de Holanda and the guitarist Yamandú Costa. Music from outside Brazil—Colombia, to be precise is also in this compilation. Lucía Pulido is represented by a chart from her great album, Waning Moon and Antonio Arnedo has a selection from Colombia.
As much as this is a fine sampler of the kind of music that is produced by Adventure Music, it is also creditable that its editor, Monday Michiru has done a yeoman job of keeping in some of the best charts from perhaps some of the finest Brazilian music produced outside that great country.
Tracks: CD 1: Vinheta Espanha Ou Do Agreste?; Bluishmen; Keeper Of The Flame; For Elis; Gregorian Samba; Se Você Disser Que Sim; Cravo e Canela; Song Of Delight; The Cat, The Mouse, And The Chicken; Brasilianos; Tanto Canto; Adeus America; Roseando; Sharon By The Sea; Em Torno De Influências; CD 2: Felipe; Road Song; Colsas Demais Por Fazer; El Futuro, flOr; Tonada; Passareiro; Ano Bom; Dirt Road; Vento; Outro Rio; Ima; Baião Tva; Yo No Tengo Quien Ma Quiera; Flor Da Vida; Cançsões E Momentos; CD 3: Alma Do Nordeste; De Repente, Estou Feliz; Um Trombone Na Rua Tereza; Receita De Samba; Music Inside; Signals Of Rain; Cumbia Cienaguera; Nature’s Princess; El Diablo Suelta; Lamentos Do Morro; Agora Eu Sei; Agora Eu Sei; Forslund; Choro Moreno.
Personnel: CD 1: Orquestra Popular de Câmara ( Orquestra Popular de Câmara, 2004); Moacir Santos (Ouro Negro, Disc 1, 2004); Tom Lellis (Southern Exposure, 2003); Daniel Santiago (Metropole, 2009); Muiza Adnet (Muiza Adnet sings Moacir Adnet, 2007; Ricardo Silveira and Luiz Avelar (Live: Play the music of Milton Nascimento, 2004); Maeve Gilchrist (Maeve Gilchrist, 2011); Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall (Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall, 2010); Hamilton de Holanda Quintet (Brasilanos, 2006; Lea Freire (The Winds of Brazil, 2006); Samba Meets Boogie Woogie (Samba Meets Boogie Woogie, 2008); Mike Marshall and Jovino Santos Neto (Serenata, 2003); Eva Scow and Dusty Brough (Sharon by the sea,2009); Benjamin Taubkin (Piano Masters Series, Vol 1, 2012); CD 2: Moacir Santos (Choros and Alegria, 2005); Alex Hargreaves (Preludes< ?em>, 2010); Marcos Amorim (Sete Capelas/Seven Chapels, 2006); Florencia Ruiz (Luz de la noche/Light of the night, 2011); Maria Marquez (Tonada , 2012); Jovino Santos Neto (Alma do nordesta, 2008); Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto (Brasilanos 2, 2009); Philippe Baden Powell (Estrada de terra, 2006); Nicola Stilo and Toninho Horta (Duets, 2005); Ricardo Silveira (Outro Rio, 2007); Claudia Villela and Richard Peixoto (Inverse Universe , 2002); Gui Mallon (Live at Montreux, 2004); Lucia Pulido (Waning Moon, 2008); Yamandú Costa and Hamilton de Holanda (Live!, 2012); Tom Lellis (Southern Exposure, 2003); CD 3: Jovino Santos Neto (Alma do nordesta, 2008); Moacir Santos (Ouro Negro, Disc 2, 2004); Vittor Santos (Renewed Impressions, 2006); Mike Marshall and choro famoso (Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, 2004); Mario Adnet (From the heart, 2006); André Vasconcellos (2, 2010; Antonio Arnedo (Colombia, 2005); Maria Marquez (Nature’s Princess, 2004); Mike Marshall (Brazil Duets, 2005); Modern Traditions Ensemble (New Old Music, 2005); Moacir Santos (Choros and alegria, 2005); Contemporary America (Another Center, 2007; Mike Marshall and Darol Anger with Väsen (Mike Marshall and Darol Anger with Väsen, 2007); Orquestra Popular de Câmara (Orquestra Popular de Câmara, 2004).
Adventure Music on the Web: www.facebook.com/pages/Adventure-Music/
Label: Adventure Music
Release date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Raul da Gama