Yamandú Costa e Hamilton de Holanda – Live (Adventure Music)


When Brazil laughs, the world laughs with her. When she cries the world cries with her. No more is there greater evidence of this when the music of that majestic country is played, especially when musicians with the ingenuity of Heitor Villa Lobos, Pixinguinha, Guinga, Chico Buarque, Hermeto Pascoal, and Egberto Gismonti among others sing of her beauty and grand design. In that magnificent musical geometry and in the edifice of her epic tradition of music and dance lies the secret; its mystery will probably never be discovered, yet forever enjoyed when musicians such as the bandolim genius, Hamilton de Holanda and the master of the Brazilian violão Yamandú Costa sit down to play. This 2008 concert, recorded in Saõ Paulo is steeped in the gorgeous emotions of saudade—so steeped in it that it is impossible not to shed the proverbial tear when beholden of the utter beauty of each maestro’s virtuosity.

[audio:http://www.latinjazznet.com/audio/jukebox/08-2011/10 Yamandu Costa – Hamilton de Hollanda – Samba do Veio.mp3|titles=Samba do Véio – From the CD “Yamandú Costa e Hamilton de Holanda – Live”]

Hamilton de Holanda plays an instrument that might have seemed impossible to tame for generations. The mandolin, or bandolim as it is called in his native Brazil, has a knack of sounding dry. So taut are the strings and so small its body that notes die fairly rapidly after they are plucked or strummed. This is unlike the guitar (violão), which notes dally in the air around the instruments for precious moments after they are sounded. But De Holanda’s technique is so unique and advanced and his dynamics are so superior that he is able to let the notes of his music just that little bit longer so that they intertwine with those played by Costa. The result is a musical dialogue that is akin to the most beautifully expressed counterpoint performed by two stringed instruments. In fact sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference between the instruments—especially in charts such as the superb “01Byte 10 Strings” or Costa’s achingly beautiful “Samba for Rapha.”

Yamandú Costa is another guitarist born into the great Brazilian tradition that includes players like Barbosa-Lima, Laurindo Almeida, Guinga, Gismonti, the three Assads (Sergio, Odair and Badi) and Marcus Tardelli. In fact Brazil has perhaps as many musicians who practice a modern wizardry on the violão as musicians did on piano in the era of the Romantics in 18th Century Europe. Costa does not always play fast. At his hand it seems unnecessary to do so. He can let his fingers fly in a rapid ascending arpeggio if the music calls for that. But he also extracts such pure emotions from the notes he plays, sometimes with such deep and ponderous dexterity that it appears that his violão is actually alive with every feeling and emotion that a human being is endowed with; all that Costa is doing is urging his instrument to speak its mind. His phrases are just long enough to make the emotional outburst come to life in the inner ear and when he desires to tell a story, as on “Whispered,” his music simply stirs the soul. Of course, he has a fine bedfellow in De Holanda who is often aroused by Costa’s playing and meets the magisterium of the violão with one of equal grandeur for the bandolim. This utter beauty is repeated on the encore for the program—Ernesto Nazareth’s “Sliding” or as the composer would have it, “Escorregando.”

This is a recording of exceeding beauty, one that will not be surpassed in a long time because it creates a new language for stringed instruments where voices are heard in all their splendour at the hands of sheer musical ingenuity.

Tracks: 1. Samba do Véio; 2. Chamamé; 3. Sweet; 4. Light of Dawn; 5. 01 Byte 10 Strings; 6. Samba for Rapha; 7. Whispered; 8. Flower of Life; 9. Seasons; 10. Shiawase; 11. Sliding.

Personnel: Hamilton de Holanda: 10-string mandolin; Yamandú Costa: 7-string guitar.

Yamandú Costa on the web: www.yamandu.com.br

Hamilton de Holanda on the web: www.hamiltondeholanda.com/en

Review written by: Raul da Gama

Danilo Navas
Danilo Navas
Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, Toronto Music Report. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more