Grupo Falso Baiano: Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi's (2011)
Where bossa nova possesses a cool, sensuous, smooth-flowing feel, Grupo Falso Baiano's music has a happy, lively sounddanceable and ebullient. The quartet, featuring saxophone/flute, guitar, mandolin and percussion including pandeiro and zabumba, can sound, at times, like an freewheeling and exotic form of bluegrass ("Caminhando") and, elsewhere, like a wistful lament ("Rosa Cigana").
The set opens with three tunes by some of choro's most influential twentieth century composers: the joyous "Caminhando," penned by Nelson Cavaquinho and Norival Bahia; the lilting title track, written by Jacob do Bandolim; and Pixinguinha's bouncy "Chegui," that showcases the group's seamless interplayhere, as a sextet, with the addition of pianist Jovino Santos Neto and percussionist Brian Rice. "Feira Livre" lifts the energy level higher, the sextet locked in tight over the intricacies of tinkling percussion, with Zak Pitt-Smith's sax weaving a sweet melody around the strings. Pitt-Smith then switches to flute and the group shifts into a stop-time groove, with the percussionists filling the spaces.
Choro, in the hands of Grupo Falso Baiano, is a happy and engaging music, full of tempo shifts and moods swings. A real bonus on the set is its closing tune, "Forro Na Penha," featuring Neta on accordion, giving the sound a sighing, ecstatic, African Zulu jive atmosphere counterpointed by Pitt-Smith's cool flute incursions.
Track Listing: Caminhando; Simplicidade; Cheguei; Feira Livre; Kenny E Voce; Rosa Cigana; Bem Brasil; Deixa O Breque; Doce De Coco; Forro Na Penha.
Personnel: Zack Pitt-Smith: saxophone, flute; Jesse Appelman: mandolin; Brian Moran: 7-string guitar; Ami Molineli: percussion; Jovino Santos Neto: piano (3-6, 9), accordion: (10), flute (5); Brian Rice: percussion (3-5, 10).
Record Label: Self Produced