Quick and to the Point: Classical music meets Jazz on gilded Brazilian streets..
A recording partially sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, Juntos (“Together”) is a Brazilian choro -inspired musical collage that reinterprets the work of some luminaries such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-lobos, and other composers. The date’s leader is the main author featured, nonetheless.
Juntos offers a rare opportunity to listen to musicians such as pianist Maria Teresa Madeira and flutist Altamiro Carrilho, although the leading figures are guitarist, composer and vocalist Paulinho Garcia and flutist Julie Koidin. The latter’s breathing, technique, ideas and sound are classically infused –however, the Brazilian jest, beauty and flavor are not far behind. Garcia’s Spanish singing –as in “Luna Tucumana”– leaves much to be desired, nonetheless, as his accent belies a better knowledge of the linguistic hybrid known as “Portañol.” Aside from that, the rest of the work elicits aesthetic pleasure. Garcia and Co. make economically moving music that should be very well appreciated by lovers of such musical endeavors.
Dois no Choro recorded a simple and meaningful work that should attract anyone interested in good music, plain and simple. There are so many memorable moments: the opener’s charming fluttering interchange between Carrilho and Koidin; “Adios Nonino” and its meshing of classical, tangoed jazz and Brazilian undercurrents; the jumpy happiness of “Aruanda.” Chorinho Pra Nos” and “Chorinho Do Paulinho”; the graceful “Vals del Olvido.” The key is Garcia’s writing and roles as guitar anchor and vocal enabler, as well as Koidin’s talented flute playing –with its alluring understated effect. Their take on Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras #5" should convince any listener.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.