Grupo Falso Baiano: Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi's

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Grupo Falso Baiano: Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi's In the early 1960s, a series of albums by Stan Getz, including Jazz Samba (Verve Records, 1962), with guitarist Charlie Byrd, and Getz/Gilberto (Verve Records, 1963), with Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, helped propel the Brazilian bossa nova to an unusually high level of popularity. But in Brazil, before there was bossa nova there was choro, an earlier instrumental music that has escaped popular attention outside its home country. On Simplicide, San Francisco Bay area's Grupo Falso Baiano takes the traditional choro sound, stretches it out, and adds an American accent.

Where bossa nova possesses a cool, sensuous, smooth-flowing feel, Grupo Falso Baiano's music has a happy, lively sound—danceable 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 interplay—here, 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).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Related Video


More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Nerve Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Blues and Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Ballads
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus


Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!