Aeromosca, and O Vôo da Mosca

27 11 2010

Here is a fun reinterpretation of the choro tune, O vôo da mosca (the flight of the mosquito) by some very talented musicians in the recording studio. They extend and reharmonize the chords and melody. An excellent arrangement!

And just for reference, a version by the master and composer himself, Jacob do Bandolim.

Lesson in Samba

21 07 2009

Just like jazz, samba is about the rhythm. There are a myriad of types of samba as there are jazz, in fact it’s just a catch-all term. You could be playing samba-canção, batudaca, pagode, olodum (which some say isn’t even related to samba!), samba de roda, sambinha (little samba), the list goes on and on. What changes between these styles is tempo, the lyrics, the instrumentation, and just the overall sound.

It’s arguable that at the heart of all Brazilian music is the pandeiro. In second place is the tamborim. When someone brings a surdo, you know that a party has begun.

1)The pandeiro looks like what what we would call a tambourine, but the difference is in the jingles: on a tambourine they are more numerous and mounted like this:   )(    on a pandeiro they are mounted the opposite way:  ( )     Playing a tambourine you hear more jingle, but playing a pandeiro you hear more of the drum head.
2) the Brazilian tamborim has nothing to do with our tambourine, it is in fact a small hand-drum. it is very high pitched.

The magic of samba starts when these three instruments play together, then all the elements of the rhythm fall into place: the surdo plays the deep back-beat, the pandeiro a continuous stream of 16th notes, the tamborim the higher-pitched syncopated counter rhythm. If you look at the comping patterns the guitar plays, the rhythm of the bass guitar, even the rhythms and even melodies of many Brazilian songs, you will hear echos and combinations of these three instruments’ rhythms.

The following video is my very first. It shows the basics of how to comp over chords if you’re playing a samba, then I use some of the same rhythms to comp over Tom Jobim’s “Meditation.” I appreciate all feedback and constructive criticism!

Odeon guitar arrangement

15 07 2009

Odeon, by Ernesto Nazareth is another classic chorinho that every aspiring Brazilian guitar student should learn. I like this video because you can clearly see how each hand is moving. Though strict classical players may criticize the tone, that is less of an issue in choro. Indeed, all the notes are there and it has a good rhythm– a recipe for success.

Noites Cariocas, Raphael Rabello and Armandinho

15 07 2009

A classic song by the great composer Jacob Pick Bittencourt, aka Jacob do Bandolim: Noites Cariocas.

This is one of the most famous chorinhos there is. The beauty of choro is that it is like jazz, it is improvised. Though the musicians work from melodies and counter melodies, through arrangements, there is always lots of room left over for improvisation. These two masters show us how it’s done. Listen to the touches Raphael adds in the (seven-string) guitar counterpoint, he had a very advanced sense of resolving complicated harmonies, it’s a pleasure to hear his momentary forays into remote keys and substitutions. The bandolim player is also on top of his game. The impeccable sense of rhythm makes the music come alive!

Naquele Tempo, performed by Baden Powell

15 07 2009

Baden Powell shares a little improvisation over the melody of Pixinguina’s Naquele Tempo. To get a better feel for this, it is helpful to hear another version of the song as well.

In this version you we also hear the lyric (by Silvestre Almeida, they aren’t the “original” lyrics) I may eventually get around to doing a translation of the original by Bene, but not tonight…

Finally, here is another video of a fun performance during a roda, or jam session. This is the best recording I could find on the internet of this classic piece. Though the strange keyboard-harmonica (?) has a few painfully flat notes, it’s still good to watch because each instrument can be heard clearly. The bass lines in the guitar flow well and it’s all authentic! hope you enjoyed these videos!

The original lyrics:


Eu sempre lhe amei
Eu sempre lhe adorei
Eu sempre almejei
Um dia ver você feliz
Fiz tudo, carreguei
A minha cruz com retidão
Apenas pra ganhar seu coração
Mas tudo foi em vão porque
Sofri sem reclamar
Sofri pra não chorar
Curti a minha dor
Por desejar o seu amor
Ficava na esquina a lhe esperar
Porém, você passava
Sem ao menos me olhar


Naquele tempo você tinha tudo
Beleza, riqueza, lábios sensuais
Malícia no olhar
Charmosa até demais
Eu quis lhe conquistar
Você nunca me quis
E ainda disse para alguém
Que eu era infeliz
Naquele tempo havia tocatas
Romances, serestas, também ao luar
Alguém contou pra mim
Que viu você chorar
Naquela noite eu cantei
Chorinhos e canções
Com flauta, cavaquinho e violões


O tempo foi tudo passa
Eu também agora
Já não sofro mais
Já tenho um grande amor
Pra acalmar minha dor
Amenizar meu sofrer
E escutar os meus ais
Você ficou sem ninguém
Pois desprezou a quem tanto lhe quis
Tudo acabou
E hoje sou feliz

Muita Bobeira, Luciana Souza

1 07 2009

Luciana Souza has been a great inspiration for me, her singing is natural, no artistic ego. This is one video from youtube where she sings with the accompaniment (if you can call it that, the playing is remarkable by itself) by Romero Lubambo, a guitar force to be reckoned with. The video is here: Lucian Souza and Romero Lubambo, Muita Bobeira

The following is my translation of the lyrics. I marked the lines that I had to change slightly to get the meaning without having it sound too forced with a star* and the literal translation in brackets:

I don’t think I’ll let you get so easily out of my life
In the end I know you’ll like being in the middle of this strife.
What we had was all too good for us both
Let’s find a way to move beyond and put it all behind us.

*I don’t know how I’ll be able to endure all my sadness, [Only you can endure my torment]
*The thoughts of you won’t leave my mind it’s driving me to madness [I'm unable to get you out of my mind]
*When you walk by, I crumble into marbles on the floor, [if you walk by, I fall apart in pain]
*And when you stay, Love is not enough, I want to give you more [If you stay I want to give my love]

If every story shows a trend: a start, a middle, and an end
Let’s try again,
*Perhaps, who knows, next time we’ll see [Maybe, a chance, a "no", a "yes"]
I’ll convince you to come back to me! [make you come back, come back to me]

*I’ll fight to win you over, I don’t care how long it takes, [I will fight for you my entire life]
*If I do senseless, silly things it’s all because of heartache [even if it means doing silly things][anyone have a better translation of this line?]
*When you walk by, I crumble into marbles on the floor,
*And when you stay, a kiss is not enough, I want to love you more.


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