Chris Corstens (photo: Anna Rudolf)
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Fearless Pursuit of Joy: How Catherine Bent Took to Brazil’s Sensual Swinging Choro and Found it Ideal for the Cello
“Doors opened for me,” Bent recalls. “I was warmly welcomed into the world of choro in Rio. I had been there less than a month and was invited to play twice with a famous choro band on national radio. It could have been the novelty of a woman from outside Brazil, a cellist, who played the music. But I had also taken the time to really learn the style and a decent body of repertoire. It made it very easy to grow as a performer of the music.”
“I have been struck by the strong sense of community and sharing in Brazil,” Bent notes. “It was intense, the experiences I had in that community, and it required a certain surrender and trust. The kind of trust takes you to other places.”
These techniques drew her to musical styles that could make full use of strings, but that were not necessarily designed for her instrument, styles like choro. Choro developed in the late 19th century and came into its own in the 1920s and 1930s, an offshoot of European social dance music and Brazil’s unique mix of African and indigenous elements. (Bent paints a picture of its early evolution from polka to maxixe on “Quebrando Tudo.”) Choro kept the elegance of dances like the waltz or the schottische, yet transformed them with rhythmic and melodic variation, and a swing and sensuality all its own. Pieces often captured everyday moments or paid tribute to homelands their composers had left behind.
Bent first ran into choro as a grad student at the New England Conservatory, while getting her masters in jazz. “l met a flute player, half Israeli and half Brazilian. He brought a book of Pixinguinha to our playing session,” Bent remembers. “I thought at first: this is really challenging. It wasn’t written for cello. It had melodic appeal and a groove and improvisation. I took it on as a vehicle for growth.” Choro soon went from interesting exercise to intense fascination.
After several summers in Brazil, having gained further mastery of the music and the language, Bent was hearing choro pieces in her head, often at the least convenient times, like when packing to leave for two months in Rio. Her first composed choro, “Fazendo as Malas,” came to her amid half-packed suitcases. She found herself rushing to the piano to jot down a few more lines, a couple more ideas.
Like choro itself, Bent’s pieces often incorporate sounds and styles from around Brazil, elements of the music’s history and potential. Forró and other northeastern Brazilian rhythms inspired “Som do Seilerei,” a musically layered send-up of a disastrous yet funny soundcheck. Free jazz breaks, sinuous woodwinds (Bia Stutz’s elegant clarinet), and unexpected and delightful dialog between brass (the prodigy Moraes brothers) and cello all add twists to choro that expand the style without fully departing from it.
These ideas flowed in part from Bent’s profound gratitude for the lessons and gifts the choro community had given her. “I felt the need to start contributing. People get happy when I play, but I was enjoying hospitality, the gift of the music, without giving much of myself back,” muses Bent. “And I needed to go deeper, to be part of the conversation more. But because I write complex pieces that depart from traditional forms, my music isn’t practical for a choro session where most are learning by ear. Some people have already asked for my charts, and I hope the recording will help make the tunes approachable to play.”
To record, Bent turned to her most admired choro colleagues to join her in the studio. Close friend and sax player Daniela Spielmann was someone she knew had to be involved. And Bent invited guitarist Lucas Porto who, as she knew from jam sessions, was a master of both the nylon 6-string and the steel 7-string styles integral to choro.
Bent realizes that she’s tinkering with beloved traditions, but that’s a part of choro’s history, too. Witness the late 19th-century renegade composer, pianist, and social activist Francisca Edwige Neves "Chiquinha" Gonzaga, who left a comfortable middle-class marriage to pursue her music and unfashionable human rights causes. Bent pays tribute to her life and draws on her defiant creative spirit on “A Boa Filha Partiu.” “The most traditional players are not always into what I’m doing, though I respect their intentions,” Bent explains. “Over recent years, I’ve come to see that I don’t have to be a ‘good girl,’ in art or in life. While the respect is there, so is the playfulness. I want to be free and do things that are risky, things that are a bit quirky.”
Even if Bent’s iterations of choro and other Brazilian forms push the boundaries, her zest and commitment to taking joy in artistic risk feel part of a long line of playful innovators. “Choro brought back that fearless pursuit of joy for me, the heart of music,” says Bent. “You have to leave a light personal footprint in classical music and think foremost about the composer’s intent. Choro works differently. Mistakes in choro make people laugh. You might get lost or jump into another tune and find an interesting way back. It brought me so much freedom as a musician. It’s how I found my voice.”
01 - A Boa Filha Partiu
02 - Chinderlândia
03 - Insegurança na Gafieira
04 - Quebrando Tudo
05 - Mãos Abertas
06 - Valsa pro Francisco
07 - Fazendo as Malas
08 - Som do Seilerei
09 - Zona Franca
10 - Aviação
“Soul Serenade” "is the title of my newest CD project. Although not exactly a “tribute” album, it is more of a celebration of the music made popular by the great vocalist, Gloria Lynne.
While performing on a recent gig with drummer Vince Ector (Gloria’s drummer for 15 years), I sang “I’m Glad There Is You”, and he reminded me it was one of Gloria’s signature songs. So, I began to research more of Gloria’s work and was instantly mesmerized by her voice, style and emotion. Additionally, her choice of material was instantly appealing to me. I tend to look for songs that are “beyond the norm” of the Great American Songbook repertoire. The songs Gloria Lynne recorded during her career stand alone in their originality and uniqueness. Her performances of these particular tunes move me every time I hear them.
As with my previous CD’s, I always learn a tune and then work with it at the piano, making it an extension of what I’m hearing and feeling from the lyric and melody. I should note that I had never heard any of these 14 tunes before I was introduced to them by the wonderful Gloria Lynne recordings. My “concepts” for these 14 tunes came about after much study, deliberation and changes!
I wanted to step away from the piano for this project in order to collaborate with someone else’s ideas that could influence the way I might want to sing a particular song. I feel that when you accompany yourself on piano the two elements are inseparable and it was time to do a project in a different way.
I asked my dear friend Brad Cole to take my concepts and write the arrangements and orchestrations as well as to play piano/keyboards on this project. He seemed to know exactly what I wanted to do with each of these songs. I think we’ve come up with a fresh approach to this material that Gloria Lynne’s recordings influenced me to explore and ultimately record!”
Artist: DIANE MARINO
Title: SOUL SERENADE-the Gloria Lynne Project
Label: M&M Records: (MCD 6923)
Street Date: MARCH 19, 2018
1. Somewhere in the Night 4:35
2. Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You 5:00
3. Soul Serenade 4:35
4. For You 3:31
5. Blue Gardenia 5:08
6. The Jazz in You 5:32
7. Happy Shoes 4:34
8. Sweet Pumpkin 3:48
9. Out of This World 4:06
10. Speaking of Happiness 3:53
11. That's No Joke 4:09
12. He Needs Me 4:58
13. Let's Take an Old Fashioned Walk 3:28
14. Serenade in Blue 6:15
Brad Cole: piano / keyboards / B-3 organ Arrangements / Orchestrations
Chris Brown: drums
Frank Marino: bass
Mark Christian: guitar-tracks except tracks 2, 4
Doug Munro: guitar-tracks 2, 4
Dann Sherrill: percussion
Don Aliquo: alto, tenor, baritone & soprano saxophones
Scott Ducaj: trumpet-tracks 3, 7, 11
Harry Kim: trumpet-track 4
Roy Agee: trombone
David Davidson: violin
David Angell: violin
Monisa Angell: viola
Carole Rabinowitz: cello
Tom Moore: bassoon- track 9
Deanna Loveland: harp track 12
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We're on tour this summer, and you should come and see us.
Dates coming up include:
28th May: All Points East Festival
2nd June: Depot in the Castle, Cardiff
7th June: Tunnels, Bristol
9th June: Lemonfest, Devon
30th June: MK11, Milton Keynes
7th July: Moonbeams Festival, Yorkshire
13-15th July: Bandafolie festival, France
22nd July: Shearsby Bath, Lutterworth
28th July: Manchester Jazz Festival
If you've got this far, reward yourself with an exclusive DISCOUNT on our merch shop. How does 15% off for the next week sound to ease those GDPR blues?
"An intimate confrontation on sly musical improvisation levels. Together, they meander between form and abstraction, consensus and dissent, dissonance and response; their special force lies in the seemingly endless variations of timbre, which take place in their dialogues. Beautiful poetry!"
1 nickelsdorf suite #1, part 1 (13:31)
2 nickelsdorf suite #1, part 2 (3:45)
3 nickelsdorf suite #1, part 3 (6:28)
4 nickelsdorf suite #2, part 1 (9:11)
5 nickelsdorf suite #2, part 2 (7:50)
6 nickelsdorf fantasia (3:49)
ab baars – tenor saxophone, clarinet, shakuhachi
meinrad kneer – double bass
bill elgart – drums
total playing time: 44:38
recorded live by michael w. huon – odeon mobile unit, july 22, 2012
at konfrontationen, nickelsdorf, austria
mixed and mastered by michael w. huon, odeon 120, brussels, belgium
all compositions by baars / kneer / elgart ©buma
This is the sixth CD of De Nazaten and it is solely dedicated to the music of one of their original band members and composers, Robby Alberga. His versatility as composer is apparent in his ability to connect the traditions and roots of music from Guyana, the entire northeast region of South America, with the modern music of today. He utilizes the instrumentation of De Nazaten, borrowed from the traditional instrumentation of the brass bands of Suriname and New Orleans, to produce a fresh and contemporary sound, creating an extraordinary bridge between the wind and the percussion sections.
1 Vruchten Uit Eigen Tuin 5:21
2 De Lok Van Het Dwaalspoor 5:15
3 Als De Haan Tanden Krijgt 7:32
4 Het Mysterie Van De Zonnegod 8:30
5 Switi Smeri, Sweet Perfume 5:59
6 Trobi Soso Trobi 3:58
7 A Tori Fa Gro Pesi 7:50
8 Lafu Ko Lafu 4:35
Robby Alberga: guitar
Klaas Hekman: piccolo, soprano, bass saxophone
Carlo Ulrichi Hoop: congas, Surinam percussion
Keimpe de Jong: soprano-, tenor saxophone
Setish Bindraban: trumpet
Jermaine Forster: drums
Chris Semmoh: skratyi, Surinam percussion
Patrick Votrian: trombone, sousaphone
Sharief Wagid Hosain: alto saxophone
All compositions by Robby Alberga. Arrangements 5 and 8 by Sharief Wagid Hosain,
all others by Robby Alberga and Juan Navia. Arrangements for the percussion Jermaine Forster. Compositions made possible by Performing Arts Fund NL.
Recorded in E-sound studio Weesp by Thomas Cochrane and Marc Schots, November 2017. Mixed by Thomas Cochrane, Marc Schots and Robby Alberga, mastered by Ferry Verhoeve.
CD-production DMI Records. Sleeve Hans Nieuwstraten, photos Paula Rennings and Pieter Vlamings of ppregisseurs.nl Breda and Marc Schots. This CD was made possible by Voordekunst, the organization for crowdfunding in the creative sector and by Sena.
Uncompahgre (Relative Pitch 1064; USA) Featuring Kirk Knuffke on cornet and Ben Goldberg on clarinet. East (NYC) meets West (Bay area)? Over the past few years, both of these musicians have been very prolific: With ongoing and one-off projects, many disc and live sets. Singular cornetist, Kirk Knuffke, has recorded several great duos: Jesse Stacken, Michael Bisio and Karl Berger, as well as trios (Mary Halvorson & Matt Wilson, Jamie Saft & Hamid Drake). Not to forget his own quartets, Ideal Bread and a great quartet with Bisio, Art Bailey & Michael Wimberley. Bay area clarinet hero, Ben Goldberg, is a restless traveler and music explorer. With more than thirty recordings over the past two decades, Mr. Ben Goldberg, keeps sending us new projects/CD’s with varying personnel several times a year. Mr. Goldberg has done a few great duo discs with Myra Melford, Kenny Wolleson & Michael Coleman (aka Practioner), but he excels in the trio situation. Last year (2017) Mr. Goldberg asked to do a residency here at DMG for our free weekly in-store series. And he did five Sundays in the fall-to-winter with a number of heavy hitters: Nels Cline, Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby & Billy Mintz. All great sets I am proud to say. Mr. Goldberg will be doing this again this Summer here on June 17, July 1st & August 12th.
This duo was recorded in a studio in Brooklyn in June of 2014. Cornet and clarinet duos are relatively rare (Duology with Ted Daniel & Michael Marcus is one). This duo seems to drawing on the long history of jazz and free/improv. They start out most modestly, with a calm sense of restraint, laid back, yet most inventive without pushing too hard yet. Both of these musicians have studied and are inspired by Steve Lacy, Mr. Kuffke with the quartet Ideal Bread (who play exclusively Lacy’s music) and Mr. Goldberg once took a lesson from Mr. Lacy, his most recent CD is a duo called Practioner, which was inspired by one particular Lacy album. Hence, I do hear the playful/serious essence of Mr. Lacy throughout this disc. I love the way these two invent structures, sometimes bending their lines around one another, tossing ideas back and forth in effortless abandon. They often sounds like they are challenging each other, try this or try that, question and answer, occasionally ending up on the same note or phrase. One of the things that makes this duo so special is that this disc is thoughtfully produced, warm and clean, completely acoustic. This seems like a modest effort yet somehow it captures the magic of superb, perfectly balanced duo. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Blue River 4:11
La Junta 2:53
Rocky Ford 4:34
De Beque 1:44
Kirk Knuffke - cornet
Ben Goldberg - clarinet
Empire, la nouvelle chanson de Marie-Mai, trouve son chemin d’une façon remarquée au sommet des différents palmarès en seulement quelques jours - #1 des ventes francophones et #2 au Top 100 BDS en 2 semaines seulement.
À ce succès, s’ajoute aujourd’hui la sortie du tout premier vidéoclip de son futur album, à paraître le 28 septembre.
Performance visuelle vivante, percutante et chargée d’une poésie marquante, ce nouveau vidéoclip propose un renouveau tant au niveau de l’image que des intentions artistiques. Mise en scène seule dans un décor épuré, l’artiste y est à la fois fragile, touchante, forte et assumée.
Le concept du vidéoclip s’appuie sur la métaphore du passage d’un état à un autre. Cette dualité imagée par les contraste des couleurs au noir et blanc démontre bien l’opposition parfois présente entre un moi intérieur et ce que le monde extérieur perçoit.
Part of pianist Satoko Fujii's "Kanreki" (60th Birthday) tour and monthly album release, the "This Is It!" Trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani is heard at Koendori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2018, for an incredible album of Fujii's compositions that include quirky asides in coherent and effusive compositions.
"Due to the fact that the productive Japanese jazz pianist and composer, Satoko Fujii, turns 60, her favorite label, Libra Records, broadcasts a whole host of new albums. Including 1538 with Fujiis trio, This is It! The trio, which consists of the trumpeter, Natsuki Tamura, and drummer Takashi Itani, further coalesces six of Fujii's new compositions, which are not surprising - taking into account her signature - are avant-garde, complex and extremely demanding.
In passages - for example, in the number, "Riding on the Clouds" - you are in meditative fashion with the light battles on metal presses or watches that Itani initiates. In other passages, you are like in a dark and cool basement, where creaking doors are attempted to open. In other passages - most - you are as in a malfunction of infernal noise without sense and gathering. Everything is interesting - all the exploratory element of the music - but everything demands the listener as well, and as such he has to be trained to love or just enjoy the music - regardless of its obvious qualities." - Ivan Rod
1. 1538 8:35
2. Prime Number 8:39
3. Climb The Rapids 3:31
4. Riding On The Clouds 8:34
5. Swoop 9:20
6. Yozora 13:10
Takashi Itani-drums, percussion
Percussion, toys and surprising sound objects meet the family of of flutes and electronics. Music ranges from minimal to jazz, noise and world. Recorded, mastered and edited by Björn Warning, Warning Studio, Amsterdam at. June 12 & 28, 2017.
1. Abu In The Sky
2. Hog Time
3. Echoes Of A Life Hereafter
4. Piepkuiken (For Hermeto)
5. Petal Of A Rose
7. Ice Breath
9. Back Scratcher
11. Belly Buttons
12. Food Foragers
13. Hanging Out
14. Lullaby For Time
15. I'm So Sorry Blues
Total playtime 55:21
Mark Alban Lotz - Picollo, Concert-, Alto-, Bass-, PVC Contra Bass Flute, Bass Flute Headjoint, Concert Flute Body, Prepared Flute, Indian Bamboo Flute (Bansuri), Voice, FX
Alan Gunga Purves - Tin Whistles, Brim Bram, Tambourine, Wee Shakers, Toy Pigs, DaDa Bells, Balafon, Handclaps, Frame Drum, Cymbal Bells, Toy Accordion, Sruti Boxes, Toy Horns, Klaxons, Balacone, Whirlies, Toy Carousel, Breath, Toys, Hemarimbas, Cow Bells, Shakers, Horns, Wee Frying Pans, Toy Pigs, Doppler Squeaks, Hang, Cowbell, Toyhorn, Frame Drum, Clock Chimes
All tracks by Mark Lotz/Alan Purves
Except: Track 7 by Duke Ellington/Alan Purves/Mark Lotz. Tracks 4, 8, 14 by Lotz
Track 5, song Djarabi from Mali (traditionally arranged by Lotz/Purves). This track ‘Abu In The Sky’ is dedicated to the memory of Abu Dijgo (Aboubecre Diougo).
Track 11 has some of the traditional melody Bitique from Mali.
Track 2 is inspired by Chick Corea’s Children Songs. It is a composition for the silent movie ‘The Endurance’ by Frank Hurley, documenting the Endurance Expedition to the Antarctica led by Captain Ernest Shackleton in 1914-17.