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Don't Call it Jazz featuring jazz music from Brazil


Jon Armstrong takes us south to Brazil for this episode of Don't Call it Jazz. 


Pixinguinha (Active in the early 1900s)

“Lamentos” - 3:42
-Choro artist who helped define the genre. Choro was a mix of European and African influences (Polka, folk, waltzes, Samba, traditional West-African rhythms) that was popularized in cafes around Rio. Pixinguinha brought in jazz and ragtime sounds after touring Europe (Paris specifically) in the early 1920s. Amazing example of the wide influence of jazz throughout the world, and the many different paths it took.

Hermeto Pascoal (Active in 1960s)
[Er-Metu Pas-Cwal]
“Voz e Vento” - 3:22
[Voz e Ven-two]
Cerebro Magnetico (1980)
[Ce-Reh-bru Mag-Neh-Chicu]

Brazilian musician who grew up w/o power in Northeastern Brazil. As an albino, he couldn’t work outside, so he spent his youth practicing. Spent his youth gigging in cafes, and was hired by Miles Davis for the record: Live-Evil, which featured his compositions. Miles called him “The most impressive musician in the world” Pascoal would make music with anything, including pigs, water, irons, traffic, etc...

Talk 2

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto
[Chu-Ow  Chul-Ber-Tu]
“Doralice” - 2:48
Getz/Gilberto (1964)
-Introduced Bossa Nova to the world, one of the best selling jazz albums of all time. Kicked off a huge phenomenon and gave the waning jazz genre a big boost commercially.

Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim
“How Insensitive” - 3:19
Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967)
-Sinatra joining Jobim (the father of Bossa Nova) is a sign of how powerful the Brazilian influence was on American jazz music. A wonderful session, beautifully orchestrated and performed.

“Lamento” - 2:43
Wave (1967)
-Artistic masterpiece, arranged by the same guy as Sinatra/Jobim (Claus Ogerman) and chock full of top notch jazz musicians (Urbie Green, Ron Carter, Jimmie Cleveland, Jerome Richardson). Featured many classic future standards, allowed Bossa Nova to evolve into a mature artistic statement rather than a flash in the pan.

Talk 3

Abelita Mateus
[A-Ba-Li-Ta   Ma-Tay-Yus]
“Capim” - 3:55
Vivenda (2017)
-Brazilian musician started as classical pianist and went to William Patterson to study jazz. Melds traditional samba and bossa nova with contemporary jazz she learned at WP and in NYC.

Arthur Verocai
[Arthur Ver-o-Kai]
“Sylvia” 3:02
Arthur Verocai (1972)
-Classical musician and conductor who built a successful career as an arranger and musical director for tv, movies, and other artist’s albums. After a lot of success behind the scenes, he was given a contract to create his first solo album, and it’s a doozy. Beautiful record with luscious string arrangements, stunning songs, and a unique musical identity. Was lost and out of print until recently reissued. Lost classic. A Gil Evans or Billie Strayhorn type.

Gal Costa
“Deus E o Amor” 3:05
[De-us Eh o A-Mor]

Gal Costa (1969)
-Wonderful singer and an important artist of the Tropicallia movement in the mid 60s. Tropicalia was built on Bossa Nova and Samba, mixing with psychedelia and rock music from England and USA. Protest movement that protested the Brazilian Military Dictatorship that took over in the mid-60s.

Talk 4

Luciana Souza
“Choro #3” - 7:14
Storytellers (2020)
-Daughter of bossa nova guitarist, studied classical and jazz composition as a youth. Went to Berklee and majored in jazz composition, and built a successful career in NYC combining classical, jazz, and traditional Brazilian music.

Cyro Baptista
[SighRow Bap-Chi-Sta]
“Tap on the Cajon” - 3:13
Love the Donkey (2005)
-Brazilian percussionist who got a scholarship to attend the Creative Music Studio in NY. Started playing with John Zorn and the avant-garde loft scene in NYC, toured and recorded with Herbie, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Sting amongst others. Mix of traditional percussion instruments and styles with modern avant-garde and jazz. This is a great representation of his unique mix.

Talk 5

Bixiga 70
“Martelo” - 4:13
III (2015)
-Funk/Party Band from Sao Paulo, mix of Afro Beat, Funk and MPB

Tom Ze
“Doi” - 3:33
Estudando O Samba (1976)
[Estu-Dan-Du o Samba]
-Tropical/MPB musician with an experimental bent

Di Melo
[G  May-Lu]
“A Vida Em Seus Metodos Diz Calma” 3:42
[Ah Vida Em Seus Meh-Tow-Dose Deez Calma]
Di Melo (1975)
[G May-Lu]
-An apparently legendary performer who built a strong following with his charisma and talent as a singer and guitarist. Released a string of wonderful and groovy albums throughout the 70s until today.

Talk 6

Milton Nascimento
[Milton Naci-Men-Two]
“Cravo E Canela” - 3:44 (clove and cinnamon)
[Cra-vu E Ca-Ney-La]
Milton (1976)
-Samba musician who established a strong career in Brazil before joining Wayne Shorter’s huge album Native Dancer, which featured Nascimento heavily. That shot him into super stardom and gave American jazz another Brazilian phenom.