Traditionally, Samba, Choro, and Baião have been the most popular two-beat Brazilian music styles (as opposed to the four-beat Frevo and Samba-Canção). All three originated in the 19th century, and each was rhythmically influenced by African batuques and the very early Brazilian lundu, which formed the roots of maracatu, the rhythmic synthesis of the three styles. This synthesis occurred despite the fact that, melodically and harmonically, each of these styles had been subject to very different influences: African chants (Samba), European dances and classical music (Choro), and the Moorish-flavored musical atmosphere of the Iberian Peninsula (Baião). This marvelous mixture—plus a taste of Jazz (and consequently Bossa) and Blues—resulted in a very special combination, which became (and remains) very popular among Brazilian musicians.
On this CD I have decided to focus mainly on Choro and Baião, and have recorded music by two great composers whose work, in my view, embodies the finest modern combination of the elements described above: Guinga, who was introduced to Brazilian and international audiences in recent years and who has reinvented Choro and Baião with a distinctive melodic and harmonic approach that makes extensive use of diminished 5th and minor major 7th chords, among other incredible contributions; and Chico Buarque, a genius of MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) who first emerged in the 1960s, whose songs have made him immortal, and whose melodies and harmonies display a myriad of possibilities through his uniquely rich inverted bass lines (one of Choro’s main characteristics), among countless other musical innovations.
I have included three of my tunes (two of them never previously recorded) in the program, trying to harmonize my own music with these two distinguished Brazilian composers. Relying on the support of an extremely gifted group of musicians who represent the very best of Brazilian Jazz, I am pleased to present Chora Baião.