Memórias do Brasil
Los Angeles Choro Ensemble
Ted Falcon...mandolin and violin
Edson Gianesi...pandeiro and all percussion
Colin Walker...7 string guitar (1,2,4,5,6,8,10)
Mitchell Long...cavaquinho (1,2,4,6,8,10) guitar (3)
Andy Connell...clarinet (1,2,4,6)
Fabiano Nascimento...7 string guitar (7,9,11)
Jovino Santos Neto...accordian (5), melodica (10), piano (11)
Pablo Motta...acoustic bass (3,7)
Keith Barry...chromatic harmonica (3)
Produced by Ted Falcon
It all started when I was a kid. My earliest recollection of Brazilian music was during our long car rides from Pennsylvania to Florida to visit my grandparents. My Dad had this tape that had Sergio Mendez Brasil 66 on one side and the innovative guitarist Luis Bonfa on the other. We would listen to it over and over singing along with "o Pato" and "Agua de Beber".
Later on, I remember my father playing these virtuosic guitar pieces that were so surreal by Villa-Lobos. The music combined beautiful melodies with a harmonic sophistication that wasn't jazz or classical. It was incredibly passionate music, though sometimes dissonant. These guitar partitas were musical stories that you could hear over and over again... a real musical adventure. My Dad taught me several of these pieces by rote on guitar. The shapes were not from chords I had seen or heard before, and the rhythms were different too. This music had a special quality, a magic about it that filled my heart. I think all true art has this quality of amazement and wonder.
When I think about my childhood, Brazilian music has always been there at home. Reconnecting with these musical roots is the story that Memories of Brazil engages to tell.
Memories of Brazil is my first mandolin recording. I wanted to present a variety of styles from choro, jazz, forro, frevo, along with a mixture of composers, from Hermeto Pascoal to Jacob do Bandolim, to show the incredible diversity of Brazilian music. This became realized through the Los Angeles Choro Ensemble. They are the core band on most of the songs, helping to retain the authenticity of the music. I'm also grateful for the special performances of Mitchell Long, Jovino Santos Neto, Andy Connell, Fabiano Nascimento, Keith Barry and Pablo Motta.
As a violinist and guitarist, I thought it would be easier to switch to the mandolin. However, I quickly discovered that it was its own monster, requiring different technique, invention and dedication. Playing the Brazilian-style mandolin (bandolim) has been my main focus over the past 4 years. It has definitely been a fun time of discovery, personal challenge and rich musical growth.
I hope you enjoy the music---Ted Falcon