The seventeenth of Jon Turney’s weekly selections (series introduced HERE), offers a burst of Brazilian sunshine.
A live recording I sought out after hearing Paulo Moura’s delicious clarinet and saxophone playing during a trip to Rio. This is a bit like that memorable night, but more strictly focussed on one style – choro, Brazil’s variant on the hybridisation of European dance forms with African rhythms – and in particular the work of its leading composer Pixinguinha, or to give him his full name Alfredo da Rocha Viana Júnior. The ensemble, Os Batutas, take their name from Pixinguinha’s own bands, and like the audience seem to know all the tunes backwards.
It’s gorgeous, rhythmically charged, infectious music, brilliantly performed. The record, all arranged by Moura, won awards in Brazil in 1997, as well as the first Grammy for latin music a few years later.
I never got round to investigating choro much more, but Moura’s fine set renews that resolution. It also reminds me it was a fabulous way to end a day that started with a run along Copacabana beach, but not every recording can have associations quite as good as that. Posting this hoping my friends there stay healthy…