Monday, July 23, 2018

Paris Gadjo Club - Swinging The Choro

CD front, Café du Brésil, Frémeaux & Associés (FA 8549)
Choro is a genuine Brazilian music genre which emerged in Rio de Janeiro during the late decades of the 19th century. Like jazz, that emerged in New Orleans from various sources and as a mixture of African, Creole and popular music of the time (i.e. ragtime) on the threshold of the 20th century, choro music originated as a local music style in Rio de Janeiro but soon spread all over Brazil with the emergence of radio networks early 1920s. One of the first choro musicians to be featured in radio live broadcast was Pixinguinha, who together with his band Os Oito Batutas was featured in the first nation wide broadcast in 1922. The same year Pixinguinha and his band was offered an engagement in Paris, France for some months, which became a great success with the Parisian audience. Pixinguinha and his band were the first native musicians to introduce choro, maxixe and related Brazilian music outside Brazil, and Paris, France was the first location abroad where the public had a chance to experience live performance of this music. The Parisian audience has always been open minded to influence from music outside France, another notable example is the embrace of jazz as performed by Django Reinhardt, the Belgian gypsy, who founded the European branch of hot jazz and swing. Django lived and performed in Paris most of his life and he was a success with the Parisian audience throughout his career, his legacy has since spread world wide and today Django and his gypsy style of jazz (Manouche) is more often than not associated with Paris in the 1930s and 1940s, its café culture and impromptu live music performances. This tradition is kept well alive by musicians, gypsies as well as non-gypsies (gadjos), even today. A new CD by a quartet named Paris Gadjo Club reflects this tradition, but instead of performing jazz standards the quartet plays music originally composed or performed by Brazilian choro musicians adding the unmistakable gypsy conception and interpretation of the music associated with Django Reinhardt and his followers. The result is most enjoyable and well worth lending your ears, I think.
Paris Gadjo Club (l-r): Pierre-Louis Cas (cl,as), Laurent Vanhée (b), Stan Laferrière (rh g), Christophe Davot (lead g,bj) (photo by Michel Bonnet)
The CD has 13 tracks and the repertoire is chosen among popular compositions by famous Brazilian choro musicians and composers like Jacob do Bandolim, Ernesto Nazareth and Pixinguinha a.o.. The rhythm section of the quartet is in the hands of Stan Laferriìere (rh g) and Laurent Vanhée (b) while Pierre-Louis Cas (cl,as) and Christophe Davot (lead g, bj) share solo spots playing melody and improvisation. Below I'll insert a couple of examples of the featured music from live performances uploaded at YouTube, and to give you an impression of similarities and differences between choro and gypsy/gadjo swing jazz I'll also insert a couple of examples of the Brazilian original recordings which may have inspired the Paris Gadjo Club. - Here is first Jacob do Bandolim's interpretation of Ernesto Nazareth's famous tune Odeon

From a live performance recorded 2016, here is the same tune as played by Paris Gadjo Club

This year choro communities celebrate the centennial of Jacob do Bandolim, the famous Brazilian master of choro mandolin, who is just as popular in Rio as Django Reinhardt still is in Paris, and from Jacob's most popular LP album here is his interpretation of Juventino Maciel's choro Cadéncia

And here is the same tune as performed by Paris Gadjo Club in a TV live program earlier this year

If these appetizers have caught your interest, more info (-in French) is available here, and the CD is for purchase here

No comments:

Post a Comment