Brazilian Instrumental Music

Other than choros, that is! See also our Gafieira page. The Brazilian guitar has its own page, for obvious reasons. This is a very small sample, a drop in the ocean of Brazilian music... All CDs donated to our site automatically become part of the Sheila Thomson Collection of Brazilian Culture at Florida International University in Miami. That's the main reason why we keep these pages on the site, since we don't update them as often as we used to.

A talented pianist from Sampa, Eliane Elias has ignited countless audiences around the world with her spirited, passionate playing. This is her latest, "Light My Fire." Honestly, Eliane, you don't need that, do you?

"O Papagaio do Moleque" You must have realized by now that we are picky, picky when it comes to CD releases. Well, here's another gem for you by our favorite instrumental group, Rabo de Lagartixa: all Villa-Lobos music in spectacular arrangements for this choro ensemble.

And here's another beauty for lovers of instrumental music: works by the guitar master Canhoto da Paraíba interpreted by a top-notch trio: Alessandro Valente on cavaquinho, Pedro Amorim on bandolim and tenor guitar, and Caio Cezar on guitar. Need I say more?

Remember the gorgeous sounds of Rodrigo Lessa's "Das Ilhas Mestiças," dedicated to the Cabo Verde Islands? He pays an equally beautiful homage to the musical heritage of his native Rio de Janeiro, in company with the musicians in Pagode Jazz Sardinha's Club, plus samba luminaries such as Arlindo Cruz and percussionist Marcos Esguleba.

Rodrigo Lessa's "Das Ilhas Mestiças," is a musical tour through the Cape Verde Islands in company with some amazing local and Cuban masters...

The latest addition to our files is not a recent release, but if you can find it, grab it right away! Tom Zé and Zé Miguel Wisnik composed this exuberant soundtrack for a dance piece called Parabelo in 1997, inspired by northeastern rhythms, devotional chants, and traditional poetry. I bought the CD at the Teatro Municipal's lobby, before seeing Grupo Corpo's latest production Breu.

Antonio Adolfo, one of Brazil's greatest pianists, pays homage to carnaval and its eternal songs...What a lovely CD!

"Viralata" by master Antonio Adolfo. ARCD 3005. One of his great classic albums, now on CD.

"Tira Poeira" As the group's Portuguese name says, is dusting off the cobwebs from traditional choros and sambas with a lot of creativity, improvisation, and guts. Unfortunately, they're no longer performing together...too bad, because their energy was incredibly contagious! This CD is on the Biscoito Fino label out of Rio. 

Award-winner "Gargalhada" with Paulo Sérgio Santos Trio. The virtuoso clarinetist (see Segura Ele below), plus his son, Caio Márcio, on 6-string guitar and Oscar Bolão on percussion.

seguraele.jpg (9055 bytes)"Segura Ele" by Paulo Sérgio Santos. Some say this guy is the greatest clarinet player in the world. He also plays three different saxophones and a couple other instruments I had never even heard of, but turned out to be clarinets, too. Paulo plays choro classics, Hermeto and Guinga compositions and Villa-Lobos. It's beautiful!

"Toots Thielemans: The Brazil Project, Vols. 1 and 2" Private Music CD 01005-82101-2 and CD 01005-82110-2. I once had a chat with Toots and he is the most charming man. You've got to love his harmonica!


The cover photograph by artist Elifas Andreato sums it up: a musical tour (de force, of Brazil) by saxophonist Mário Sève with a guest roster that reads like a Who's Who of his country's musicians...superb! "Casa de Todo Mundo" is available from Núcleo Contemporâneo.

"New Words" is a collaboration between American mandolin master Mike Marshall and Brazil's superstar bandolinista Hamilton de Holanda. A cross-cultural adventure that includes choros and Appalachian tunes, Irish bouzouki, Hamilton's trademark ten-string bandolim, mandocello, and tenor guitar. The best part, though, is to watch them on the (unfortunately waaay too short!) DVD...the minute they switch from Blackberry Blossom to Apanhei-te Cavaquinho your hips start to sway and you know where you are (in Rio, of course!). It's on Adventure Music.

Some artists stand so much above and beyond the mere talented that they belong in a category I find difficult to describe. Moacir Santos was one such musician. This CD follows the amazing "Ouro Negro," but includes songs he wrote much earlier. Absolutely lovely and we're indebted to the same team of Mario Adnet and Zé Nogueira and to Adventure Music for releasing it in this country.

"Ouro Negro" with the music of Moacir Santos. Mário Adnet and Zé Nogueira put together a spectacular tribute to the great composer and arranger "maestro" Santos. The show was the most gorgeous, emotional one I've ever attended (by invitation only...); for the first time in my life I felt like I was in the presence of true genius. Yes, he was there with his wife Cleonice. Sadly, Moacir passed away recently. The CD is perfect and everyone is in it, besides the two producers: Marcos Nimrichter, Jurim Moreira, Andrea Ernest Dias, Nailor "Proveta," Armando Marçal, Cristovão Bastos, Vittor Santos and so on. Available on (aptly named, considering the gamble these guys are taking on choro and other - to Americans - obscure styles of Brazilian music) Adventure Music out of New York.

Our favorite flutist is back! This time around, David Ganc joins forces with the Guerra Peixe String Quartet for ultra-refined interpretations of Tom Jobim's music; his arrangements and interpretation inhabiting that territory so familiar to great Brazilian musicians, right in-between popular and classical.

 "Caldo-de-Cana" One of our recent "discoveries," David is a true magician on the flute, no pun intended! This disc is a gem and has been in our CD player for months now. It's music to soothe the soul. David plays flutes in C and G, and saxophones. Strongly recommended!!

Brazilian CDs

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