:: These reviews were originally published
:: in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


Dusting off the classics

Tira Poeira salutes the masters
in a fresh way all its own.

Daniella Thompson

12 May 2003

Tira Poeira

One listen to the eponymous first disc of the quintet Tira Poeira will tell you: these brilliant young chorões have listened to Jacob do Bandolim’s Vibrações time and again. Three of the tunes from that landmark 1967 LP make their appearance here, albeit with a change of costume—Fon-Fon’s 1944 classic “Murmurando,” Jacob’s own “Receita de samba,” (which received it debut recording in Vibrações), and Joventino Maciel’s “Cadência” (another première on the LP).

While “Murmurando” and “Receita de samba” are instantly recognizable as choros, “Cadência” always had a bluesy jazz flavor, which becomes even more pronounced in the present recording thanks to the saxophone solos of Samuel DeOliveira. Who knows? The tune may yet become an international jazz standard. But Tira Poeira’s rendition is far from being a straight jazz version, for before long, Henry Lentino’s bandolim responds to the sax in purely Brazilian idioms. Following the sax’s riposte, Caio Márcio’s guitar enters the conversation, with a choro tonality reinforced by the bandolim before the sax returns with the main theme. All the while, Fábio Nin’s 7-string guitar and Sérgio Krakowski’s pandeiro lay down subtle rhythms that sustain the longing expressed in the melody.

Waldir Azevedo’s venerable “Vê Se Gostas” (1950) receives a dissonant introduction and unorthodox treatment from bandolim and saxophone, with a pinch of klezmer for good measure. Jacob’s 1954 Waltz “Santa Morena” is imbued with flamenco phrasing. Pixinguinha’s “Segura Ele” (1929) displays the controlled frenzy that results from a continuous ingestion of cafezinhos. These are a few examples of what Tira Poeira does to the war horses of choro. Fábio Nin described the process in an interview with Diário do Nordeste:

A fundamental concept is the freedom in playing. Improvisation and interaction have the spotlight, but with some concerns: we always seek to maintain the form of the tunes, for example. In many cases, such as in “Murmurando” (which opens the CD), the part that sounds like total madness rigorously respcets the length of the composition’s section A. The original harmony is almost always respected. But I think we introduce certain things, like rhythmic illusions. We don’t want to reinvent choro, only to add our own seasoning. [...] As Raphael Rabello had already said, the key is to mix styles. In other words, we reprocess the sonorous material that is there, and I devoutedly believe that the brasilidade appears even if the musician doesn’t want it to.

Three classic sambas are treated somewhat more traditionally, if only to enable the vocalists to get through them without a hitch. However, here, too, there are departures from the mold that enliven the familiar with fresh spirit.

Tira Poeira, whose members are mostly in their twenties, got together in Lapa, Rio’s focal point for samba and choro nightlife, where their hybrid choro beckons the hip young audience to dance. Listening to their music may compel you to do the same.

Tira Poeira: Tira Poeira
(Biscoito Fino BF 535; 2003) 61:36 min.

01. Murmurando (Otaviano Romeiro “Fon-Fon”/Mário Rossi)
02. Receita de Samba (Jacob Pick Bittencourt)
03. Três Apitos (Noel Rosa)—Mariana Bernardes
04. Delicado (Waldir Azevedo)
05. Caminhando (Nelson Cavaquinho/Nourival Bahia)
06. Segura Ele (Pixinguinha/Benedito Lacerda)
07. Vê Se Gostas (Waldir Azevedo)
08. O Mundo É um Moinho (Cartola)—Pedro Miranda
09. Carioquinha (Waldir Azevedo)
10. Peguei a Reta (Porfírio Costa)
11. Folhas Secas (Nelson Cavaquinho/Guilherme de Brito)—Teresa Cristina
12. Santa Morena (Jacob Pick Bittencourt)
13. Cadência (Joventino Maciel)


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