Paulo Morello and Tizian Jost with top drummer Erivelton Silva
A unique trip through contemporary samba-funk, relaxed bossa nova and earthy north-eastern rhythms on a bebop base.
Imagine a sunny terrace in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro‘s vivid bairro, just opposite the famous Sugarloaf Mountain. Here, between the lush green of the mountains and the blue Guanabara bay, melodies and rhythms float naturally through the air. You just have to grab the right moment for inspiration. It was here that the idea of this album was born, almost ten years ago, when guitarist Paulo Morello took advantage of such a moment and dreamed up the first bars of “Afternoon In Rio”. However, at that moment, those fragments – not written down – flew away through the hot breeze of the afternoon.
Morello, a dedicated Brazil aficionado, who was working with bossa nova legends Leny Andrade, Pery Ribeiro, Alaide Costa and Johnny Alf for years, is always keen to explore his predilections with interesting new projects. One day, he was enjoying a glass of beer with his Munich friend and colleague Tizian Jost. The pianist has an equally immense enthusiasm for Brazilian music has enjoyed many musical adventures with Morello, among them playing with Grammy winner Leny Andrade or the German-based carioca, Viviane de Farias. They were discussing the possibility of playing Brazil Jazz in the traditional organ trio setting – a sound that has rarely be heard in that way.
And when the question of a drummer arose, the name of Erivelton Silva immediately came up. Both Paulo and Tizian admired the drummer for his incredibly groovy playing with Rosa Passos. The musician from Rio de Janeiro has worked with many of the greats: Chico Buarque, João Bosco, Milton Nascimento, Roberto Menescal and Paquito D‘Rivera. He developed a virtuoso samba drumming style that is admired by his drum colleagues worldwide. After they managed to track Silva down the project was under way.
When a trio plays Brazilian music, it will always be compared to the great performers, since the history of this music is rich with troikas in those latitudes. Famous leaders on each of the given instruments instantly come to mind: Roberto Menescal (g), Walter Wanderley (org), Milton Banana (dr), just to name a few. Morello, Jost and Silva draw level with these eminent musicians - and add a different flavour to the tropical trio pedigree. No one is fronting here; all three musicians act as equal partners. Also the repertoire – most of it being original compositions by Morello and Jost - is unmatched in its variety, reaching out from Rio to the Northeast of the country and even making forays into fusion jazz. Says Morello: “We play Brazilian music in a unique way, because we do it on a bebop base, and at the same time our compositions are tailor-made for Brazilian rhythms.”
The landscape of those rhythms is breathtaking, comprising earthy samba funk, the heavily accentuated samba-de-breque, bossa nova, of course, chorinho, Rio‘s old-time music, and baião from the north east of Brazil. Listen to the intricate funkiness of “Let‘s Vamos” of which the trio presents two versions, one featuring German vibraphone master Wolfgang Lackerschmid and the other Morello‘s long-time companion, Kim Barth, on flute. Jost demonstrates his deep dedication to the Bahian culture, highlighted in the rustic “Santo Amaro”, in which guitar virtuoso Morello shows his rock influences. Organ wizard Jost – who was initially a church organist, by the way – also easily switches to the Fender Rhodes, delivering an amazing solo in Morello‘s bossa, “Na Hora Da Paixão”. “Rebuliço” has the trio re-inventing the chorinho genre, which romps away at double speed in the final section. And, talking of bossa, with “Você Vai Ver” the group pays an unusual tribute to Tom Jobim: the melody is relocated to the organ in Walter Wanderley style and is graced by fine embellishments from Hendrik Meurkens‘ harmonica. Close friend, bassist Dudu Penz, also dropped in to propel some of the tracks with a crisp earthiness.
“What about the fragments of the terrace song?” you may ask. Well, one day they rose up from oblivion again. While sitting in the afternoon sun with his guitar, Morello had been filmed by a journalist who showed him the document years later. Instantly Morello remembered the line, worked on it - and now the result fiercely stands as an opener in which the virtues of all three musicians are broadly displayed: Morello‘s inventive and virtuosic improvisation, Jost‘s steaming response to it and the compact, semi-quaver- laden precision of Silva. Don‘t be mistaken: a lazy afternoon in Rio might become very hot!
Hear us live in 2013:
- 21.03. Special!
Nürnberg Hochschule für Musik
Samba Drumming Workshop mit Erivelton Silva 11:00 Uhr
- 21.03. Fürth - Grüne Halle
- 22.03. Bozen - Laurin
- 23.03. Garmisch-Partenkirchen - JazzGAP
- 24.03. Regensburg - Leerer Beutel
- 25.03. Pforzheim - Domicile
- 26.03. München - Unterfahrt, BR-Mitschnitt
- 27.03.2013 Amberg - Stadttheater
- 28.03.2013 Rosenheim - Pirat
Our new CD: