The Orquesta Popular de
Câmara brings a new sonority to the Brazilian musical universe by
the encounter of the contemporary world with the traditional. Of the linked
instruments to the urban culture, as the saxophone, piano, cello and bass
to the rural of the viola caipira, of the mandolin, of the acordeom, of
the zabumba and pífanos.
Ronem Altman (mandolim)
Teco Cardoso (sax and flutes)
Zezinho Pitoco (percussion)
|WWW.JAZZREVIEW.COM - REVIEW
By Glenn Astarita
Review: Formed in 1998 to coincide with an active touring schedule, this Brazilian tentet does indeed, mesh familiar territory with a contemporary slant. On this irrefutably attractive outing, the artists’ use indigenous South American flutes and percussion instruments with horns, accordion, piano, and other tools of the trade. The overall program features a hodgepodge of wistful melodies, enhanced by the angelic vocals of Monica Salmaso. They fuse folk, traditional Brazilian fare, jazz, and even a piano/violincello chamber groove during the harmonious and multifaceted piece titled “Suite Para Polar Cama.” It’s a polytonal extravaganza, teeming with mood-evoking sentiment and blustery motifs, all constructed upon a layered approach. Through it all, an overriding sense of newness prevails. It’s comprehensive in scope yet easily attainable: An album that signifies a new wave within Brazilian music circles, or perhaps world music in general for that matter. In addition, special guest artist and renowned percussionist, Nana Vasconcelos sits in with the band for the entire set. (Recommended…)
|WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM - REVIEW
By John Kelman
Orquestra Popular de Camara | Adventure Music
The interpretation of Brazilian music is something that has been covered in virtually every context, from intimate solo and duet settings to full-out orchestral works. The key aspect of whatever setting is used is whether it maintains its authenticity. While traditional jazz groupings can cover the material, moulding it to a more North American rendering, the most genuine works have arguably been those which use many of the native South American instruments. While Egberto Gismonti’s orchestral interpretation of his more popular works on 1997’s Meeting Point was academically interesting, it lacked a certain ethnic authenticity that ultimately resulted in a valiant but failed attempt.
Not so the Orquestra Popular de Camara who, by combining native instruments like bandolim, bamboo flute and a variety of percussion instruments with the less conventional cello and viola, create an intriguing blend of textures that is refreshingly different while, at the same time, maintaining complete authenticity.
Orquestra Popular de Camara is a wholly original work by a group of musicians who forsake individuality to create a unique group sound that blends instruments from the rainforests of Brazil with more conventional instruments like piano, saxophone and bass. The Orquestra's complete lack of ego is what makes it work. While the ensemble numbers thirteen players, it is rare that everyone is in the pool at once. Instead, piano and cello combine with berimbau in a chamber-like setting, creating a peaceful ambience at the beginning of “Suite para Pular Cama (E ver o Brasil) that leads into a Gismonti-informed folk-like passage featuring bandolim, piano, percussion and flute. Monica Salmaso’s wordless vocals lend an ethereal quality to “Bayaty,” another piece which begins in a tranquil fashion, only to segue into a relaxed but poignant movement where voice and flute combine seamlessly.
The overall ambience of Orquestra Popular de Camara is one of folk-like elegance. Individual players are given brief opportunities to solo, often-times in the form of a dialogue with another instrument, sometimes combining in ways that sometimes blur the boundaries between them. Cello and accordion combine in a duet at the beginning of “Parafuso,” creating a new and distinct texture. One of the outstanding characteristics of the recording is, in fact, how the various instruments are blended to create timbres that are organic yet strangely new.
Moving, texturally rich, filled with unique takes on common forms that are both challenging and completely accessible, Orquestra Popular de Camara manages to bring a vital new slant to the popular Brazilian folk form. Not quite folk, not quite jazz, not quite classical, it is difficult to pigeon-hole, but in the final analysis its sheer elegance and deep expression make it an album well worth investigating.
|2. VINHETA DA ESPANHA OU DO AGRESTE|
|3. PARAFUSO||Ronen Altman|
|4. CHORO MORENO||Mané Silveira|
|5. GAÚCHO – CORTA JACA||Chiquinha Gonzaga|
|6. CHORETO||Mané Silveira|
|7. SUÍTE PRA PULAR DA CAMA (E VER O BRASIL)||Benjamim Taubkin|