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coverpic flag Brazil - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 11 - 09/16/97

Luiz Simas
New Chorinhos from Brazil
Lydjul Records

Upon receiving New Chorinhos from Brazil, I confess I was a little apprehensive. Choro (literally "cry") is a Brazilian music form that requires a lot of soul both for performing and composing it. One could say choro is very much like the Portuguese fado in that it evokes feelings. Unlike fado, however, choro (or chorinho, little cry) can be a lively composition or an introspect, sad song.

In this, the centennial year of Pixinguinha's birthday, Brazil's most notable choro composer, I had my doubts that a contemporary performer could show all the artistry required to perform chorinhos, especially on piano (Arthur Moreira Lima comes to mind). Luiz Simas can and has done an outstanding job! His cassette New Chorinhos From Brazil is by far the very best choro release out of Brazil in recent years. All titles here are composed and superbly performed by Luiz Simas on piano.

The musical range of material in New Chorinhos from Brazil varies from the sublime to the playful. Clear influences from other choro composers (e.g., Ernesto Nazareth), can be subtly perceived in various numbers. There are also classical influences in some of the music, with Chopin and Bach being very prominent.

Chorinho das Comadres ("Old Ladies" Chorinho) elicits the type of frolicsome activities so prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th century gatherings in Rio de Janeiro's high society. With Chorinho com Bossa (Chorinho with Style), bossa nova influences underline the chord structures and melody. Saltitante (Hoppy) is animated, whereas Preguiçoso (Lazy) is pensive. Feelings and states of mind permeate New Chorinhos from Brazil, and it is exactly in the manner that Luiz Simas chooses to express those feelings that he succeeds most notably. Every time I play New Chorinhos from Brazil, I find myself setting my cassette player to a continuous repeat mode.

To obtain New Chorinhos from Brazil, you can contact Lydjul Records directly at 485 Court St., Apt. 4-L, Brooklyn, NY 11231, USA.

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You may also want to check out our Luiz Simas article/review: Recipe For Rhythm.

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