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coverpic flag Brazil - Full Moon 37 - 10/24/99

Paulinho Nogueira
Reflexões (Reflections)
Malandro Records

With more than twenty-five albums released to date, Brazilian guitarist wonder Paulinho Nogueira now makes his debut on a U.S. label. Malandro Records' new Legends of Brazil series presents Paulinho Nogueira's Reflexões (Reflections). With this classy first act, Legends of Brazil is a world of surprises. One can only imagine what other releases will appear down the line.

Born in Campinas (state of São Paulo) in 1927, Paulinho Nogueira fell in love with the violão (nylon-string guitar) at age 10. His older brother João taught him the first chords, and that first guitar, a 1937 Del Vecchio, is still used by Paulinho, including this album. Paulinho's greatest idol could not have been anyone else but Aníbal Augusto Sardinha, or as he was better known, Garoto. Though they never met, Paulinho says Garoto was his real teacher, his strongest influence.

Paulinho's first album was released in 1958, a fantastic year for Brazil. That year, Brazilians won their first soccer World Cup, Maria Ester Bueno was a winner at Wimbledon, and Bossa Nova was noticed as a major musical movement. As the 60's and 70's rolled in, Paulinho was more talked about in musical circles. His guitar accompaniment on Elis Regina's classic rendition of Carinhoso (Affectionate) is historic, as is his live duet performance with Baden Powell at one of Record TV shows (they played Ernesto Nazareth's famous Odeon, a Brazilian choro that has become a landmark). Paulinho's name was associated with some of the greatest Brazilian performers. His legacy has been passed on to other Brazilian guitarists. He was Toquinho's master. Paulinho's popularity never seems to have vanished from the musical charts. In 1970, his song Menina (Girl) hit the number one spot in Brazilian popular music.

Reflexões (Reflections) is unique even before you open the jewel case. The cover art work features one of Paulinho's paintings of Rio de Janeiro with a superimposed photo of his 1937 Del Vecchio guitar. Personal photos of Paulinho's archives feature him, for example, with Elizeth Cardoso, Elis Regina, and Baden Powell. Producer Rick Udler's meticulous notes provide a comprehensive background of this legendary performer as well as a track-by-track analysis.

The title track is a longer remake of Paulinho's own Reflexões em 2 por 4 (Reflections in 2 times 4). It majestically sets the tone for the other pieces. Jorge Ben's world hit Mas Que Nada (Oh, Come on) brings the sounds of samba and Maracatú directly from Paulinho's guitar. Another example of extracting percussive sounds from his guitar is given in Sérgio Ricardo's Zelão. Paulinho creates cuíca sounds using only his guitar. Even when playing old Bossa Nova standards, such as Tom Jobim/Newton Mendonça's Samba de Uma Nota Só (One-Note Samba), Paulinho innovates. This arrangement begins like an old maxixe, similar to the ones composed by Ernesto Nazareth. It is, however, with Baden Powell/Vinícius de Moraes' Samba em Prelúdio (Samba in Prelude) that Paulinho will overwhelm your senses. If you have ever heard this tune sung before, it was done with two voices in the second part. In Paulinho's recording, his one guitar plays both "voices" with no overdubbing. It's a masterpiece number by a master guitarist!

The music speaks for itself. More than an essential album, Reflexões (Reflections) will become an instant classic. Paulinho Nogueira is superb. If you are not familiar with his work, this will be an impressive first acquisition.

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