January 2001

January 2001

Acoustic Assurance

Crossing genre barriers, charismatic Marco Pereira
brings new sensibility and insight to the Brazilian guitar.

Bruce Gilman

Musicians attach great importance to dates of passage—first bands, first important gigs, first recording sessions, just as they can remember with phenomenal accuracy, where they were the first time they heard a particular tune, even if it were years before. Somehow they always know when something of vital significance is taking place and burnish the memory forever afterward. I'm not a professional musician, but I clearly remember hearing Gal Costa's version of "Último Desejo" (Last Wish) for the first time. I was at a friend's apartment in Rio making tapes and enjoying a few too many caipirinhas the night before returning to Los Angeles. Ever since, I have wanted to write, not about an evening enshrined in my imagination, nor about Gal, but about her accompanist on the recording, a musician who communicated with a kind of vibratory chemistry, Marco Pereira.

Player, composer, arranger, and university professor, Pereira is equipped with superb technique and commands a vast storehouse of musical insight with which he creates dazzling and inspired music. By combining the strength of his musical ideas and the warmth he breathes into them, Pereira has carved out a niche for himself as an indispensable presence both on stage and at recording sessions for artists like Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Daniela Mercury, Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Gal Costa, Zélia Duncan, and Djavan. Possessing that rare quality that enables him to accompany prolific artists, Pereira's work as a sideman demonstrates the highest aesthetic and spirit of authentic Brazilian performance practice. In concert he exhibits great daring and imagination, without a hint of having anything to prove. His playing is tough, sinewy, and intelligent, an unending volcano of feeling that is always just barely compressed.

Rarely have I witnessed a more blazing affirmation of faith on the part of an interpreter than when I heard Pereira perform at the recent International Guitar Night (IGN) in Northridge, California.1 Regardless of the composition—Jobim's "Luíza," Ary Barroso's "Na Baixa do Sapateiro," Chick Corea's "La Fiesta," or the traditional "Mulher Rendeira"—Pereira's playing was characterized by a concentration of emotion that flowed forward with a spontaneity that bound together composer, performer, and listener. If Baden Powell's "Samba Triste," played in duet with guitar legend Ralph Towner, did not rise to the greatest heights, it came within measurable distance of them.

Pereira's thorough grounding in the classical repertoire can be attributed both to his studies with Isaías Sávio—Pereira's mentor while he attended the Conservatory of Drama and Music in São Paulo and the University of São Paulo—and to his work at International University of Music in Paris, where he earned his Master of Acoustic Guitar degree. During the time that he was living in Paris, Pereira broadened his understanding of the jazz concepts, which today characterize many of his compositions. While there, he also defended his dissertation, "The Guitar in the Works of Heitor Villa-Lobos," at the Department of Musicology at the University of Paris, Sorbonne; was chosen to perform at a week-long master class in Lichtenstein given by Julian Bream, with whom Pereira studied; and stimulated international recognition for himself by performing concerts and festivals in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Winner of two international guitar competitions and three Prêmios Sharp—one for "best arranger" in 1993 for Gal and two in 1994 for "best soloist" and "best instrumental recording" for his duo project with pianist Cristóvão Bastos, Bons Encontros—Pereira has also acquired the reputation both as an educator with an encyclopedic knowledge of theory and guitar literature, and as a hugely prolific composer.2 His output, which is published by Editora Lemoine of Paris, includes works written for a wide variety of instrumental combinations, running the gamut from solos, duos, trios, and quartets to larger works for chamber ensemble and orchestra. Pereira has developed advanced guitar and harmony courses at the University of Brasília and is currently an adjunct professor in the Composition Department at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Pereira's latest CD, Valsas Brasileiras, is an homage to a genre Brazilian composers have been cultivating for over 200 years, and the choice of repertoire reflects his informed taste. Like an anthology, the CD features Pereira's arrangements of works by outstanding composers including Edu Lobo, Chico Buarque, Guinga, Garoto, Ernesto Nazareth, Hélio Delmiro, Antônio Carlos Jobim, and Canhoto as well as two of Pereira's own compositions. I spoke with Marco Pereira after his performance at the IGN about his new CD, the recording industry, and university teaching.

Brazzil—Marco, what initially attracted you to the instrument and motivated you to develop in so many different styles?

Pereira—Well, I started playing the guitar by ear. In Brazil, people customarily start like that, maybe not today, but in my time. That's how it was for me and Paulo Bellinati and Rafael Rabelo. We didn't have sheet music or those fingering charts that show how to play scales and chords. I started playing rather late for someone who would eventually become serious about music, like when I was thirteen, almost fourteen, which was probably because I am the first musician in my family.

We lived in São Paulo and were very poor; consequently there was never much for me to do. But some friends of mine in the neighborhood had started playing guitar, and I looked up to them and liked hearing and watching what they were doing. And one day, when I was feeling a little sorry for myself, I started thinking that, maybe if I had a guitar, I could play too. It was a funny way to start, but for me, it happened that way.

I started by just picking up what I saw and heard others playing, a few chords and some melody lines. Playing regularly accelerated my development, and my hunger to learn quickly grew. After two or three years of working with the guitar like that, I enrolled in a small music school in my neighborhood so I could study theory. Little by little, as I learned more, playing became a passion, and I found myself practicing the guitar sometimes for ten hours a day, never knowing where the time went.

Brazzil—Was Baden Powell a strong influence on your writing or playing?

Pereira—Yeah, especially my playing in the beginning because when I started there were, I can say, three very important guitarists on the scene: Baden Powell, Paulinho Nogueira, and Dilermando Reis. I also used to listen to Garoto and some other guys, like Luis Bonfá. By that time, Garoto had already died, but we frequently saw Baden Powell, Paulinho Nogueira, and Dilermando Reis playing on TV. For me, Baden Powell was the most impressive guitarist that we had in Brazil. I had all of his records.

As I said, we couldn't buy sheet music to read and learn new pieces. It just wasn't available. We worked directly from the records, and I picked up all I could from Baden Powell and learned how to play by trying to imitate the way he played. I really feel that Baden Powell was a guitar revolutionary, especially in Brazil, and his influence spread quickly throughout the world. The way he played rasgueado was not the same as the way the technique had traditionally been applied in the flamenco style.3

The flamenco players use a lot of rasgueado. It's indicative of their style. But Baden Powell created a way of incorporating a kind of rasgueado into the samba rhythm. And the way he did it was quite different, remarkable really, and we've had such wonderful results from that. He was a radical who changed the Brazilian guitar forever, and, of course, he influenced me strongly and most, if not all, of the serious guitar players from my generation.

Brazzil—Did you ever have an opportunity to play together?

Pereira—No, unfortunately, but in 1987 or '88 we met in Brasília where I initiated the guitar program for the University of Brasília, you know, the curriculum for their degree in guitar performance. We had invited Baden Powell to perform a concert on campus, and this was when I finally had the great pleasure of meeting him. Years later, I played a program with him in Martinique, but we didn't play together. I played the first half of the program and Baden Powell, the second half.

Brazzil—I understand that a similar situation will be coming up in December with Hermeto Pascoal?

Pereira—Yes, some time back, I was asked to be the artistic director for a performance series at a new venue in Brasília, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. The series began in October with Wagner Tiso, last month Paulo Moura was there, and this month, Hamilton de Holanda and I will be playing as a duo during the first half with Hermeto Pascoal playing the second. At the end of the show, we'll play three or four pieces together, and as you know Hermeto, you know that it will probably all be improvised. Hermeto is my idol, and for me, it is going to be a tremendous honor to be on stage with him for the first time. Over the last five or six years, we've played on some of the same projects, but now I'm going to play together with him. I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. Also, I'll be releasing a new CD with Hamilton de Holanda before Christmas called Luz das Cordas, which is another very exciting project .

Brazzil—Can you tell me a little about it?

PereiraLuz das Cordas is a work that was originally written for mandolin, guitar, and string orchestra, but I also wrote an arrangement for just guitar and mandolin, which is the version we've recorded. It's all recorded, mixed, and mastered. Everything is ready. Everything is done, even the cover art. Initially, it will be released independently, without any record label support or distribution. I'm starting with the Luz das Cordas CD the same way I started with Valsas Brasileiras, which is now being distributed by Núcleo Contemporâneo in Brazil and has been licensed to GSP for distribution in the United States and the rest of the world. Actually, GSP is also talking about distributing Luz das Cordas.

Brazzil—Do you foresee a major label underwriting one of these projects?

Pereira—Let me explain a little about this. The kind of music I'm making is not like the pagode fad that is happening right now in Brazil and generating enormous profits. You know, there are many pagode groups that have only recorded one CD and nothing more because pagode is a kind of wave. Big record labels are penny wise. They have monster pop acts making hundreds of millions of dollars, but won't spend an inconsequential amount to record Brazilian instrumental music, which is enduring. They're only interested in the bottom line, in maximizing profits.

There are, however, a few small record labels in Brazil interested in this kind of music, who record it because they love the music. They do an admirable job of absorbing the increasing recording costs and providing whatever they can in terms of product support. But after some time, it's so difficult for them to continue, that they fail and close their doors. There was a very, very good record label in São Paulo called Som da Gente where I made my first two recordings. I have nine solo CD's, but my first was recorded on vinyl for Som da Gente. They've since closed their doors and still have the masters for those early recordings, so I can't do anything with them. I've tried many times to buy my masters. I've tried to license them to someone else. Even though Som da Gente is no more, they're holding on to their catalog and won't negotiate. Just being able to print some CD's to sell during my tours and concerts would be great, but they refuse.

So I've learned to do things for myself, you know? That's why I made Valsas Brasileiras by myself. I paid for everything. I even designed the cover art. Now I can negotiate from a more lucrative business position. I've only licensed the disc to GSP and to Núcleo Contemporâneo for distribution. And I'm thinking about stipulating that the contract with GSP be for four years, maximum. So if it doesn't go the way I want it to, I can stop and do something else, maybe look at licensing through the Eldorado record label in São Paulo.

Brazzil—Will you record the string version of Luz das Cordas?

Pereira—Yes, I'm planning to record a concerto CD with my own concerto for guitar and orchestra, the Villa-Lobos concerto, maybe the Tedesco concerto that I played with the Orquestra Sinfônica de Brasília in October last year, and Luz das Cordas. I also recorded a CD this past October with the Quinteto Villa-Lobos that will be released in March.4 We've recorded a frevo I wrote called "Seu Tonico na Ladeira," which is dedicated to the group's flautist, Toninho Carrasqueira; my composition "Lis" for flute, guitar, and cello, with the bassoon playing the cello part; and Pixinguinha's "Lamentos." It's a beautiful project.

Brazzil—How different is the wind quintet arrangement of "Lamentos" from the versions you've already recorded on Dança dos Quatro Ventos and with Paulo Sérgio Santos on his Segura Ele album?

Pereira—Actually, I didn't take part in that project. Yes, "Lamentos" is on that album, and I am playing it with Paulo, but... I'd better clarify this because I was a bit angry with Paulo about that recording. There is a producer in Rio de Janeiro who heads Kuarup Discos, Mario de Aratanha. Many years ago, when I was still living in Brasília, he had a project to make a record for the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras, and he invited me to record with Paulo Sérgio and to write an arrangement for the Pixinguinha. It was not even a CD, it was an LP, and I did it for that record. But when Paulo released Segura Ele, I found that he had implanted the "Lamentos" we had previously recorded on his new CD, without telling me about it.

He is my friend, and I love him, but at that time, I was really irritated with him. You know, I don't even like the version on Segura Ele, although it is a little better then the original because they brought out the guitar more in the mix. On the original version the guitar is so far in the background that you can hardly hear it. I was a little annoyed about that too, but especially because Paulo didn't tell me that he was going to put the cut on the CD, and I thought I deserved to know. You know, "Just call me and say, `Oh, we're going to include that track.'" We should have come to some kind of agreement because I play on the track, and he doesn't own my performance…

Let's forget it. Anyway, I love him, and I think he's a great player. You know, he's the clarinet player in the wind quintet that I mentioned. And it's interesting that the arrangement I wrote for wind quintet and guitar is completely different, but based on the one that appears on the Segura Ele CD. Yeah, it's a great piece. By the way, Paulo's son (Caio Márcio) is a fantastic guitarist. Yeah, Paulo Sérgio Santos's son is one of the best in Rio de Janeiro right now and is performing with his father's trio.

Brazzil—Can you talk a little about your work with Gilberto Gil and recording Parabolicamará?

Pereira—That CD was done just after I did the CD with Gal Costa. At the time, I had already met Gil and knew him personally. One evening we were just playing guitar together, and the next day he called and invited me to record on the Parabolicamará CD. Yeah, I was really very happy. It's an outstanding CD, and working on it was such a pleasure because I'm a big Gilberto Gil fan. For me, he's the most important musician in Brazil. He's incredible. When you see him in a big show, with his group and a large audience, it's a magical experience. I've seen Gilberto Gil in many different situations, and he's always incredible.

The last time Gil was at a radio station, he brought two or three musicians from the band, just to play a little bit. He's like that, you know? A radio station is a cool place to go and talk a little about your work, and he could have brought the CD and just talked about it. He could have brought only his guitar and sung one or maybe two songs, but he started playing and singing, and there was such an outpouring, such a strong response from the listeners, that they had to cancel the regularly scheduled programs and continue with Gil's interview.

He was there only to promote his new CD, but he played for two hours. Yeah, that's true. It's fantastic how he makes people happy. His music is incredible, and he's a great musician, magical. I've seen how everything quiets down, nothing moves, and then Gilberto Gil comes on stage and starts singing; people become genuinely happy. It's fantastic. I really love that guy.

Brazzil—Marco, Valsas Brasileiras is an interesting approach for a CD. How did the idea originate?

Pereira—The Valsas Brasileiras project started many years ago when I was living in France. I had a record by John Coltrane called Ballads. I was crazy about that record and had stopped listening to everything just to listen to that record, nothing else for a month, without stopping. And I became really inspired to try something like Coltrane's Ballads, something cool and romantic. But I'm not really a jazz musician, and I wanted to do something Brazilian. So I started looking at the waltzes because the feelings you can express through them are similar. The waltz has been in Brazil for 200 years, maybe more, but came originally from another kind of rhythm. The first waltz came to Brazil from Europe, from Austria where the works of Johann Strauss were rather famous.

But in Brazil, the waltz took its own course. In the beginning, waltzes were naïve. You had very fast waltzes and very slow waltzes; because the harmony was simple, the melodies had to be simple too. With the composers who came after bossa nova, and even those who were involved with the bossa nova in Brazil, the waltz took on notable changes. It was no longer pure 3/4 rhythm, supported by simple broken chords in the bass and commonplace melodic ideas. It's very interesting. When you analyze the waltz from the end of the 19th century until today, you can see, exactly, the evolution of Brazilian music in terms of harmony and, in turn, the increasing sophistication of melody.

Composers like Tom Jobim and Edu Lobo developed the form into a subtle art, a vehicle for the expression of varying moods of the widest scope. I think, the waltzes we have now and those that have come about over the last fifteen or twenty years are extremely sophisticated. In terms of melodic line, harmonic structure, and form, the jazz ballads bear a favorable comparison to our modern Brazilian waltzes. I knew from the beginning of the Valsas Brasileiras project that I wanted to work principally with the modern waltzes, not the old ones. I started by looking at fifty or sixty different waltzes, just melody and harmony, and finally I selected the twelve that appear on the CD.

Brazzil—You have included two waltzes from before bossa nova. Why "Eponina" and "Desvairada" out of so many possibilities?

Pereira—Although the form of "Eponina" is rather conservative, like a rondo form with three sections, it was quite different from the other pieces composers were writing at that time. When Nazareth wrote "Eponina," he was really pointing to the future. He wrote the original for the piano in A flat major, but my arrangement is a semitone higher, in A major, so that the fingers lay more naturally on the guitar fingerboard. Also, I didn't stay exactly with the original harmony, and I changed the section endings a little. Even some harmonies are different, some embellishments, just to make the piece a little more up-to-date.

"Desvairada" has always been a kind of virtuosic showpiece for the Brazilian guitarist. And, at first, I didn't want to include it on the CD. But one day when I was playing it, something came to mind, and I started improvising. As a rule, "Desvairada" has been played at the same tempo throughout, no changes, but as I approached the third part, I adapted a slower tempo. When I did that, it felt really, really good. Then I decided to transpose it up to E minor, almost the same as the original, which is written in D minor, but the new key gave the piece a certain brilliance on the guitar. By changing the tonality and taking the third section at a slower tempo, the piece took on a fresh profile, one that I think many guitarists will appreciate. This new interpretation flowed so well with the other pieces I had chosen for the project, that I decided to include it on the CD.

Brazzil—It might be my ear, but there's got to be more than one guitar player on "Valsa Negra."

Pereira—You know, it was difficult to make the Valsas Brasileiras CD. Overall, it's very cool and calm. It's a CD that your heart feels more than your feet, which was my original intention. But when I started the project, even though I had very, very good pieces, I was thinking, "Damn, the same 3/4 all the time might get boring." Waltzes, of course, can be played faster or slower, and by phrasing two bars of 3/4 together, you create 6/8, which is a kind of African rhythm, but I needed tunes that were a bit more virtuosic, just to "cook."

Shortly after I started work on the project, I went to hear a concert given by a friend of mine from Rio de Janeiro, the great pianist Leandro Braga, really a great musician. He played "Valsa Negra," and I knew immediately it was the piece I needed to close the CD. Although I tried to keep as close as possible to his original, Leandro's piano playing is so plush, that I couldn't realize his piece on just one guitar. I even tried two guitars, but I finally needed to overdub four guitars on that track, four guitars to express his music. This is a piece that really pushes the waltz concept.

Brazzil—We were talking earlier about the different versions of "Lamentos," and I'm curious why "Plainte," which appears on Dança dos Quatro Ventos, was recorded in a different version for Valsas Brasileiras?

Pereira—Yes, you've made an interesting connection. Plainte is a French word that means lamentos. And yes, I did record "Plainte" for the first time on the Dança dos Quatro Ventos CD. I don't think of myself as a composer, but sometimes I need something to play right away, and I don't have it in hand. I'll look for the right piece, but if I still can't find it, I'll just write exactly what I'm looking for. When I was recording Dança dos Quatro Ventos, I felt that there was something missing. I needed a piece that would bring a kind of closure to the CD. So I wrote "Plainte" the night before the last recording session. It took me about five or six hours. After the recording session, I was a little unsettled about the second part. But it had already been recorded, and there was nothing more I could do with it. Then when I was recording the Valsas Brasileiras project, the piece came to mind, and I put "Plainte" on my possibility list, you know? When I played it through, however, the second part was still bothering me, so I rewrote it. Now the B section is more aesthetic, more connected to the first part. The version on Valsas Brasileiras is, for me, the final version. Now "Plainte" is complete.

Brazzil—I'm surprised you say you're not a composer.

Pereira—I say I'm not a composer because, I think, a composer has to work everyday composing for many different instruments and ensembles. I am a guitarist, and I have to work with my instrument. Really, the most important thing for me is to play the guitar. I teach also, so I never have enough time for composition, never as much as I'd like. That's why I say that I'm not a real composer.

Brazzil—But you're teaching in the composition department.

Pereira—I'm attached to the composition department, but I don't teach composition. I teach harmony, and I very much like teaching that. I stopped teaching guitar because I don't believe in the traditional method of teaching where you have one student at a time taking a lesson from you. I like being in the classroom with many people. I think it's more dynamic. I think lessons, no matter what instrument—guitar, piano, saxophone—should be done with, at least, three or four students together at the same time. And I tried to do that at the University in Rio de Janeiro, but the administration didn't like it. So I decided to teach harmony, which I like very much. And I've started teaching a new course at the University in Rio—Functional Harmony.

I teach two kinds of harmony. Harmony in the traditional sense, like Mozart, like Beethoven, you know, the classical European style, from the beginning of harmony through the beginning of the 20th century, with Debussy and Ravel. But the subject is kind of antiquated today, so I started a new course that works more with jazz concepts. Actually, the harmony is the same because you have the same scales and the same notes put together into chords. But the choice of the chords, the way they are put together, and the way a player incorporates them, makes all the difference.

Jazz has its own way of building chords and working with them. The phrasing and chord progressions are completely different in jazz. Even the way chords are indicated on the page is different. In traditional harmony, Roman numerals are used for first degree, second degree, inversions, and so on. But in jazz, letters are used, and this is important for students to understand.

Brazzil—Has making the transition from the erudite world of playing concertos to that of playing samba or vice versa ever been uncomfortable for you?

Pereira—You know, we are very rich in terms of rhythm in Brazil, and there are some strict rules within the choro and samba tradition. I started playing Brazilian styles, by learning the samba and the choro, the lines of the choro, the lines that you have to play. Then I went to music school to take lessons in the classical style and worked with the classical guitar for a long time. I was playing only the classical repertoire, until I came back to Brazil, and during those transitional periods, I was really like a stranger in the village.

Brazzil—What was the most valuable lesson you learned from the European village?

Pereira—When I went to Europe and lived in Paris, I met some jazz musicians, and that really made the difference for me because I really liked the way that the jazz musicians played. I liked the music they played, but more than that, I liked the way that they ran their lives. It was different from the way I saw classical musicians living. Perhaps classical musicians are too serious. Sometimes they are so inflexible, and I didn't want to become a boring guy. Jazz gave me a sense of freedom. That's what I loved from the very beginning. Even today, I really like the aura surrounding the jazz scene, and I try to convey this, whether I'm playing an orchestral work or samba and choro.

Brazzil—Do you think that classical seriousness is more pronounced for guitar players?

Pereira—Yeah, I think, because there is something about the guitar, especially the classical guitar, that isolates. If you are a classical performer, you are alone. It's like a curse. That's true. Maybe, three times in your life you'll be able to play with an orchestra. Or if you are really, really famous like John Williams, maybe you can perform with an orchestra ten times in your life. But normally, you are alone, you play alone, you cry alone, you laugh alone. And you have to play the same limited repertoire. Really, because you can't be a composer.

It's not a good thing for a classical performer because composition takes time away from your practicing. If your approach is more like a jazz musician, oh, you can play with anyone and everyone you want to, like we did during the IGN tour. We didn't rehearse, we just improvised, and sometimes it was really bad, but sometimes we surprised ourselves because it happened at the moment we were playing. For me, that's fantastic. I love that feeling.

Selected Discography:

Artist(s) Title Label Year
Marco Pereira and Hamilton de Holanda Luz das Cordas Independent 2000
Marco Pereira Valsas Brasileiras Núcleo Contemporâneo 1998
Milton Nascimento Crooner WEA 1999
Zizi Possi Per Amore PolyGram 1998
João Bosco Dá Licença Meu Senhor Sony 1997
Marco Pereira Dança dos Quarto Ventos GHA 1994
Marco Pereira Brasil Musical Tom Brasil 1995
Zé Nogueira Disfarça e Chora MP.B 1995
Various Raros e Inéditos SESC 1995
Edu Lobo Meia Noite Velas 1995
Various Songbook Djavan Lumiar 1995
Paulo Sérgio Santos Segura Ele Kuarup 1994
Various Songbook Noel (Rosa) Lumiar 1992
Marco Pereira & Cristóvão Bastos Bons Encontros Caju 1992
Wagner Tiso Profissão—Música PolyGram 1991
Gilberto Gil Parabolicamará WEA 1991
Gal Costa Gal BMG 1991
Marco Pereira Elegia Channel Classics 1990
Marco Pereira Círculo das Cordas Som da Gente 1987
Marco Pereira Violão Popular Brasileiro Contemporâneo Som da Gente 1985

Official Web Site:

1 International Guitar Night is the brainchild of San Francisco guitarist Brian Gore, who, in response to the numerous International Guitar Festivals throughout Europe, created a forum in the United States for presenting the world's most original guitar player/composers—artists who refuse to recognize traditional boundaries. Says Gore, "The Brazilian players that we have in the International Guitar Night are the most emblematic of what the IGN is all about."

2 The Prêmio Sharp is Brazil's equivalent of the Grammy Award. The international competitions were the Concurso Andrés Segovia and the Concurso Francisco Tárrega.

3 Rasgueado is a technique in which the guitar strings are strummed rapidly in succession with the thumb or fingernails, producing an arpeggio, that is, the notes of a chord played one after another rather than simultaneously.

4 Quinteto Villa-Lobos, an all-star ensemble of Brazil's top orchestral and recording session soloists, is the oldest and certainly one of the most esteemed chamber groups in Brazil. Although personnel has changed since the group's formation in 1962, the current lineup—Toninho Carrasqueira (flute), Paulo Sérgio Santos (clarinet), Luís Carlos Justi (oboe), Philip Doyle (French horn), and Aloysio Fagerlande (bassoon)—finds the quintet in its strongest and most balanced phase.

Bruce Gilman, music editor for Brazzil, received his Masters degree in music from California Institute of the Arts. He leads the Brazilian jazz ensemble Axé and plays cuíca for escola de samba MILA. You can reach him through his e-mail: 

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