Yesterday started with an early rehearsal with Luizinho Santos. He brought in a few tunes by the maestro Moacir Santos, composer and arranger who lived and worked many years in the USA. I never played his music, so it's a very welcome addition - the choro "Cleonix" is simply enchanting, with very hip and tender chords in the second part - obvious infuluence of the jazz language, perfectly used in this context.
We'll also play one of his "Coisas", pieces scored originally for a chamber ensemble and bearing more of "classical" touch to it, yet never leaving the Brazilian roots aside.
Rain, rain, rain…It's really a bit annoying sometimes. It just has been raining non-stop for days. Oh, well…
After another hour of Portuguese in the library, I went to the long-awaited visit at Dunia Elias' place, the goal being to learn about the aspects of translating música gaúcha to the piano. Dunia is really an expert in that field. She indroduced me to a number of musicians I never heard of, some Brazilian, lots of Argentinian. Names which down here are well known and revered - complete novum for me. Well, that's what this journey is all about.
Here is one of the newly "discovered" greats - Atahualpa Yupanqui - playing a Zamba, an Argentinian genre in 6/8, always melancholic, but danceable too.
and a touching clip of him doing a milonga.
Dunia very quickly improved my take on milonga, and especially on chamamé, where I obviously was missing the basic understanding of the rhythmical nuances. It's a bit overwhelming, trying to absorb in a decently authentic way so many types of music, all deceivingly close to each other, like all those based on the basic idea of the hemiola… Another genre I'd like to get next to is chacarera. Not to mention the Condombe…
I came back lugging lots of CD's and some DVD's full of the music. Dunia is a very expansive and generous person; I am very grateful to her for helping me in such a huge way to make a modest step further on this road.