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Moacir Santos Biography & CDs

Choros & Alegria

Choros and Alegria

Recorded  in Rio and Sao Paulo, and produced under Santos’ direct supervision by Mario Adnet and Ze Nogueira (who last collaborated with Santos on 2004’s critically acclaimed Ouro Negro), Choros & Alegria pays tribute to Santos’ prolific five decade long career. Wynton Marsalis, a long time admirer of Santos’ work, can be heard on the track, “Route ¥.” In addition to Marsalis and Santos himself, who sings on five tunes, producers Adnet and Nogueira also contribute musically to the CD. Among the other acclaimed instrumentalists who perform on Choros & Alegria are Ricardo Silveira, Christovao Bastos, Armando Marcal, Teco Cardoso, Proveta and Trio Maderia Brasil.

Moacir Santos, born to a poor family in Pernambuco (northeastern Brazil) is regarded as a walking encyclopedia in the realm of Brazilian instrumental music. Without hesitation, artists like João Donato, Dori Caymmi, Paulo Moura and Sérgio Mendes will testify to his brilliance. The late Brazilian guitar ace Baden Powell was Moacir’s pupil, and revered his master on the song “Samba da Benção.” And the President of Brazil has awarded Santos the medal of Rio Branco's order. Santos gained status as an arranger while working on the radio in Brazil in the 1950s. According to Santos, one of his most important works in Brazil was the soundtrack he wrote for the movie Amor no Pacifico (Love in the Pacific), which opened the doors for him to both the Brazilian and international markets, and eventually prompted him to move to the United States in 1967. In America, he recorded four solo albums, three of them for the renowned jazz label Blue Note, and one of them nominated for a Grammy Award. He also wrote soundtracks in Hollywood and taught numerous students, including Sérgio Mendes. His first release for Adventure Music was Ouro Negro, which was originally released in Brazil in 2001, and which The New York Times then named as one of the best recordings of the year not available in the US. The CD’s 2004 US. release also earned considerable critical acclaim, finally drawing long over-due attention to Santos’ incredible musical legacy. --Adventure Music

Ouro Negro

Ouro Negro (2 CDs)

Ouro Negro is a recent release by one of my long time favorites, Moacir Santos. I owe him a great debt of gratitude for bringing such joy into my life. This is a beautful CD by one of the long-acknowledged maestros of Brazil. It has incredibly intricate, yet accessible rhythms, lush harmonies, soaring solos from some of the great musicians of his country, and the essence of Moacir's joyous spirit! Favorite tunes?? Hard to pick and choose, but "Mother Iracema," "Suk-Cha," and "Carnaval" are hard to beat. If you are in love with the music of Brazil, you owe it to yourself to own this one. I wish I could give it 6 stars! I smiled from ear to ear from the moment I put it on until the last song ended. --an Amazon reviewer


Moacir Santos: Saudade

This is the second of his three albums for Blue Note Records, a long time awaited for reissue. Catalog number was BN-LA260-G, recorded in New York, 1974. A natural follower to the first `The Maestro' (from 1972), also a memorable album with the unique Santos' way of doing the thing what includes an intricate shape of samba, an uncommon way of dividing that is unique in his compositions, a kind of registered mark which identifies Santos. "Saudade" was recorded by an all-star Jazz team with arrangements by Moacir Santos (except for one track arranged by Mark Levine, the pianist for all the tracks). The dream team includes the late Jerome Richardson (with a brilliant flute solo in `Kathy'), Ray Pizzi on tenor sax, bassoon and flute (with beautiful flute and piccolo lines in `The City of LA' and bassoon line in `Suk Cha'), Lee Ritenour on guitar, and Harvey Mason on drums. --an Amazon reviewer



Reissue of 1965 Brazilian jazz classic, featuring Roberto Menescal, Dori Caymmi, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato, & Baden Powell.

Moacir Santos is a Brazilian composer, arranger and saxophonist from the first team of Brazilian Jazz. He's one of those artists who are underrated by the big audiences but widely known by those who appreciate inspiration, beauty, intelligence when applicable to music composition and arrangement. He was born in 1926 and he recorded 'Coisas' in 1965. This is his master album, a memorable album with the unique Santos' way of doing the thing, a reference album to Brazilian music. His way of doing it includes an intricate shape of samba, an uncommon way of dividing that is unique in his compositions, a kind of registered mark which identifies Santos. 'Coisas' shows the cream of the cream of the intrumental Bossa Nova Jazz from the 60s with the best musicians in Rio de Janeiro from those golden times. It is a must-have CD for a serious Bossa Jazz collection. Let me also tell you this is a classic which was a very rare and desired album for so many years until it was reissued in CD last year in Brazil. --an Amazon reviewer

Also See:

Hermeto Pascoal

Airto Moreira

Gilson Peranzzetta


Baden Powell

Flora Purim

Brazil Meets Jazz

Brazilian Instrumental Music

Brazilian Music Store Index

Hootz Acoustic Cavaquinho - 4 string

Brazilian Musical Instruments

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Le Son Du Brésil (FR)

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