One of the most difficult things to achieve in the art of musical performance is simplicity. The balance between technical skills and the spirit of the music is an elusive goal. I am very pleased to hear that Anat Cohen, Dudu Maia, Douglas Lora and Alexandre Lora have brilliantly achieved that goal in Alegria da Casa, the recording that I am listening to right now.
The music of Brazil is rich, varied and draws its inspirations from many different sources. Mastering its many idioms is a daunting task, even for Brazilians. However, when I hear the joy and bounciness of these tracks, I feel transported not to a serious concert hall, but to a happy gathering of friends in a botequim, or corner bar in a small Brazilian town, where the music flows spontaneously and everyone takes part in the roda, or circle of musicians. This is the soul that permeates this record, and that is why it is so enjoyable for me, a Brazilian musician in Seattle, to put it on, close my eyes and join the party. You can picture the smiles on the players’ faces as they captured these sounds. This music can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.
The Selection of great choro classics (Santa Morena, Murmurando) and original compositions is finely balanced We hear what we would expect, but then we are surprised by new pieces that coexist nicely in the recording as a whole.
I hope that everyone that hears it enjoys it as much as I do.
Jovino Santos Neto
Seattle, October 2014
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