Moacir Santos – Choros & Alegria

Moacir Santos Moacir Santos
Choros & Alegria
(Adventure Music – 2005)
by Narvy James

Moacir Santos is without a doubt, one of the most important Brazilian music personalities’ of the 20th century, so when I saw this on the stack it needed some immediate listening. Choros & Alegria covers Santos’ music prior to the 1965 album Coisas. The guitar playing on this CD is unbelievable, and taken together with the wind instruments one is reminded of a man in the park juggling six round balls… the instruments all holding their relative places while never sitting still like those circling, rotating balls.

The twenty-four major players on this CD include Moacir Santos, Andréa Ernest Dias, Cristóvão Bastos, Jessé Sadoc, Marcello Gonçalves, Marcos Nimrichter, Nailor Proveta, RIcardo Silveira, Teco Cardoso, Zé Paulo Becker, Mario Adnet and Zé Nogueira and very special guest Wynton Marsalis. The sax stylings on this CD reminded me a bit of Benny Goodman with a South American flavor. Wynton Marsalis shows up to play a strong solo, but Moacir’s voicings are always there, always present. The piccolo piece in “Flores” second verse was especially enticing. This album is relaxing and soothing… take me away, Moacir!

(Moacir Santos is also one of few Afro Brazilians to have received the medal of Rio Branco’s order from the Brazilian President – Ed)