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Featured Album

Café Rio

Terrence Farrell   *   Guitarist

   Love Songs for Guitar

Listen to MP3 excerpts from Café Rio:
   Ice Castles  Pierre Lerich           Tico-tico No Fuba  Zequinha Abreu
  Theme from Black Orpheus  Luis Bonfa

   1.  La Cumparsita  G.H.M. Rodriguez
  2. Girl from Ipanema  Antonio Carlos Jobim
  3. Sounds of Bells  Joao Guimaraes
  4. Tico-tico No Fuba  Zequinha Abreu
  5. Drume Negrita  Elias Grenet
  6. One Note Samba  Antonio Carlos Jobim
  7. Milonga   Miguel Abloniz
8.  Theme from Black Orpheus  Luis Bonfa  
9.  Ice Castles  Pierre Lerich   
10.  With Love  Luis Bonfa  
11.  Ho-Ba-La-La  Joao Gilberto  
12.  Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars  Antonio Carlos Jobim  
13. A Man and A Woman  Francis Lai  

The vibrant syncopated rhythms and colorful phrases of Latin American music and the classical guitar are often synonymous. Who has not thought, at one time or another, of the Girl from Ipanema, Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, or of dancing the Tango!

The first Latin music to gain international prominence was the Tango. Reaching North American shores via Paris and Broadway, it became the first nationwide fad in Latin music. La Cumparsita is undoubtedly the most famous of them all. A lesser known dance form from Argentina is the Milonga. A highly rhythmic and syncopated dance form that is one of the legacies of the gauchos, who are perhaps more famous for their Bolas, hard drinking and colorful lifestyles.

One of the first composers to honor the guitar and Latin music in a concert setting was the Brazilian Hector Villa-Lobos. Among his 2,000 works is a Choro Typico, a form of Brazilian street music popular since the turn of the century. Zequina Abreu's Tico-tico No Fuba, first made popular in the 1920's, is the most famous Choro of them all.

The influence of Latin American musical forms on the rest of the world cannot be over emphasized. Whereas North American musical forms at best number a little more than a half dozen, Latin American song and dance forms are numbered in the hundreds. The maxixa Sounds of Bells, for example, was an urban musical form from Brazil made famous by Joao Guimareas, better known by his sobriquet Pernambuco.

Cuban music has had a strong influence on the music of the United States, whether it be a work by Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, or the Miami Sound Machine. Grenet wrote his lullaby Drume Negrita using the typical Cuban form of the clave: a strong first part with an answering second part. Its origins can be traced to the call and response chants of the Yoruba tribe of West Africa.

The French have had a strong affinity for Latin music as well as for jazz and Spanish music. A Man and A Woman from the 1950's film of the same name was one of two big hits that helped to internationalize the Bossa Nova craze of the 1950's and 60's. The other film, also by the French, based on the Greek legend of Orpheus, was Black Orpheus. The new setting was the slums of Rio de Janiero with its music by Luis Bonfa and others. More recently the Frenchman Pierre Lerich has added to the repertoire with his Chateau de Sabre (Ice Castles).

The three undisputed monarchs of the Bossa Nova era were Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luis Bonfa, and Joao Gilberto. Gilberto, the finest guitarist of the era, is represented here with his lilting Ho-Ba-La-La. Another selection represented on this album by Luis Bonfa is the poetic Sambalero, whose translation fittingly means With Love. The best known of all the Bossa Nova composers is Jobim. Somehow his musicianship has produced just the right amount of rhythmic vitality, melodic invention, and emotional sentiment to keep his music ever popular, whether extolling The Girl from Ipanema or singing about Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars.

Terrence Farrell  

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