Moacir Santos - Choros & Alegria
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cd cover Moacir Santos
Choros & Alegria
Adventure Music (

Producer-arranger-directors Mário Adnet (guitar) and Zé Nogueira (saxophone, clarinet) are back with another appealing big-band essay on the work of composer-arranger and long-time Blue Note artist Moacir Santos, with a repertoire stretching from 1942 ("De Bahia ao Ceará") to 1991 (the stripped-down choral setting of "Felipe"). The orchestral sensibility of Choros & Alegria equals the best of the likes of Gil Evans, Charles Mingus or Quincy Jones. But there's no mistaking Santos for any of the preceding.

He imbues all he does with a slack samba groove and the airy woodwind feel of choro, with a textured symphonic command found nowhere else in modern Brazilian music. Slip into the loping groove and undulating wall of sound (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, flute, French horn, trombone, bass trombone, guitar, piano, percussion) of "Os lemurianos" to get a sense of his comprehensive aural reach. With a cast of dozens of superb studio musicians, including a guest trumpet solo by Wynton Marsalis ("Rota"), and occasional vocals by Santos himself, Choros & Alegria is an ever-shifting delight from beginning to end, a brilliant tribute to the septuagenarian baron of Brazilian jazz. - Michael Stone

CD available from cdRoots

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