Musical Images of Brazil’s Interior
Brazil is huge. Quite an obvious observation of course, but after listening to this album by Conversa Ribeira, one is confronted with that fact in an impressive way. Samba, bossa, forró, axé, choro, name them all, the musical styles find their origin in various parts of Brazil and are related to nostalgic parts of the Brazilian history. Conversa Ribeira dedicates its existence to the so called Música Caipira. Music from the dusty inlands along huge, oasis-like rivers and river deltas. The music recalls images of an awe-inspiring landscape where the inexorable nature invites the embracement of religion.
On their second album Águas Memórias, the performing trio manages to touch the right sentiment to come to an almost perfect ode to the Música Caipira. Vocalist Andrea dos Guimarães, guitarist/singer João Paulo Amaral and pianist/accordionist Daniel Muller have a special chemistry going on. Their music breaths tradition with a clear foundation in classical music. Andrea dos Guimarães is vocalist in the jazzy instrumental combo, the Garimpo Quarteto, in which she uses her voice as an instrument. João Paulo Amaral is one third of the guitar trio Trio Carapiá, that features the viola caipira (ten-string acoustic guitar). Daniel Muller is the great pianist of the jazz quartet À Deriva. Together these three most skillful musicians form a creative unity. On his viola caipira, guitarist João Paulo Amaral attentively accompanies the voice of Andrea dos Guimarães, while pianist Daniel Muller gives extra color and dimension to the music. A perfect combination! João Paulo Amaral frequently joins in with the vocals; his great voice fits in nicely.
The album opens with a religious reference with the a cappella performed “Salvando a Residência,” followed by a fantastic rendition of the Milton Nascimento gem “Morro Velho” (1967). The music on Águas Memòrias is well chosen with an exciting variety of composers, including some of the musicians’ own compositions. Of course the work of the pioneers from the sertanejo/caipira style is represented as well; Zé Carreiro (1922-1970) and Carreirinho (1921-2009), to name two of them.
In 1936 Carreirinho debuted on stage at age 15 with his own composition “Minha Vida.” “A Morte do Carreiro” can be found on a 78rpm record that Zé Carreiro and Carreirinho recorded way back in 1951. Of course the trio Conversa Ribeira translates the music in their own respectful way.
This album gives the listener a well dosed and interesting image of the Música Caipira, without bells and whistles, just the way it should be. Most definitely worth to check out!
You can find out more about the trio and its music on their website. Enjoy this video giving a brief introduction to Conversa Ribeira.