A highlight of Adventure Music’s fall release schedule will be the newly recorded Moacir Santos: Choros & Alegria, which features Wynton Marsalis, along with many of Brazil’s most respected instrumentalists performing twelve never-before recorded compositions from Santos, one of the country’s most influential composers and arrangers. Recorded this year in Rio and Sao Paulo, and produced under Santos’ direct supervision by Mario Adnet and Ze’ Nogueira, who last collaborated with Santos on 2004’s critically acclaimed Ouro Negro, Choros & Alegria pays tribute to Santos’ prolific five decade long career.
Wynton Marsalis, a long time admirer of Santos’ work, can be heard on the track, “Route ¥.” In addition to Marsalis and Santos himself, who sings on five tunes, producers Adnet and Nogueira also contribute musically to the CD. Among the other acclaimed instrumentalists who perform on Choros & Alegria are Ricardo Silveira, Christovao Bastos, Armando Marcal, Teco Cardoso, Proveta and Trio Maderia Brasil.
Choros & Alegria is just one of several Moacir Santos projects coming from Adventure, in conjunction with Santos’ 80th birthday in 2006. A DVD capturing the recording of Ouro Negro is slated for release early in the year, and the label’s newly created publishing division, Adventure Publishing, plans to release songbooks for both Ouro Negro and Choros & Alegria.
Moacir Santos, born to a poor family in Pernambuco (northeastern Brazil,) is regarded as a walking encyclopedia in the realm of Brazilian instrumental music. Without hesitation, artists like João Donato, Dori Caymmi, Paulo Moura and Sérgio Mendes will testify to his brilliance. The late Brazilian guitar ace Baden Powell was Moacir’s pupil, and revered his master on the song “Samba da Benção.” And the President of Brazil has awarded Santos the medal of Rio Branco's order.
Santos gained status as an arranger while working on the radio in Brazil in the 1950s. According to Santos, one of his most important works in Brazil was the soundtrack he wrote for the movie Amor no Pacifico (Love in the Pacific), which opened the doors for him to both the Brazilian and international markets, and eventually prompted him to move to the United States in 1967. In America, he recorded four solo albums, three of them for the renowned jazz label Blue Note, and one of them nominated for a Grammy Award. He also wrote soundtracks in Hollywood and taught numerous students, including Sérgio Mendes.
His first release for Adventure Music was Ouro Negro, which was originally released in Brazil in 2001, and which The New York Times then named as one of the best recordings of the year not available in the US. The CD’s 2004 US. release also earned considerable critical acclaim, finally drawing long over-due attention to Santos’ incredible musical legacy.
In addition to the October 18 release of Choros & Alegrias, Adventure’s fall slate of releases includes Colombia from saxophonist / flutist Antonio Arnedo, and Duets, a CD that pairs Brazilian guitarist Toninho Horta with Italian flutist Nicola Stilo, both scheduled for release on September 13.