O cenário foi Gênova, Itália, durante o Festival Cantar da Costa. Foi lá que Paulo Moura realizou um sonho antigo: o encontro entre Pixinguinha e Duke Ellington. Os intérpretes para essa reunião tão inusitada quanto bela são Paulo Moura e o pianista americano Cliff Korman. Como resultado tem-se um profícuo diálogo em que cada um se expressa por meio de sua cultura musical de origem, provocando uma mistura deliciosa em que Paulo e Cliff não apenas traduzem, mas também criam uma outra linguagem musical, esta comum, que abrange as duas Américas. As transições são quase perfeitas, e é como se Duke e Pixinguinha, de fato, completassem um ao outro.
Mood Ingenuo - Paulo Moura & Cliff Korman
The Paulo Mourn & Cliff Korman Duo Live at Cantar da Costa
Città di Genova, ltalia, June 16, 1996
Produced by o Centrale dell'Arte - Roma - New York - Rio de Janeiro
Recording by DG Studio - Sound by Antonio Ponorello - Mastering by Nick Prout, NYC
Cover art by Art Spiegeirnon - Visual production by Antonio Gioncontieri
A sincere thank you for their generous collaboration on this project goes to Art Spiegelman, David Chesky, Halina Grynberg, Jaja Indrimi, Natalia lndrimi
All compositions are registered:
Ellington: ASCAP, Pixinguinho and Codó: SBACEM, de Abreu: ADDAF, Moura, Jobim and Kormon: BMI
The Paulo Moura & Cliff Korman Duo is supported by ARGO, Formare l'Europa
Paulo Moura and Cliff Korman: First Encounter
Like a double rainbow after a storm, it was one of those magical moments that remains ingrained in the memories of those of us who were present. It was the kind of magic that sometimes happens in Brazil, and when great musicians play. This time it happened on a rainy April night in 1998 at Cleopatra's Needle, a little club on New York's Upper West Side. It was Paulo Moura with Cliff Korman (piano), David Finck (bass) and Paulo Braga (drums), and it was an enchanted night. In spite of the rain and the slight chill in the air that are typical in the North American spring time, we were all warm and happy in that little club. It was a night of encounters of great masters, and Paulo Moura was the medium who called them forth through the sound of his "sopros".
Heavenly Encounters: Pixinguinha & Duke
In this performance recorded in Genoa, Italy, Paulo talks about an idea, or dream he had about a meeting between Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington in heaven. Theirs is a dialogue in which each one expresses his ideas through sound. Here the terrestrial interpreters of this celestial encounter are Paulo Moura and Cliff Korman. The result is a luscious medley in which Paulo and Cliff not only translate, but develop a common musical language that crosses the equator and spans the two Americas. The transitions are almost seamless as Paulo and Cliff weave in and out of this musical dialogue. It is as if Duke and Pixinguinha were completin each others sentences at times in a different language or with a different accent. Yet at times Pixinguinha, Duke, Paulo and Cliff speak in the language of the other and towards the end of the conversation, Pixinguinha's Carinhoso (first recorded in 1922) begins to sound hauntingly like Duke's (and partner Billy Strayhorn's) Satin Doll (1954) that opened the summit. This is due to a combination of Paulo's and Cliff's sensitive interpretation and partly the genius of their arrangements in which they find thematic and harmonic connections.
Alfredo da Rocha Vianna, better known as Pixinguinha and Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known as Duke, were both born in the month of April. Pixinguinha was born one year before Duke (1898, according to most Brazilian historians, and 1899), and died one year before Duke (1973 and 1974). Both were great African Americans, one from the South and one from the North. Both changed the faces of their nation's music as musicians, composers and arrangers of ensembles of all sizes. Both were often better received in Europe than in their own homelands due to the racism of the times in the Americas. I don't know if Duke and Pixinguinho ever met personally when they both walked on this earth, but through the horn of Paulo Moura and the piano of Cliff Korman, in Genoa, Italy, they did. They met, they played together, they conducted together, they smiled at each other and became good friends.
Earthly Encounters: Paulo & Cliff
If you don't know Paulo Moura you don't know Brazilian music. Paulo is perhaps Brazil's finest reed man. He's a musician's musician, the teacher of many of a new generation of Brazil's more renowned sax players such as Mauro Senise, Raul Mascarenhas and Zé Luis. At a time like this when highly contrived and mass produced sounds dominate the Brazilian music industry, Paulo's reading of Brazilian standards like the songs of Pixinguinha, Zeca de Abreu and Jobim are more important than ever. Paulo represents a bridge between at least three Brazilian musical traditions: he is credited for reviving the choro of the early 20th century which is his musical heritage; he was a significant player in pre-bossa Brazil; and he is at the forefront of a newer tradition based on his Brazilian roots, yet influenced by and in continuous dialogue with his North American jazz counterparts.
At times Cliff's piano echoes Paulo's horns and at other times Cliff takes an alternately bold or subtle lead as they coax each other along throughout the performance. Theirs is an encounter of Brazilian music and American music, intertwining, trying to find a common language, while each of them is well equipped in his own language. They are respectful to both traditions. Cliff plays choro beautifully, which is no small feat as it is usually difficult for North American musicians to truly grasp the phrasing the feeling of choro without lapsing into Ragtime or another similar genre. Cliff knows exactly where to go with his notes and changes as heard on Porque Choras Saxofone, and his accents on 1x0. Cliff receives one of the highest compliments possible, as Paulo notes in his introduction of Cliff's composition Saudade do Paulo. Cliff has actually become a Brazilian musician and, as every good Brazilian musician does, has written a choro, and a very fine one at that. Parabéns, Cliff! Valeu.
Although Cliff hasn't been on the scene as long as Paulo, he's definitely someone to keep your eye on as a substantial jazz pianist and a musician whose playing will help other North Americans better understand Brazilian music and the bridges between the two worlds. More importantly, however, Paulo and Cliff work incredibly well together. What at first glance might have seemed like an unlikely combination has proved to be one of the most interesting partnerships of late. Their version of Tom Jobim's Luisa is, what they say in Portuguese "lindo de chorar!" Or, so beautiful it'll make you cry! Really, it will.
In August 1998 I saw Paulo with Cliff and others in Rio doing a similar medley of the music of Jobim and Gershwin which was truly phenomenal and topped every other tribute to Jobim I've yet to hear. After the show in Paulo's dressing room I watched as he opened a gift. It was a book the biography of John Coltrane. Paulo smiled at John. It was the smile of a young boy who just received the autograph of his favorite soccer player. And I thought of future musical encounters through the power and passion of the horn of Paulo Moura.
Paulo Moura is an Afro-Brazilian...
"Paulo Moura is an Afro-Brazilian whose face, illuminated by eyes the color of the sea, expresses a profound and direct wisdom. Cliff Korman is a New Yorker who plays piano with the luxurious sound and the rhythmical attention of Keith Jarrett… he has long studied in Brasil where he has learned how to unassumingly accompany the grace of a musician like Paulo Moura. They enchanted the audience with a delicate and penetrating insight that brought them back to the poetry that early jazz must have had."
in, Il Secolo XIX 6/16/96
Pianist Cliff Korman...
Pianist Cliff Korman, who trained wit Roland Hanna and Kenny Barron, lives and works in New York City and is active as a perform in and recording musician in the jazz and Brazilian music circle. He has appeared with Toninho Horta, Leny Andrade, Gerry Mulligan, the EIIington Orchestra, Jon Lucien, and Chuck Mangione. Mr. Korman leads seminars on Jazz and Brazilian music at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Escola de Música of Brasília, the City College of New York and the Drummers ColLece in NYC.
Paulo Moura initiated his career in the era of big-band, jazz and samba-canção, which preceded the arrival of the Bossa Nova, and has been responsible for the reemergence of the "choro" style in Rio. Throughout his life he has actively promoted the musicaI education of Brazilian children and the furtherance of Afro-Brazilian culture. Mr. Moura is a legend of MPB as a performer, arranger and composer, as well as a highly respected classical clarinetist. Among his many responsibilities he holds the position of director the Museu da Imagem e do Som in Rio de Janeiro.