Desde meados da década de 1990, o pianista Cliff Korman torna-se parceiro de Paulo Moura. Inicialmente seu aluno em workshops realizados nos Estados Unidos, desenvolveram um entendimento musical e pessoal notável e raríssimo. Gafieira Dance Brasil nasce de uma série de apresentações no exterior e culmina com o registro de uma Gafeira no festival Lincoln Outdoors, Summer Festival, em Nova York. O nome do CD traduz com efeito o que quer mostrar: a música dançante dos tradicionais bailes do Rio de Janeiro. Para isso, o repertório, impecável, conta não somente com clássicos do cancioneiro brasileiro, mas também com belos standards da música norte-americana. O grupo que acompanha Paulo Moura e Cliff Korman é formado por David Finck (baixo), Paulo Braga (bateria) e Mestre Zé Paulo (cavaquinho). No melhor dos sentidos, é a gafieira com sabor internacional.
Gafieira Dance Brasil / The Paulo Moura & Cliff Korman Ensemble
Almonds & Roses Music
Recording by Antonio Panarello
Mastering by Nick Prout
Cover drawing by K. Lixto
Booklet drawing by Pedro Fowler
Graphics by La Centrale dell'Arte
It’s generally believed that the Word “gafieira” comes from the French “gaffe” (mistake) and was coined to indicate those ballrooms and bars where urban working class of Rio de Janeiro has gathered since last decade of the 19th century. It is however unsure whether the word was meant as a jab at the improbable etiquette of the local crowd or the condescenting attitude of the French-speaking upper class Carioca: a duplicity that mischievously refers to the role of Gafieira as an early cross-over of classes and cultures. The first Gafieira opened in 1848 in Rua de Alfândega, and by the 1930’s rooms multiplied in downtown Rio: the União de Bom Viver, Clube dos Democráticos do Méier, As Mimosas Japonesas, Flor do Rio, Embaixadores do Amor. In 1932 the famous and still active Estudantina opened. A semi-serious code was established along with the institution of a máster of ceremonies who, night after night, conducted the caprices and dreams of an anonymous yet flamboyant crowd.
The music played and danced in gafieiras reflected a wide diversity of influences, including Afro-Brazilian samba and “choro” rhythms, French dance forms, Argentine tango, and North American swing. Gafieira music became very much part of that “sound of Rio” that was initially developed by legendary artists such as Pixinguinha, Donga and João Baiana, who passed on their legacy to the extraordinary clarinet of Paulo Moura, who is considered today the one of the most illustrious instrumentalists of Brasil.
On Gafieira’s stages the traditional “choro” formation of guitar, cavaquinho, flutes and pandeiro took some elements of North American big bands including trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, and piano. Through the 1940’s Brazilian as well as Jazz repertoires became intertwined with the rhythm of the public: dances, chats, business, and even the occasional riot and one night stand. A dissonant and frenetic style was created to deter the attention of the police from fights and Love affairs. Tunes were invented called “aparta-briga” or stop-the-riot.
The link to the emerging North American music of that time has different theories. Paulo Moura suggests that as radio became popular feature public places in downtown Rio and the Dixieland and pre-swing era recordings were played more and more frequently, it is likely that Carioca musicians perceived that music as extremely compatible with their own, and started making it parto f their repertoire and the local taste. Other sources indicate that “choro” is considered the link of Brazilian urban music to jazz. Like jazz, “choro” became in many senses the language, the historic record, and the social subtext of the African Brazilian community of Rio and was soon absorbed by the larger population. And like jazz, “choro” developed into a demanding and virtuoso instrumental genre establishing a high musical standard and offering the tools to continuously evolve and modify it.
Today Gafieiras musical and dance styles are still thriving and have grown to be a completely contemporary experience. If the music of Gafieira could be described as Brazilian big band and ballroom dance music with the surprise of the dazzling sound of the cavaquinho, and unexpected rhythms and melodies; while the dance of Gafiera features an extraordinarily vast repertoire of styles whose turn-of-the-century urban roots are little known among the international fans. These include Lambada, Lundu, Habanera, Polca, Xótis, Tango, Maxixe, Batuque, and the little practiced and delightful Samba de Gafieira based on the form called “partido alto”.
A legend of instrumental music for half a century, clarinet and saxophone virtuoso Paulo Moura is the first Brazilian instrumentalist to be honored with the Latin Grammy (2000) for his CD Paulo Moura e Os Oito Batutas. But to categorize or "label" him is next to impossible. His name is spoken with reverence in musical circles ranging from jazz to classical, and known throughout the world. His sound - whether on saxophone or clarinet - is unmistakable. His unique sense of improvisation, his interpretations and phrasings, have made him the model that a generation of Brazilian instrumentalists have looked up to. And while he is passionately dedicated to the preservation of the various traditions of Brazilian music, he is arguably Brazil's greatest living interpreter of mainstream improvisational jazz.
The youngest of ten siblings, born in the mid-1930s to a working class Afro-Brazilian family in a small city in Brasil, Paulo Moura began playing as a child in his father's band and by age 19 appeared as soloist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, playing Weber's Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra. However his devotion to classical music was accompanied from the very beginning by a profound passion for and understanding of the popular tradition of his country. While he was learning harmony, counterpoint and fugue, he would play pop music at the neighborhood gafieira. Out of this mixture emerged a style that shows a complexity of elements: his Afro-Brazilian origins, the pop music of the poorer classes of Rio, his experience during the golden age of Radio Nacional and his "higher education" as a first clarinetist of the Municipal Theater's Orchestra. His international career as a soloist started in 1953 in Mexico playing with Ary Barroso. Since his acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall in 1962, he has been frequently invited to play international festivais. He has taught with Karl Berger, at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock and at the Zurich Festival where he held a Brazilian music workshop.
He continues to be a highly influential force in Brazilian popular music, teaching music theory and arranging recordings by Elis Regina and Milton Nascimento. His 1976 solo album Confusão Urbana, Suburbana e Rural, is considered a masterful tour through landscapes of modern traditional Brnzilian music. His career as a composer and conductor also indude several symphonic pieces. Major public presentations include the 1988 commemoration of the Centennial of Abolition of Slavery in Brasil, featuring the National Symphonic Orchestra, and in 1992 the inaugural piece for the world conference ECO92 that included a choir of 120 public school children. ln 2000, Moura composed and performed the Urban Fantasy for Alto sax and Orchestra for the centennial of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. His discography includes over 25 recordings.
An accomplished jazz pianist and highly rcgarded educator, Cliff Korrnan likes to say that twenty years of immersion in the musical universe of Brasil shed a different light on the way he looks at American jazz. Korman has absorbed the diversity of sound, instrumentation and harmonic patterns of the musical language of Brasil. He made them part of his own semantic system and of his larger exploration of the popular musics of the Americas. He has developed numerous Brazilian jazz projects featuring Brazilian and American musicians and presenting a variety of original compositions and arrangements.
Korman, who trained with Roland Hanna, Ron Carter and Kanny Barron, has performed as a soloist and co-leader in venues such as Aaron Davis Hall, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. He participated in important Brazilian projects such as the "Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim" at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Cesar Camargo Mariano and a two-piano production with Wagner Tiso and Milton Nascimento at the International Festival of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) in São Paulo. His duo record Mood lngênuo: The Dream of Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington with Paulo Moura represents one of the first cross-cultural explorations of jazz and choro. An adjunct professor at the City College of New York, he regularly teaches courses on Jazz Piano, Jazz Theory, Improvisation, and Brazilian Instrumental Musical at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, the Escola de Música of Brasilia, and University of Rio. Korman's work as an independent scholar in the fields of Jazz and Brazilian music has received prestigious recognition, including a Fulbright Lecture/Research grant in Brasil, the invitation by the Society for American Music to deliver a paper on the music of Thelonious Monk, the publication of an article on the same topic in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, and the invitation to present his lecture "Jazz & Brazilian Instrumental Music: Common Roots, Divergent Paths" at the Jazz Research Roundtable at Rutgers University.
David Finck's reputation is "triple outstanding" - in jazz, in Brazilian, and in classical music. Since his arrival in New York City in 1980 he has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Phil Woods, Eliane Elias, Roberta Flack, Claudio Roditi, Mel Lewis, Slide Hampton, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Gonzalo Rubacalba and many others. He regularly performs in duo with André Previn, with whom has released the CD "We got Rhythm". Since 1987 he has performed with Paquito D'Rivera's Havana-New York ensemble.
Paulo Braga is one of the most recorded drummers in Brazilian history, largely due to his important innovations in contemporary Brazilian drum style. For fifteen years he toured and recorded with the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim, including the Grammy Award-winning Antonio Brasileiro Jobim. For more than two decades he has played with Brazil's top recording artists, such as Milton Nascimento, Elis Regina, Ivan Lins, Djavan, and Wagner Tiso. ln addition, he has achieved international recognition for his recordings with Lee Ritenour, Sadao Watanabe anel Joe Henderson's Doublc Rainbow CD.
José Paulo Miranda was raised in Leopoldina, Rio de Janeiro where he acquired a profound knowledge of the urban musical tradition. Mestre Zé Paulo started playing cavaquinho at age 4 and was introduced by his father - guitarist Alvaro Miranda - to musicians such as Pixinguinha, Benedito Lacerda, Rogério Guimarães, Tico-Tico and Dante Sartoro. As a young player Zé Paulo worked at the prestigious Rádio Nacional where he met Ary Barroso, Renato Murce, Radames Gnattali and many others. H =e has been part of the Orquestra da Rede Globo anel appeared as soloist on the LP Sambachoro launched in 1977. His extraordinary expertise as a cavaquinho playcr has been praised by Zubin Metha and many other international artists.