Tuesday, September 29, 2015

R.I.P.: Phil Woods (1931-2015)

One of my all-time favorite musicians, Phil Woods (1931-2015), who just passed away earlier today, got his first Grammy award for this superb album, "Images," a collaboration with Michel Legrand recorded in 1975 and reissued on CD only in Japan (in 2002.) I know that, in a historic context, Charlie Parker (Phil's main idol, btw) is more "important" because of the bebop revolution.

But, IMHO, Phil is the best alto sax player in the history of music, an impassioned virtuoso that knew the exact balance between technique and emotion. He never did a bad recording. He never recorded a less than magnificent, phenomenal, perfect solo. His sound, phrasing, tone, fluency, lyricism are sublime. His career spanned nothing less than 7 decades!

I grew up listening to his solo albums as well as his collaborations with Michel Legrand, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes etc; the track "You Must Believe In Spring" (from Legrand's "Live at Jimmy's" LP) is the best performance ever done by an alto sax player. The title track from "Images" places #2, followed by "Once Upon A Summertime" (from "Legrand And Friends") and "Laura" (from "Twenty Songs of the Century".)

In my collection, I also treasure the albums he recorded as the main soloist of The Creed Taylor Orchestra in the late 50s/early 60s, true collectors' items. And the all-star session "Rhythmstick," a CD/LaserDisc filmed at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in 1989, on which he plays alongside Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Berg, Charlie Haden, Anthony Jackson, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Tito Puente, is the best jazz video ever produced.

I was blessed with the chance to attend many of his concerts several times in New York at the Blue Note and three times in Brazil -- firstly in 1978 at the São Paulo/Montreux Jazz Festival, and twice in Rio, @ the Free Jazz Fstival with his quintet at the time that Tom Harrell was the trumpeter, and later @ the Copacabana Palace backed by a local band that featured the late Brazilian bassist Nico Assumpção -- and had the privilege to be introduced to him in NY by my long time friend (and his long time drummer) Bill Goodwin, to whom I'm forever grateful.

Phil had retired earlier this month, after a splendid concert (that was recorded!) at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on which he recreated the legendary album "Charlie Parker With Strings" backed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Details and haunting pics in this link below:

R.I.P. All my Love and Respect, from here to eternity.
Message from trumpeter Brian Lynch: "Rest In Peace: Hero, warrior, master musician and jazz icon; mentor and friend. Being a part of your family made me feel like royalty. Thank you for the honor of 23 years being your "front line". I love you, Phil!"

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tomorrow, Sept 27, get your brunch groove with Rob Paparozzi & The Blues Farm in NY

An an all-star jam!
Vocalist and master harmonica player Rob Paparozzi & The Blues Farm returns to The Falcon in Marlboro, NY for a high energy Sunday brunch. The frontman for The Blues Brothers band along with iconic guitarist John Tropea, Blues Brothers drummer Lee Finkelstein, and ace keyboardist Pete Levin (I love him since The Clams!) on Hammond organ.
11am-2pm. No cover charge. Reservations suggested.

In October, The John Tropea Band live in NY!

Save the date: October 16, 7pm!
The fabulous John Tropea Band live @ The Falcon in NY!
Featuring Neil Jason, Chris Palmaro, Lee Finklestein, Larry Farrell, Don Harris, Tommy McDonnell and the legendary Lou Marini!!!
I love Tropea, he is one of my favorite guitarists since the epic solos on Deodato's groundbreaking "Prelude" (2001) album for CTI.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Anna Mjöll live in Santa Barbara, Sept 26

The Anna Mjöll and Woody DeMarco Duo at Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara
This next Saturday, September 26, 6-10pm; hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

R.I.P.: Plinio Araujo

Drummer for the Orquestra Tabajara, led by his brother Severino Araujo, Plinio Araujo died yesterday, Sept 2nd, in Rio de Janeiro, RJ. He was 94 years old and still active! The best big-band drummer in the history of Brazilian music, he played for over 7 decades, taking part in the most important albums released by the Tabajara as well as on tenorist Zé Bodega's solo masterpiece, "Um Sax No Samba." In the 70s, he also took part on albums by Jards Macalé and Zé Ramalho. Rest In Peace.
Plinio Araujo (center) with drummers Zé Eduardo Nazario (left) and Miltinho (right)

                  Plinio Araujo performing with the Orquestra Tabajara

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Vinyl Reissue of the Month - "Randy Weston: Blue Moses"

Vinyl Reissue of the Month
Randy Weston: "Blue Moses" (CTI 6016 / Speakers Corner 426001971) 1972/2015
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl, Limited Edition, Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering, Pressed @ Pallas (Germany)
Reissue Release Date: September 8, 2015

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studio (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) in March & April 1972
Album Design: Bob Ciano
Photo: Pete Turner

Randy Weston -- now an elderly gentleman and one of the few living witnesses and co-creators from the heyday of hard bop -- still leaves his home in Brooklyn to tour through Africa, Europe and Asia. A truly multicultural man. His percussive piano style has been influenced in particular by the ethnic music of Morocco; his amazing sense for the sounds produced by North-African melodic and rhythmic instruments has enriched his music over many years.

After seven years without making any recordings, "Blue Moses" was recorded in 1972 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. Lengthy trips through North Africa and as far as the Niger, plus the ignorance of American record companies, were the reasons for the long pause. Finally the CTI boss Creed Taylor took an interest in Randy Weston and financed a large ensemble with Don Sebesky as arranger/conductor.

The four themes provide a great basis for improvisations by the soloists, whereby the Randy Weston’s piano takes the lion’s share. The flute is also very prominent – and no wonder: all flute solos are by Hubert Laws.

"Blue Moses," the most commercially successful album in pianist/composer Randy Weston's career, remains one of his most controversial due to his conflicted feelings about the final product, which he feels is too polished and too far from his original intent for the project. Indeed, appearing on Creed Taylor's CTI imprint was an almost certain guarantee of polished production.

It's one of my favorite albums in the entire CTI catalog -- I had the honor to supervise its first CD reissue ever, released in Japan back in 2000 -- and, IMHO, Weston's best album ever. He plays exclusively Fender Rhodes piano here in his unmistakable style, backed by a band of CTI's star-studded stable: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (I consider it as Grover's best session ever for CTI), flutist Hubert Laws, drummer Billy Cobham, bassists Ron Carter and Bill Wood, and percussionists Phil Kraus (marimba), Airto Moreira (mostly on caxixis), and Weston's son Azzedin (on the congas and on Afro-percussion instruments like the kakobars.)

This group was led by a punchy Don Sebesky-arranged horn section that includes such masters as trombonists Garnett Brown (famous for his work with Herbie Hancock), Warren Covington (from Gene Krupa and Tommy Dorsey's orchestras), and Wayne Andre, trumpeters Alan Rubin, Marvin Stamm and John Frosk, French horn masters Jim Buffington & Brooks Tillotson (both would appear on Deodato's "Prelude"), and multi-instrumentalists Romeo Penque (playing clarinet, oboe & flute) and George Marge (English horn, clarinet & alto flute).

"Blue Moses" consists of four compositions; it was an attempt by Weston to showcase the influence "Ganawa" music from Morocco had on him as a composer. The opening track, the hard-bop waltz "Ifrane," says it all, with a frenetic and splendid interplay between soloists Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington, Jr. and Billy Cobham.

"Ganawa (Blues Moses)," with its frenetic, minor-key piano lines, knotty, Middle Eastern Eastern-sounding charts, and skittering North African rhythms push the listener into a new space, one that stands outside of CTI's usual frame in, and into, the exotic. The brass arrangement is sumptuously wild, and while that might overshadow some recordings of lesser substance, Sebesky knew what he had in Weston's tunes, and reigned his players in just enough to keep the dynamics fresh, open, and full of engaged call-and- response playing between Weston, Hubbard, and Laws. The use of French Horns is equally an additional proof of Sebesky's genius.

So too, album closer "Marrakesh Blues," with wordless backing vocals by Madame Meddah, twinned trumpet and flute lines, gorgeous electric piano solos, and a deep, strolling bassline. It's an Eastern modal blues with the sound of a horn section to boost its drama. The way Sebesky employs David Horowitz's Moog synthesizer on this track, using it as a member of the horn section, is also quite impressive.

"Night in the Media" is a labyrinthine, more abstract piece, but utterly atmospheric and colorful in its arrangement, with exciting interplay between Weston's enormous chords and Washington's swinging, soulful saxophone and Airto's percussion & vocal effects that create a lithe, spiritual jazz groove. It's the only track on which Bill Wood (then a member of Weston's touring band) replaces CTI's official bassist Ron Carter.

No matter how Weston ultimately feels about "Blue Moses," this date succeeds on all levels. Creating a commercially viable recording from the elements presented must not have been easy, but Taylor rose to the occasion and delivered a grooving beauty of an album without compromising Weston's genius. It is quite possible that many jazz fans will have missed the name Randy Weston when flipping through the letter 'W' in record shops in the 70's. Now they have the opportunity to correct this mistake with this re-release.

Big Band CD of the Month - "Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!"

Big Band CD of the Month
Bob Mintzer Big Band: "Get Up!" (2015)

Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality)

CD Reissue of the Month - "Zé Eduardo Nazario: Poema da Gota Serena E Outros Poemas"

CD Reissue of the Month
Zé Eduardo Nazário: "Poema da Gota Serena E Outros Poemas" (Editio Princeps) 2015

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Alfredo Rodriguez live in Los Angeles, Aug 15

Don't miss this special evening of "Classical Remix" by Daedelus & the Cuban virtuoso pianist Alfredo Rodriguez -- with Eay Ushikubo -- @ Grand Performances in Downtown LA. Free entrance! This next Saturday, August 15, 8pm. See u there!

Fundraiser Concert For Tambu, tomorrow

This next Saturday, August 15 @ Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center (4305 Degan Blvd. Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA), don't miss a Fundraiser Concert for the legendary Los Angeles native son, percussionist Tambu.
Suggested Minimum Donation: $20;

Tribute To Jaco Pastorius @ Hollywood Bowl

Tomorrow night, an incredible roster of musicians honors the late, brilliant bass innovator, revlutionary & true genius Jaco Pastorius. His use of the fretless bass and his popularization of harmonics are just a couple of the lasting influences the bassist had on jazz and music as a whole. A must-see for jazz fans: http://hollywoodbowl.com/jaco

"Goddess Wednesdays" w/ DJ Hana, Aug 12

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beyond CD of the Month - "Hubert Laws, Steve Barta & Jeffrey Biegel"

Beyond CD of the Month
Hubert Laws, Steve Barta & Jefferey Biegel: "Symphonic Arrangement - Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano Trio / Composer: Claude Bolling" (Steve Barta Music)

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Composed by Claude Bolling
Arranged & Conducted by Steve Barta
Produced by Steve Barta & Michael Shapiro
Executive Producers: John Street, Kathy Hines & Wayne Hines
Recorded by Geoff Gillette & Eric Astor, assisted by Zavosh Rod @ Entourage Studios (North Hollywood, CA) in January 2015
Mixed by Bill Scheene @ Scheene Studios
Mastered by Sangwook "Sunny" Nam @ Jacob's Well Mastering, LLC
Cover Art: Roger Huyssen

Claude Bolling's "Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano" was already born in 1975 as a masterpiece, originally recorded for Columbia by Jean-Pierre Rampal and the composer himself. (Later on, it received another excellent version for RCA by Elena Duran and Laurie Holloway in 1981.)

This brand-new outstanding Symphonic Arrangement, by Steve Barta, adds a new dimension to the work and updates its marvelous content, highlighted by jazz supreme flutist Hubert Laws and virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Biegel. Barta did a brilliant job, achieving perfect balance between respect for the original suite and the creative impetus that led him to create a vivid orchestral score, full of energy and sophistication, perfecting all nuances and subtleties.

Mike Valerio (bassist) and Michael Shapiro (drummer who was a member of Flora Purim/Airto Moreira's group for many years) also shine throughout the album. Soon available also on vinyl, it's already one of the best releases of the year!

Jeffrey Biegel: "In the 1970s, I was one of millions of fans of Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano". Fast forward to 2008, I met with Steve Barta during an engagement with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. We talked about music and various styles. I shared with Steve how much I loved the Bolling Suite, and that I thought it might be cool with orchestra. He said he always felt the same about it. Here we are--seven years later--with this new recording, arranged by Steve, featuring the amazing jazz flutist, Hubert Laws and fabulous co-musicians in the new 'Symphonic Arrangement' of the "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano". Special thanks to Roger Huyssen, Inc. for becoming a close frined with Steve and bringing his legendary artwork to this new recording! Special thanks also go to Manuelle Pefferkorn Mazerand for her work with Claude and helping us bring this recording to the public."

The World Premiere of Steve Barta's "Symphonic Arrangement: Suite for Flute and JazzPiano" is with the South Shore Symphony Orchestra will happen on November 20 and 21, conducted by Scott Jackson Wiley as they bring legendary jazz flutist Hubert Laws to Long Island for the premiere live performance. Please mark your calendars!

Vocal CD of the Month - "Ellen Johnson: Form & Formless"

Vocal CD of the Month
Ellen Johnson: "Form & Formless" (Vocal Visions) 2015

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Ellen Johnson
Recorded by Nolan Shaheed @ No-Sound Studio
Mixed by Dan Feiszli @ What's For Lunch? Studio
Mastered by Ken Lee Mastering
Graphics: Jeff Foster @ PixelPainter.com
Type Design: Christina Pein
Photos: Adrian Mendosa

Featuring: Ellen Johnson (vocals & percussion), Larry Koonse & John Stowell (guitars), Nolan Shaheed (trumpet)

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month - "Isaac Darche: Team & Variations"

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month
Isaac Darche: "Team & Variations" (Challenge Records) 2015

Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Isaac Darche
Executive Producers: Anne de Jong & Marcel van den Broek
Recorded by Max Ross @ System Two Studios
Mixed by Jeremy Loucas
Art Directon: Marcel van den Broek
Photos: Shutterstock & Christy Loo

Featuring: Isaac Darche (guitar), Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (tenor sax), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Desmond White (bass) & E.J. Strickland (drums)

A killer set by guitarist Isaac Darche that leads a smoking quintet on several challenging originals ("A 'Winkel In Time," "Sloped Perspective, "Arts Of A Bachelor," and the fantastic "Nerds") as well as on inventive readings of classic ("Nobody Else But Me," "You Stepped Out Of A Dream") and contemporary jazz standards ("Ana Maria," from Wayne Shorter's iconic "Native Dancer" 1975 album.)

In the nearly ten years that guitarist Isaac Darche has called New York home, the San Francisco Bay Area native has found opportunities to work with many rising jazz stars and to pursue his own muse. He's emerged as a rising star himself and is now following up on the 2012 release of his well-received debut Boom-Baptism withTeam & Variations, to be released by the Dutch-based Challenge Records label on April 14.

Darche's fluid, warm-toned style reflects the classic influence of Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino. But as indicated by the title of the album's opening track, "A 'Winkel in Time" -- a nod to influential guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel -- he is open to the innovations of all kinds of stylists. "Pushing the boundaries musically yet keeping a certain authentic 'jazz feeling' was very important to me on this project," says the leader.

Darche's performances on the new CD with ace team members Chad Lefkowitz-Brown on tenor saxophone, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Desmond White, and standout drummer E.J. Strickland confirm his status as one of the most impressive young guitarists on the scene.

The playful titles of the originals are drawn from his life. "Sloped Perspective," a wry reference to Brooklyn's Park Slope community, where many jazz musicians live, strives for a combination of simplicity and complexity. "Arts of a Bachelor," an experiment in unusual intervals, reflects on his schooling. "Don't Run out of Money," a double time-exercise with a melody that evolved out of guitar voicings, is the ultimate advice for living in New York.

Fresh readings of the standards "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Nobody Else But Me" are also in the mix, along with his take on Wayne Shorter's "Ana Maria."
Isaac Darche
Born and raised in San Anselmo, California, just north of San Francisco, Isaac Darche, 32, started playing the clarinet at age 7, switched to the guitar at 10, and was also playing the saxophone a year or so later. It was the sound of the guitar -- specifically the pure, beautiful jazz sound of the Gibson L-5 models as played by Montgomery and Martino -- that hooked him. He played in various groups at Marin Academy, a San Rafael high school known for its strong arts program.

While attending the Stanford Jazz Workshop Jazz Camp as a young teenager, Darche was blown away by a performance featuring fellow students Ambrose Akinmusire, Jonathan Finlayson, Dayna Stephens, and Taylor Eigsti. "I kept thinking, oh my God, I'm so far behind, this is crazy," he recalls.

He went on to attend UCLA, studying with Billy HigginsAnthony Wilson, and, primarily, the distinguished guitarist and composer Kenny Burrell, whose groundbreaking course on Duke Ellington was an essential part of the curriculum. Burrell was a stickler for good tone, good phrasing, and swing feel. "He would stop us and say, 'This is not swinging,'" said Darche. "But he was open to all kinds of music."

Darche was encouraged to go to New York by guitarist and "super sideman"Randy Napoleon. His "boom-baptism" there was eased by all the great music happening around him. He got hired by keyboardist Sean Wayland, and played with numerous other artists includingMark ShimJon GordonRandy IngramHenry ColeLinda Oh, and his old campmateAmbrose Akinmusire.

"It's no easy accomplishment in a field packed with guitarists," wrote David Adler in NYC Jazz Record of Boom-Baptism, "but Darche has found a unique sound and technical approach on the instrument. His tone is bright, his articulation blindingly fast and flawless, his rhythm consistently in the pocket but full of breath, never stiff. ... Effortlessly forward thinking, free of idiomatic clichés."

Photography: Brian Geltner 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Amanda Darling @ X Night Club

On August 7, catch DJ Amanda Darling's set at X Night Club (Ten Night Club) in Orange County.
Her fans are FREE before 10:30pm, just say "Amanda Darling" at the door for you and your guests! Amanda's set: 12am - close.
Here's the addy: 4647 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA

Full length Ambient album "Earth Tones" coming soon!
Check for updates: www.AmandaDarling.com

Anne Sajdera Revisits Wayne Shorter's "Native Dancer" this Saturday, in CA

Beautiful music coming up this weekend - tune in to KCSM, 91.1 FM, on Thursday July 31st, 9am PDT - Pianist/composer/arranger Anne Sajdera talks to Alisa Clancy about this upcoming concert, the performers involved and of course the music...

This Saturday, August 1st, 8pm
The Anne Sajdera Sextet at Musically Minded Academy (MMA)
5776 Broadway, Oakland 
(5 blocks from Rockridge BART)

For tickets:

Featuring: Anne Sajdera (piano), Erik Jekabson (trumpet), Harvey Wainapel (sax), Gary Brown (bass), Deszon Claiborne (drums) & Ami Molinelli Hart (percussion)

Wayne Shorter's seminal recording Native Dancer (Columbia, 1974) was a collaborative effort with the legendary Brazilian composer & singer Milton Nascimento which included a collection of such groundbreaking songs as "Ponta de Areia," "Milagre dos Peixes," "Tarde," and "Lilia" as well as Shorter's exceptionally poignants "Ana Maria" (included on Anne's amazing debut CD, "Azul"), "Bauty And The Beast" (that became a contemporary jazz classic) and "Diana" (dedicated to Airto & Flora Purim's daugher.) The album featured Herbie Hancock, Jay Graydon, Dave McDaniels and David Amaro interacting with Brazilian musicians Airto Moreira, Wagner Tiso, and Robertinho Silva.

In this concert, the mega-talented Anne Sajdera and her sextet will perform selections from that recording in addition to original compositions inspired specifically by the depth of Shorter's and Nascimento's masterful music.

This concert will be recorded for broadcast on KCSM and each audience member who makes an additional contribution to the musicians will be thanked on-air for that program. Jim Bennett of KCSM's In the Moment presents a new concert series at Musically Minded Academy, dedicated to continuing the legacy of jazz as a living art-form.

For this concert, there will be a short first set featuring a mix of what the Sextet normally presents, followed by a brief intermission, and then a short discussion with Jim and Anne about the importance (historical and personal) of this particular recording. A few questions will be taken from the audience. The Sextet will then perform Native Dancer in its entirely, not as a mere recreation, but with the goal of bringing the music alive for a new audience. Not to be missed.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ari Silverstein Presents A Tribute To Mark Murphy, Tonight @ Pangea in NY

Ari Silverstein Presents:
"A Tribute To The Compositions And Songbook of Mark Murphy"
An all-star tribute @ Pangea, located at 178 Second Ave NYC, (Btw 11-12 Streets)

"We'll celebrate the LEGACY of the most transformative male jazz singer in modern history Mark Murphy," Ari says. Be there or your a square. Seats still available for the "hip set" at 9pm call 212-995-0900 for a spot!

Come on jazz cats don't sit on the fence!
With Cavalcade of Stars: Sheila Jordan, Steve Ross, Holli Ross, Tessa Souter, Judi Silvano, James Gavin, Marcelino Feliciano, Dylan Pramuk, Sean Smith, Ray Gallon, Vito Lesczak
SPECIAL GUESTS: Bill Mays & Alan Broadbent
                                       (Sheila Jordan & Mark Murphy)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anna Mjöll & Pat Senatore @ Vibrato, July 24

Gina Saputo - Final Steamers Show, July 23

Russ Kassof Trio live @ Saint Peters Church, tomorrow, at 1pm

                  (Dennis Mackrel, Russ Kassof, Jay Anderson)

Message from jazz piano master (and my dear friend) Russ Kassof:
"Please join me with the legendary Bird Fly By Trio - Jay Anderson on bass and Dennis Mackrel on drums as we start our July tour at Midday Jazz Midtown - Saint Peter's Church - Jazz Wednesdays - Produced by Ronny Whyte. Lexington and 54th St. Phone is 212 935-2200. There is a suggested contribution at the door. CD's will also be available." 
Concert starts at 1pm. Not to be missed if you are in the NY area. See u there!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tomorrow, "Improvising For Singers" Workshop w/ Ellen Johnson @ California State University

One of the best singers in the contemporary jazz scene, the wondrous Ellen Johnson -- who is currently receiving rave reviews for her new album, "Form & Formless" and recently wrote an acclaimed book about Sheila Jordan titled "Jazz Child" -- will be doing some workshops on "Improvising for Singers" this Summer, with Keith Saunders on piano. Tomorrow, July 19, you'll have an opportunity to work on improvising skills or be introduced to the "art" of improvising at the California Jazz Conservatory. Register online or by phone. https://cjc.edu/workshops/?eid=9607

Historic Pic: John, Chick, Carlos & Herbie

John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock after an historic night at the Montreux Jazz Festival, yesterday. Like Quincy says, "un-be-lie-va-ble!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

R.I.P.: Jadir de Castro (1927-2015)

(born March 26, 1927 in Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
died July 14, 2015 in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

My dear friend Jadir de Castro -- one of the most important drummers and percussionists in the history of Brazilian music -- just passed away today, at age 88. But he was still a kid, always generous, kind, with good humour. And still playing when among friends. I was blessed with the chance to work with this legendary artist in several occasions. The first time was in 1997 when I signed another late friend and great musician, Dom Um Romão, to my JSR label. Dom Um introduced me to Jadir and invited him to play on an album we were recording in my native Rio: Dom Um's "Rhythm Traveller" CD, co-produced by Toninho Barbosa. The album was released the following year, all over the world, receiving critical acclaim and becoming a best-seller in Europe, specially in England, where it reached the Top 10 acid-jazz charts of "Straight, No Chaser" magazine.
(Jadir de Castro, Dom Um Romao, Gegê, Maria Fattoruso, Laudir de Oliveira, Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

Later on, in 1998, we started to produce Jadir's own album that featured such guests as José Roberto Bertrami on keyboards, Jorge Pescara on bass (my first session with Pescara), and Dom Um Romao on percussion. We kept doing many recording sessions during the 2000s for albums by singer Ithamara Koorax ("Brazilian Butterfly," "Ithamara Koorax Sings Getz/Gilberto" and "All Around The World," among others.) Jadir also did some rare live performances as a percussionist with Dom Um & Koorax (plus Eloir de Moraes, Palmyra & Levita, Marcelo Salazar and DJ Marcelinho DaLua in a small tour in 2003) as well as a drummer with Koorax in long engagements at Sofitel Rio (with Paula Faour and Bertrami on keyboards and Jorge Pescara on bass) between 2005 and 2007.

Jadir Teixeira de Castro started his professional career at age 14 in Rio. He moved to Europe in 1952, touring with the Askanazy's folk group Brasiliana, later joining Roberto Inglez' Orchestra (performing in many concerts for London's BBC and recording the album "Latin-American Music Played By Rogerto Inglez And His Orchestra" for the Parlophone label in 1953), then the Radio-Télevision Française, the St. Moritz's Palace Hotel Orchestra, the Stol Theatre band in Glasgow, touring with the Perez Prado band, and doing a TV special in Rome with Sofia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.

Jadir also lived in Monte Carlo and Paris, where he played in the Moulin Rouge band and appeared on Brigitte Bardot's debut film, "And God Created Woman" (Et Dieu Creá La Femme, directed by Roger Vadim in 1956) on which he can be seen in the famous long final sequence, playing percussion while Bardot dances in a trance.
            (Jadir de Castro, playing cowbell, and Brigitte Bardot dancing)

That same year (1956), he joined a group led by Silvio Vieira in Hamburg, where he married a German girl, Ilse, the mother of his daughter Ina and his son, Ernst. Returned to Brazil in 1961, joining Rubens Bassini's group Os 11 Magníficos, with Waltel Branco, Humberto Garin, Jorge Ferreira da Silva, Ohana, Humberto Garin and Pedro dos Santos. Toured Russia with Nora Ney & Jorge Goulart, and played with Bené Nunes.

As a composer, he wrote such hits as "Ziriguidum" (I have included the Baby Consuelo studio version on the "Trip To Brazil Vol.4" CD compilation I produced for Verve in 2005), "Nega Sem Sandália" - also known as "Pouquoi" and "E-Samba" (a dancefloor hit in Europe and Asia, with over 30 recordings by people like Elza Soares, Miltinho, Luiz Carlos Vinhas, Junior Jack) and "Lição de Baião" (also a hit in Brazil, recorded by Ed Lincoln, Baden Powell, Adriana Calcanhoto.) Not to mention such instrumental tunes as "Ozônio" and "Repimar," from the cult "heavy batucada" albums that he recorded as a co-leader with Dom Um Romão in the early 70s, and later included in several iconic compilations like "Batucada - The Sound of the Favelas," issued by the London-based Mr. Bongo label.

One of the first Brazilian drummers to record albums as a leader -- long before Milton Banana and even Dom Um --, Jadir de Castro released 14 fantastic LPs for labels like RCA, Philips, Polydor, Barclay, Enir, Pawal and Sideral. Among them, “Jadir No Samba” (reissued on CD by BMG in 2004), “Gênio da Batucada”, “Samba Internacional (Jadir de Castro & Seus Poliglotas Rítmicos), “Les Fabuleux Rythmes De Rio - Ecole De Samba" (with Dom Um Romao), "Samba Século 21," "Batucada nº 2" and “E Agora: Camutéo! – A nova dança!” In 2011, he released the book "Ciências Rítmicas - Memórias" and its companion DVD, "Gênio da Batucada." Rest in Samba.