Wednesday, November 16, 2016

R.I.P.: Guilherme Franco (1946-2016)

(born 25 November 1946 in Sao Paulo, Brazil as Antonio Guilherme de Souza Franco;
died on November 12, 2016 in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil)

Besides the recent passings of Leonard Cohen, Leon Russel and Mose Allison, I'm very sad to know that Brazilian drummer and percussion giant Guilherme Franco has died in São Paulo, and was buried yesterday in Mogi das Cruzes, SP.

The first time I heard him was on albums by Keith Jarrett. Then I saw him live in a fabulous perrformance with McCoy Tyner at the Rio/Montreux Jazz Festival @ Maracanãzinho in August 1980, in Rio.

He lived for over 3 decades in NY, where he also was a member of groups led by Azar Lawrence (with whom he recorded the superb "Summer Solstice" album), Lonnie Liston Smith, Don Pullen, Paul Winter, Carlos Franzetti, Lee Konitz, Archie Shepp, Larry Goldings, Gato Barbieri, Arthur Blythe, Gato Barbieri, Woody Shaw, Carlos Garnett, Idris Muhammad, Buster Williams, Elvin Jones, Gaudencio Thiago de Mello's Amazon big band, Harris Simon and many others, having recorded with all of them.

Franco also was the founder of the Pé de Boi band, a "branch" of the Pé de Boi Samba School; on their first album, Walter Wanderley did his final recording, and Lisa Ono appeared as guest vocalist.

My condolences to his son Amê Franco and all his family. RIP.

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