Capricohos – Hamilton De Holanda, bandolim & guests – [TrackList follows] Adventure Music (2 CDs)
World of Pixinguinha – Hamilton De Holanda, bandolim & guests – [TrackList follows] Adventure Music

by | Aug 8, 2015 | Jazz CD Reviews

Caprichos – Hamilton De Holanda, bandolim & guests – [TrackList follows] Adventure Music AM1092 2 (2 CDs) *****:

World of Pixinguinha – Hamilton De Holanda, bandolim & guests – [TrackList follows] Adventure Music AM1091 2 *****:

(Guests on 1: Andre Mehmari, piano; Andre Vasconcello, bass; Bebe Dramer, accordion; Gabriel Grossi, harmonia; Guto Wirtti, bass; Rafael dos Anjos, guitar; Rogerio Caetano, steel guitar; Thiago de Serrinha, percussion

Guests on 2: Chucho Valdes; Richard Galliano; Stefano Bollani, Mario Leginha, Omar Sosa, Odette Ernest Dias, Carles Malta, Anddre Mehmari, Wynton Marsalis)

This Brazillian performer plays and composes with the most impressive instrumental virtuosity in a mix of the wonderful Brazilian folk form, the choros, and contemporary jazz. He plays an instrument which is a sort of Brazilian version of the mandolin, which evolved from that instrument after it was originally brought to Brazil by Portuguese colonizers. But De Holanda increased its original eight strings to ten so that he could create polyphony. De Holanda has incredible technique and works with only the top musicians on all his albums. He composes much more than modern versions of the choros on the first of these albums.  He calls them Caprices. He himself says: “What I’m doing today is not exactly choro, it’s not only samba, and it’s not just jazz. It’s all of the above, the confluence of all of it.”

I personally think that Brazilian music is the best of every sort of folk-derived music in the world, and that the choros form is at the heart of most Brazilian music, as much as is the samba.  You will simply not believe your ears when you hear Hamilton De Holanda for the first time. Give him a listen!


(Disc 1) 1 – Capricho primeiro ; 2 – Capricho bachiano ; 3 – Capricho venezuelano ; 4 – Capricho do luperce ; 5 – Capricho de valsa ; 6 – Capricho do carmo ; 7 – Capricho de pixinguinha ; 8 – Capricho de choro ; 9 – Capricho do sol ; 10 – Capricho do ceu ; 11 – Capricho retirante ; 12 – Capricho de espanha

(Disc 2) 1 – Capricho de santa cecilia ; 2 – Capricho da lua ; 3 – Capricho de raphael ; 4 – Capricho do sul ; 5 – Capricho de donga ; 6 – Capricho de chocolate ; 7 – Capricho do norte ; 8 – Capricho de indio ; 9 – Capricho da hora ; 10 – Capricho brasileiro ; 11 – Capricho do oriente ; 12 – Ultimo capricho


The Brazilian composer, flutist and saxophonist who was better known by his nickname Pixinguinha, was also a choros composer, and pushed it’s original boundaries thru the incorporation of ragtime and jazz into his compositions. He was a towering figure of Brazilian music. De Holanda explores that in the second album here, which he recorded together with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, the amazing French accordionist Richard Galliano, and the jazz/classical trumpet star Wynton Marsalis, and other guest performers. They push Pixinguiha’s music into decidedly jazz territory, which may not totally please certain choros enthusiasts.

According to De Holanda himself, “I thought it would be an opportunity for the music of Pixinguinha to be played by jazz musicians who know about improvisation,and who know how to interpret music that’s not theirs.” There’s plenty of emotion here in addition to the technical fireworks, plus a bit of fado nostalgia from Portugal, African music influences, samba and the joyous sound of Brazilian music in general. De Holanda also says: “The bandolim has certain musical ‘off-keys,’ but the piano is nearly always in perfect tune. Perhaps the defect of the bandolim is that when it’s paired with a piano, music is born – which is something I cannot explain.”

1. Naquele tempo | 2. Lamentos | 3. Agradecendo | 4. Canção da odalisca | 5. Um a zero | 6. Ingênuo | 7. Rosa | 8. Seu Lourenço no vinho | 9. Benguelê | 10. Yaô | 11. Capricho de Pixinguinha | 12. Carinhoso

—John Sunier

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