“Altos e Baixos” is my first solo album. I decided to record it mainly to explore my own compositions and arrangements. At that time, 2002, I had contributed on other musicians works, but I needed to create an entire work by my own.
Another reason to record “Altos e Baixos” was to start my solo career because I knew that having a solo album would push me to another level.
So… I grabbed several musical sketches I had written, composed new ones and wrote all arrangements. At that time I didn’t have much experience in music production, so I just followed my instincts. Fortunately, it worked nicely!
I remember it was quite freaking because I couldn’t figure out if the stuff I was writing would work well or not.
The instrumentation I chose was the drumset, bass, piano, sax and percussion. I knew which musicians I wanted: Allen Pontes (drums), José Cabrera (piano), Anderson Pessoa (saxes and flute) and Sandro Araújo (percussion). They are great musicians and great friends and I knew they would deliver the musical results I wanted.
For the rehearsals, I took everybody to a ranch in Brasília’s country side and we spend a whole weekend playing and having barbecue during the breaks. That was really fun!
You can find the album Altos e Baixos here:
The tune O bom filho à casa torna was a “homage” to a bass that had been stolen and I recovered it after 3 years. It is a busy melody backed by a partido alto groove. The chord changes are busy too. There is a nice bridge that I used to increase the tension and all the tension is released on part C, where I have long notes in the melody.
On my arrangements, sometimes I like having a different chord changes for the solo section. That fitted nicely on O bom filho à casa torna. Another thing I thought about the solo section is that the bass and the sax solos should sound as one long solo, leading the tension to the climax of the tune: the interlude.
The interlude is an interesting polyrhythmic structure, where piano and sax play in 7/8 and bass and drums play in 7/4. After the interlude, I get back to the melody and finish the tune.
Tesselas is one of my compositions that Douglas Umberto Oliveira wrote lyrics. It was composed to a vocal album that Douglas and I were working on and I adapted the arrangement to an instrumental setting.
The thing that catches my eyes on this tune is how smooth the melody goes. I can play or sing that melody for hours! I remember that the first thing I created before composing the melody itself was the intro. I spent a lot of time just playing it and it defined the mood of the tune. After that, the melody came easily.
The Tesselas’ section I most like is the interlude, right after the solo section. There are two melodies: the main one and its counterpoint. In the middle of the section they swap positions.
I think the climax of the performance is the sax solo at the end of the piece. That was the very first take of the tune and the way the group interacted and developed it was killing. Pay attention to the drummer Allen Pontes on the solo sax. What an incredible shot!!!