Altos e Baixos

 

“Altos e Baixos” is my first solo album. I decided to record it mostly to explore some of my musical ideias I had at that time. I remember I have had explored it sometimes, but mostly in collaboration on other musicians works. 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 producing albums, 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 sound well.

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 that 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!

Featured tracks:

The tune O bom filho à casa torna was a “homage” to a bass that had been stolen and I had 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 relaxes at part C, where I got 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 got back to the head out.

Tesselas is one of my compositions that Douglas Umberto Oliveira wrote lyrics. It was composed to a vocal CD 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 played before composing it 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.

Because it would be a vocal tune, I tried to make it singable. Spots to breath and a shorter range. Sometimes I don’t think about that when I compose instrumental tunes.

The spot 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 tune 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 is astonishing. In special for the drummer Allen Pontes. What an incredible shot!!!