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Guilherme Franco: Capoeira, Legendary Music of Brazil

For a Brazilian musical experience of a completely different nature, proceed to Capoeira, Legendary Music of Brazil (Lyrichord 7441; 70:36), a definitively spare, and utterly fascinating performance on the berimbau and double berimbau by Guilherme Franco. Franco, who has been heard alongside jazz musicians the likes of Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner, here burrows deep into Capoeira, one of the world’s dance and music rituals developed in the cauldron of slave culture, partly as a kind of secret code and method of martial arts. Chants and other Brazilian percussion instruments are introduced, but mostly, Franco understands the potential of the berimbau’s raw, gutsy sound and limited tonal palette (the musical challenge: how much can be done with two notes, and overtones in their vicinity?), creating a 74-minute CD that lures you into another world of being.

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