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Suite Leopoldina 2ª Edição

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Album Review

Comparable to New York's Penn Station or Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, Leopoldina Station is a major train station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Just as a New Yorker would venture to Penn Station to take a train to the suburbs of Long Island or Northern New Jersey, Leopoldina Station is where a carioca would catch a train to Rio's suburbs. By calling this CD Suite Leopoldina, Brazilian guitarist Guinga is celebrating his Rio background. All of the tunes that Guinga wrote or co-wrote for this album, recorded in late 1998 and early 1999, have a strong Rio orientation. Whether he is playing samba or choro, whether he is embracing instrumental Brazilian jazz or jazz-influenced Brazilian pop, the guitarist is consistently Rio-minded on Suite Leopoldina. And it's important to emphasize the Rio connection because carioca music is distinctive; Guinga might admire the Brazilian pop and jazz sounds coming out of Salvador or São Paulo, but this ultra-melodic CD is distinctly Rio. That is true of the album's instrumentals as well as the tracks that feature vocalists, who include Alceu Valenca, Ed Motta, and the influential Ivan Lins. Guinga's love of jazz is strong; he features harmonica player Toots Thielemans on two instrumentals ("Constance" and "Dos Anjos") and pays tribute to Charles Mingus on "Mingus Samba" (which features vocalist Lenine). Excellent from start to finish, Suite Leopoldina is enthusiastically recommended to anyone who treasures the Rio school of Brazilian jazz and pop.


Born: 1950

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Guinga began his musical studies as a self-taught violonista at 13. Later, he would deepen his apprenticeship of classical violão. At 16, he began to write his own compositions and in 1967, he presented one of them at II FIC (Rede Globo, Rio). In 1973, MPB-4 recorded two of his songs written with the illustrious Paulo César Pinheiro: "Conversa Com o Coração" and "Maldição de Ravel." Always flirting with the musical scenery, but was unable to make a living in it (as many sincere artists in Brazil)....
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Suite Leopoldina 2ª Edição, Guinga
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