Agua de Moringa

Agua de Moringa

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Agua de Moringa Review

by Alvaro Neder

The group Água de Moringa is in permanent dialectical process between the traditional choro regional (choro group) and new writing/interpreting techniques emanated by modern classical contributions, yet it never dumbed down by the easy appeal of commercial devices. On this debut CD, the Carioca musicians use a broad and eclectic range of composers: From the tropicalistas Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso to the chorões Ernesto Nazareth and Pixinguinha, from the jazzman Victor Assis Brasil to the popular/erudite Radamés Gnatalli, they visit the works of several other writers, letting everyone know very clearly their comprehensive and inclusive intentions, and at the same time getting a readily recognizable Brazilian choro regional sound.

A modern characteristic, these musicians are skilled and academically trained performers. Their complex arrangements, which incorporate bi and polytonal passages, are interpreted with finesse, the percussive rhythms and attacks with precision, and the dynamics with subtlety. The sophistication displayed through arrangements and execution evidences a solid cultural background not available to the old-time chorões, to Água de Moringa's advantage. Nevertheless, the swinging quality always demanded in Brazilian popular music is never lacking, being the raw material of the entire album, even in the meditative, poetic slow-tempo songs.

The innovative instrumental also deconstructs the traditional choro regional: the clarinet is joined by the clarone and the pandeiro greets the Indian tabla. But fortunately there aren't electric or electronic instruments.

Those who were already caught by the sensitive musicality of Brazilian choro will appreciate this release, as also will those interested in knowing the genre through its most modern face.

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