Renato Teixeira

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Aguaraterra Review

by Alvaro Neder

This is a good opportunity for a glimpse over the works of Renato Teixeira and Xangai, two renowned singers and composers in Brazil, both with successful independent careers, reunited especially for this live album. The album is not representative of their individual careers or hits, but it is very sincere in respect to their personal styles. Both are from Brazil regions other than Rio and São Paulo, which can be an artistic death sentence as media spent the last 60 years ignoring the upcountry culture, styles, and way of life. More recently, it has discovered the phenomenal commercial appeal of a kitsch style (breganejo), falsely called "sertanejo," which has been making huge success worldwide. This record brings the true sertanejo paulista tradition through Renato Teixeira, a distinguished singer/composer from upstate São Paulo. Xangai represents the northeastern sertanejo tradition. Both are faithful bearers of the culture of their regions, but they're not folkloric singers. They are committed to expanding carefully the original tradition, by adding instrumental, compositional, or thematic resources emanated through their living experiences in modern large metropolises. The album underlines that in the caipira country composition "João Alegre" and in the somewhat progressive instrumental solos. The overall accompaniment is economic, bringing only the regional violinist Cassio Poletto and the Brazilian viola player Natan Marques besides Teixeira and Xangai's own violão playing.