Som Pixinguinha

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Alfredo da Rocha Vianna, Jr. (1898-1973), professionally known as Pixinguinha, was Brazil's maestro of the choro. A flute virtuoso, pianist, and saxophonist whose skills as composer and arranger shaped the currents of 20th century Brazilian popular music, he was professionally active for five full decades beginning in 1920. Som Pixinguinha, his last album, was released on Odeon records in 1971 and was reissued in a handsome CD edition by EMI in 2007. The instrumentation varies. It includes Latin organ combo jazz and stringy orchestral mood music, with ensemble vocals dominating the sunshine soaked "Samba Do Urubu." Certainly the most entertaining track is "O Gato e O Canario," a zippy number combining elements of the polka with the chipper briskness of "Tico Tico" that brings to mind certain varieties of nutty futuristic pop music hatched during the '60s by Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley. Here is a friendly sampler of vintage Brazilian pop played and overseen by one of the godfathers of the genre.

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