David Ganc - English
Flautista, saxofonista e arranjador

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CD liner notes by Sergio Cabral

Pixinguinha offered only one explanation to justify his decision to definitively trade the flute in for the saxophone. It took the form of a dream he shared with journalist and playwright Henrique Pongetti during a party at the home of newsman Paulo Bitencourt, director and owner of the daily paper Correio da Manhã. The liquor was flowing most generously. It’s well known that Pixinguinha loved his booze but unfortunately, given the grief alcohol brought him, it can be considered an unrequited passion. Before I move on to talk about this fantastic disc by Mário Sève and David Ganc, I’d like you to lend your ears to Pixinguinha’s testimony, as transcribed by Henrique Pongetti:

“One day, I took it into my head that I wasn’t playing the way I’d like to anymore. I started worrying that people would notice the flaws I myself had already started noticing in my playing. A while later, I saw an image of St. Francis of Assisi speaking to the fish, who stuck their little heads out of the water to hear the saint. I thought, ‘Pixinga, you played on a ship once, and the fish didn’t stick their heads out. You need to learn more flute, Pixinga!’ I stopped right there, for fear of going crazy.”

The last disc recorded by Pixinguinha’s flute came out in 1942, and included his choros “Cinco companheiros” and “Chorei.” Those who had become accustomed to the brilliant talent of one of the world’s greatest flautists were saddened but, truth be told, in compensation choro was enriched by the counterpoints Pixinguinha created on his sax, an instrument he had been playing for friends alone for twenty years.

The other reward was the 1945 creation of his partnership with the flutist Benedito Lacerda, with whom he began recording a few dozen of the best discs in all choro history. The formation of this twosome stirred quite a bit of talk, mostly because Pixinguinha shared with Benedito the credit for tunes he himself had composed many years earlier, like “Um a zero,” written in 1919 in honor of the Brazilian all-star soccer team’s victory over Uruguay in the South American Championship. This was the country’s first-ever international title, conquered by a score of precisely one to zero, thanks to a goal by Friedenreich. (In point of fact, “Um a zero” was only recorded in 1946, with a solo by Benedito Lacerda. The flutists of its day believed the piece extremely hard to play).

This duo has now been paid a magnificent tribute by Mário Sève and David Ganc in the form of superb interpretations and creative arrangements-after all, if you’re just going to repeat what’s already been done, better to simply stick with Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda. Not all of the cuts on this CD were actually ever recorded by Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda, although some were featured on “Pessoal da velha guarda,” a radio program on Rio’s Tupi station, hosted by Almirante, with Pixinguinha and Benedito as its main stars. A small number of collectors are fortunate enough to own the recordings of a number of programs where Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda can be heard. Mário and David’s CD includes the choro “Seu Lourenço no vinho,” which Pixinguinha wrote as a tribute to Lourenço Horácio Mônaco, owner of Vinhos Único, sponsor of “Pessoal da velha guarda.” The composer and Benedito Lacerda launched the tune on the December 7, 1947 program. On Mário and David’s disc, “Seu Lourenço no vinho” features a real show on the tambourine by Jorginho Silva, a master who has done on his instrument what his brother Dino has done on the 7-string guitar.

Pixinguinha’s inspiration for the beautiful Brazilian waltz “Glória” was his love for the sister of Bonfiglio de Oliveira, composer, trumpeter, and bass player. The choro “Cinco companheiros” pays homage to the group in which Pixinguinha played on the Mayrink Veiga radio station, including Tute on the 7-string guitar, José Valeriano on the 6-string, Luperce Miranda on the mandolin, and João da Baiana on tambourine. The frevo “Água morna” and the baião “Acorda, garota” are recorded here for the first time on disc.

As drum-player Wilson das Neves would say, better than this CD, not even rice and eggs. Sérgio Cabral (Author of the book Pixinguinha - vida e obra)

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