Garoto: Nosso Choro
Garoto: Historical Guitar Recordings: 1950-1954 (Chantrelle 006)
Composed by Garoto.
Recorded: S�o Paulo, 1950
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Garoto's death in 1955, a few days before his 40th birthday, robbed the music world of one of the most provocative guitarists of the 20th century. Even now, his name is typically unknown even to passionate fans of so-called "World Music," although his pioneering efforts set the stage for the rise of bossa nova a few years after his passing. Indeed, it comes as little surprise that Luiz Bonfá and Laurindo Almeida were among his protégés and that the master of bossa nova guitar João Gilberto has been active in preserving and spreading Garoto's music.
This solo track captures the distinctive virtues of Garoto's guitar work. A song such as this might fool you into thinking that it is some timeless folkloric piece . . . except that the sophistication of the harmonic movement is far too modern for any traditional work. Not until Antonio Carlos Jobim rose to fame would Brazilian commercial music have such a master of impressionistic chord changes. One suspects that this artist, born Anibal Augusto Sardinha in 1915, soaked up the sounds of American jazz when he toured the U.S. with Carmen Miranda in 1939-40. No, the rhythm is not bossa nova, but "Nosso Choro" captures the wistfulness of that later style of music. Above all, Garoto impresses with his tone control and relaxed mastery of the guitar.
Note: I also recommend Paolo Bellinati's impeccable recreations of Garoto's music. Those who find themselves put off by less-than-high-fidelity audio quality may want to start with Bellinati before moving to the original Garoto recordings.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia