Adventure Music is promoting Choros & Alegria, its beautifully rendered follow-up to 2004's critically acclaimed first tribute to behind-the-scenes Brazilian musical genius Moacir Santos (Ouro Negro), with the tag line: "You don't have to apologize if you don't know who he is." The moral of this beautiful Brazilian story is, you don't have to be a global legend like Sergio Mendes, Milton Nascimento, or Ivan Lins to inspire the Brazilian music world. A composer, arranger, reed player, and teacher for many decades, Santos is considered a living monument to the musical treasures that have come from his country. Producers Mario Adnet and Ze Nogueira, who also presented the first collection, have put together magical, often orchestrated traditional arrangements of never before recorded Santos tunes from various decades, starting in the '40s (the seductive trumpet-spiced "Cleonix") and continuing through 1991's lush piano-choir anthem "Felipe." Perfectly in line with the spirit of discovery that drives the 15-song collection, most of the musicians are famed Rio cats you've never heard of, with the notable exception of guitarist Ricardo Silveira and Wynton Marsalis. The material was recorded in 2005 in Rio and Sao Paulo under the direct supervision of the 79-year-old Moacir, who is no doubt too old to tour but can't help but be pleased by the newfound attention given this most precious work. ~ Jonathan Widran
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