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The original Dexter Payne Quartet was formed in 2005 for the north american release of “Inspiration” recorded in Brazil with Antonio Mello and Thiago de Mello.The musical chemistry born of that sold out appearance has evolved a brand of exquisite Brazilian instrumental music now available in Pra Você. One reviewer said: “It’s like a fever when you start listening to this album — the way summer gets in the brain.”
Some of the actual CD recording was filmed live:
“Pra Você is a delight from start to finish. The sound of Payne’s group, with clarinet, accordion, piano, guitar and drums-percussion (but no bass), is light and unique. They perform nine selections that are filled with rich melodies that are often quite joyful…” – Scott Yanow DownBeat October ’14 (4 stars)
“Congratulations!” – Nelson Faria
“quietly brilliant… uniquely beautiful blend of Brazilian, jazz (especially New Orleans), African and other instrumental musical styles” Chris Slawecki (AllAboutJazz.com) 5/26/14
“It’s like a fever when you start listening to this album — the way summer gets in the brain.” -Erika Frederickson (Missoula Independent) 3/27/14
“Pra Você is proof that Brazilian music can flourish in the most unlikely places… everyone, gringos included, plays splendidly here…. Quite the refreshing disc” – Tom McDermott (OffBeat Magazine) May 2014
After a 2 year partial hiatus (on the international blues circuit with Lionel Young Band) Payne, a Downbeat Readers Poll clarinet finalist in 2004 & ’06, is back with a long-standing group of absolutely brilliant artists: Bill Kopper – guitar, Dave Willey – accordion, Victor Mestas Pérez – piano, Raoul Rossiter – drums and percussion. Raoul Rossiter and Bill Kopper are at the heart of samba pagode & jazz band Ginga. Dave Willey leads and composes for Hamster Theatre (Cuniaform Records) and Victor Mestas Pérez, highly respected in his native Caracas, Venezuela, has extensive recording credits there including a Latin Grammy winning CD. All are in demand session players who know the music and make it their own.
Dexter Payne has performed from Tijuana to Paris, from Montreal to Buenos Aires, and everywhere in between. #8 clarinetist in Downbeat Readers Poll (2004 & ’06) and 2011 International Blues Challenge winner, Payne is at home in “musica brasileira” playing chorinho, baião and samba, beginning in the mid 90s when he went on a 2 1/2 yr walk-about, playing with bands and artists from Tijuana to Buenos Aires and focusing in Brazil for 10 months, where he recorded with Beth Carvalho and met and recorded with the late Gaudencio Thiago de Mello. Over the last few years he has performed, as well as record and coproduce 4 Brazilian CDs with the late grammy-nominated de Mello in New York. Their collaboration, “No Wolf” appears again here, dedicated to the Memory of Payne’s dear “brasileiro irmão maior”.
Pra Você (say “pra vo SAY”) honors the rich tradition of clarinet in Brazilian music, known in the northern hemisphere to only a few. It is a collection of tunes well known in Brazil, representing two distinct genre, chorinho (shoo RIN yo) and baião (by YAON)
Alma Brasileira (Brazilian soul) is a classic choro-samba by Zeca Freitas, composer and band/orchestra leader from Pernambuco in the north-east of Brazil. We learned it from Mitchell Long. Chorinho Pra Você (Chorinho for you) is a gafieira or dancehall standard by Severino Araújo, famous clarinetist, played here in the style of Paulo Moura. No Wolf at the Door is an original composition by Dexter Payne and Gaudencio Thiago de Mello, originally recorded by them on “Another Feeling” (Dexofon). Sampa (short for São Paulo) by Caetano Veloso is one of the best known, and most loved songs in Brazil. Doce de Coco (coconut candy) is standard choro by one of Brazil’s favorite legendary composers, Jacob de Bandolim, made famous in North America by David Grisman and later by YoYo Ma. Playground is a baião by brilliant contemporary Brazilian guitarist, Nelson Faria. Assanhado (strutting/showing off) is another by Jacob de Bandolim, arranged here by Bill Kopper. Conversa de Botequim (conversation in a coffee shop) is by another iconic and prolific composer, Noel Rosa, author of “Bahia” and “Aquarella do Brasil” (known in north america as “Brazil”). Kopper arranged this piece for the band, Ginga, and Payne said “Let’s use the bridge from your arrangement with the traditional verse.” It worked! Lembrei do Ceará (I remember Ceará) is an homage to the state of Ceará by Marcelo Caldi. Learned from Marcelo Bernardes’ “Choro na Feira”, this song is another baião. The music of the northeast is generally categorized “Forro” (say “fo HO”) literally “for all”.
We hope you enjoy this set, basically recorded in two afternoons. Our musical gift to you is the product of years of learning and playing together!