Marcelo Gomes
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Marcelo Gomes

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press




Brazilian music is differentiated within the country by its geographic
origins. Northern Brazil and its coastal states produce a different music
than the familiar Cariocan sound of Rio. Likewise, the huge industrialized
city of Sao Paulo has its own sound, and features this more urban form of the
samba as played by Terra Brasil. Led by the brothers Gomes and Zeli, the band
plays music full of the beat but at a faster, more hectic pace than the
laid-back Rio sound and inhabitants. Terra Brasil is primarily an
instrumental group, but the samba and vocals are common to the country and
several selections contain lyrics. They also use a wide assemblage of
musicians, heavily incorporating reeds and occassionally brass into the
formula, which is another distinguishing factor in Paulista music. The basic
unit, though, is a sextet, and the guitar and percussion are the mainstay of
this unit.

Individual soloing is secondary to Terra Brasil. They use ensemble playing as
a norm of expression, although reedists Ursaia and Alcantara get plenty of
exposure and add a dynamic element to the samba-based or choro-infused
syncopated songs. The music is rich and full-bodied, powered by vibrant
guitar rhythms and spirited tenor, flute and soprano blowing. However, it is
less endowed with the feeling of love and romance than typical Cariocan samba music.

Terra Brasil claims they are a cross between a Jazz band and a popular
Brazilian band, but their sound has plenty of excitement and many Jazzy
moments that downplay any popular conception. But then again, Brazil's
definition of popular music is very different from the concept of other
countries. This band has much to offer the Jazz fan and the samba fan.

- Cadence Magazine


The sextet Terra Brasil, led by brothers Marcelo and Sergio Gomes, guitar and drums respectively, aims to create a Paulista sound, urban music reflective of the energy and identity of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city and the fourth largest city in the world. "Toca Pra Lapa" opens with that most urban of sounds, a traffic jam. Marcelo Gomes wrote five of twelve tunes and several arrangements. There are two vocal numbers, "Venta Sem Parar," sung by Cida Moreira, and "Trem Bom," with the voice of Tutti Bae. Almost every tune includes the excellent work of saxophonists Rodrigo Ursaio, who also doubles on flute, and Vitor Alcantara. Their unison intro on "Swing Paulista" sets the pace for this high energy jazz samba. Great drum work by Sergio Gomes. Terra Brasil's eclectic, polished, vibrant style, in the tradition of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), will serve to alert listeners to the very interesting musical sounds emanating from Brazil's "second city."
-Marcela Breton
- Marcela Breton


Discography

Tudo Bem: 1995. Mestiço: 1998 (Mestizo, Malandro Records). Atlântico: 2003. Questão de Tempo: 2006 (Matter of Time). Its possible to hear on www.terrabrasil.mus.br

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Marcelo was raised in Rio de Janeiro, where he used to listen to his father and neighbors bossa/samba music. He started playing the piano at the age of nine. When he moved back to São Paulo in 1978, he started to play the eletric guitar.
Since 1984 he has been working as a teacher and researcher at the University of Campinas (Unicamp). Apart from that, he composes, plays and records with several musicians, including John Hollenbeck, Pat LaBarbera, Don Thompson and many other Brazilian artists.
At the moment, he is doing his PhD in Brazilian Jazz Music, at the same time he is finishing his first solo record, after having five well succeded albums recorded with the group he funded, “Terra Brasil”, which he has played with in Canada, USA, Spain, Portugal and Germany.