Maurício de Souza's "Here. There..." (Pulsa Music, 2010), is available at CD Baby, most online stores, and live performances.
Eleven tracks of pulsating, sophisticated, and lyrical Brazilian Jazz and Straight Ahead Jazz music delivered by Bossa Brasil® and Maurício de Souza Group in trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet formats.The album features 10 tracks of Jazz and Brazilian Jazz standards plus one original composition (title track).
The musicians on the album are: Maurício de Souza (drums), Mike Stern (guitar), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Gregory Rivkin (trumpet/flugelhorn), Carl Viggiani and Noah Haidu (piano), Jerry Weir (vibes), and Morrie Louden (bass).
"Souza's briskly swinging touch and interactive instincts fuel this date (Here. There...), which includes outsdanding solo contributions from pianist Carl Viggiani (Powell's "Consolação"), flugelhornist Gregory Rivkin ("I Can't Get Started") and vibraphonist Jerry Weir (Cedar Walton's "Firm Roots"). Mike Stern guests on Nascimento's lyrical "Vera Cruz" and burns on Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge"." Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine.
1. Bebê (Hermeto Pascoal): Maurício de Souza (drums), Jerry Weir (vibes), Carl Viggiani (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
2. Chovendo Na Roseira (Tom Jobim): Maurício de Souza (drums), Carl Viggiani (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
3. Vera Cruz (Milton Nascimento): Maurício de Souza (drums), Mike Stern (guitar), Noah Haidu (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
4. Imagem (Luiz Eça): Maurício de Souza (drums), Jerry Weir (vibes), Morrie Louden (bass), Andrew Beals (alto), Gregory Rivkin (flugelhorn).
5. Casa Forte (Edu Lobo): Maurício de Souza (drums), Carl Viggiani (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
6. Consolação (Baden Powell): Maurício de Souza (drums), Carl Viggiani (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
7. Here. There... (Maurício de Souza): Maurício de Souza (drums), Gregory Rivkin (trumpet), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Jerry Weir (vibes), Morrie Louden (bass).
8. Inner Urge (Joe Henderson): Maurício de Souza (drums), Mike Stern (guitar), Noah Haidu (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
9. I Can't Get Started (Ira Gershwin/Vernon Duke): Maurício de Souza (drums), Gregory Rivkin (flugelhorn), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Jerry Weir (vibes), Noah Haidu (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
10. Windows (Chick Corea): Maurício de Souza (drums), Gregoy Rivkin (trumpet), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Carl Viggiani (piano), Morrie Louden (bass).
11. Firm Roots (Cedar Walton): Maurício de Souza (drums), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Jerry Weir (vibes), Morrie Louden (bass).
Gregory Rivkin: Ray Charles Orchestra, Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine, Mingus Big Band.
Andrew Beals: Jack McDuff's Band.
Mike Stern: Blood, Sweat & Tears, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Brecker Brothers, Joe Henderson, Mike Stern Band.
Noah Haidu: Benny Golson, Billy Hart.
Morrie Louden: Barbra Streisand, Paul Anka, Eric Marienthal.
The Making of "Here. There..." by Maurício de Souza
Thank you for taking the time to read my personal notes on the tunes and on the making of "Here. There...". I hope they make the music even more interesting!
I would like to start out by explaining what the title of the album means. "Here. There..." is a reference to my career, both before and after the release of the album. "Here." meaning where my career "is" (was at the time) and "There..." meaning where my career would possibly go, which no one can quite predict (hence the "..."), except for maybe someone like Nostradamus... Although, I'm positive he didn't mention a certain drummer named Maurício de Souza in his predictions...
The idea for the title and, in part for the title track, came from a Dean Koontz character who is able to teleport. More on the subject bellow as I talk about the tune, "Here. There...".
Track 1: Bebê by Hermeto Pascoal.
This is one of my favorite Brazilian Jazz tunes to play. Being a medium, modern Baião, it offers a wide array of expressional and improvisational possibilities. Jerry Weir's hypnotic vibes introduction matches the hypnotic rhythmic melody. I couldn't wish for a better album opener, it grabs the listener's ears right away (musically speaking, of course). Originally intended to be a sextet, schedule conflicts made the vibes, piano, bass, and drums combination a great possibility (and, eventually, a great reality).
Track 2: Chovendo Na Roseira by Antônio Carlos Jobim.
This unusual, yet incredibly beautiful and interesting Jobim composition is also one of my favorites to play. Besides being basically a waltz (with a couple of 2/4 measures along the way to make playing it and listening to it extra interesting), its form is also quite unusual, which makes soloing over it an exciting challenge. Carl Viggiani has clearly mastered every aspect of this tune. His harmonic and rhythmic explorations are very exciting to listen to (and play along).
Track 3: Vera Cruz by Milton Nascimento.
Before Brazil was given its current name, it was named "Vera Cruz". This track features one of my all-time favorite guitar players: Mike Stern. It was a great pleasure to record with one of my heroes. His unique sound and ingenious guitar playing contributed greatly to the character and interpretation of this superb Nascimento composition. Stern also contributed to the arrangement by asking me to play brushes behind his solo (which I had to adapt to literally overnight). By starting out with brushes and transitioning to sticks, the tune acquired an extra degree of excitement and developmental growth. Noah Haidu's modern harmonic and melodic piano playing also contributed in giving this track a distinctive sound.
Track 4: Imagem by Luiz Eça.
I always enjoy featuring each of the musicians I play with for I thoroughly enjoy not only playing with them but also listening to them. This track features my fellow percussionist Jerry Weir on vibes. The airy and lyrical melody certainly leaves room for some contrastingly active background. I turned this background into two conversational counter-melodies between Rivkin's flugelhorn and Beals' alto sax. Weir's approach to this tune is magical.
Track 5: Casa Forte by Edu Lobo.
Edu Lobo always writes some great, cool tunes. Being that everyone who plays certain Brazilian tunes plays them differently (by switching sections around, for example), we decided to go with the flow and do some switching around ourselves. The order of the three sections in this tune came from playing it through the years on live gigs. My uncle, José Luis de Souza, had some great ideas for this tune, which became part of the arrangement. Carl Viggiani's piano playing incorporates elements from Classical, Jazz, and Brazilian music, making this tune even cooler.
Track 6: Consolação by Baden Powell.
After hearing Joe Morello's groove on " Calypso Joe" and his drum solo on "Castilitan Drums" (one of my favorite drum solos) in Brubeck's live at Carnegie Hall album, I asked him what was it he was doing. I had never heard anything like it. He showed me this stick and brush rhythm, which he learned from Mongo Santamaría. I began working on it and when I decided to play Consolação, I figured this stick and brush rhythm would be perfect for the tune. It instantly became a drum feature. Carl Viggiani plays great on this track. Morrie Louden's cool and groovy tapping on the bass during his solo makes the bass sound like a percussion instrument.
Track 7: Here. There... by Maurício de Souza.
Teleporting seems to be quite abrupt from what we can tell when reading a book or watching a movie. With this tune we kick off the Straight Ahead Jazz section of the album. I wanted to write a tune in 7 and I began by composing the bass line. We play Herbbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" in 7 and that's where the inspiration for the bass line came from. From there I composed the melody and I wanted to write a transition which portrayed the idea of teleporting: one second one's in one place, the next one's somewhere else. As I mentioned above, I was reading a Dean Koontz book in which one of the characters was able to teleport. That's where the inspiration for the metric modulation for the bridge came from. In other words, the abrupt transition from the floating 7/4 to the straight ahead 4/4. This tune is still a fun challenge to play. I hope it's also fun to listen to.
Tack 8: Inner Urge by Joe Henderson.
This is one of my favorite Jazz tunes. Mostly because it's, well, a great tune and partially because it's a challenging tune to play (both harmonically and melodically speaking. But what does that have to do with drums? Well, coming up with the right feel and rhythmic accompaniment to the tune's mood is a challenge). It did take us a couple of extra takes to get the tune where we wanted it. With each take, the tempo picked up a few notches, arriving at where it is on the recording. Noah and Mike do a fantastic job on the melody and on their solos. Morrie chewed up the tune on his solo, playing as if he wrote it. When mixing the album, I decided to leave Mike's count off at the beginning, it's so cool!
Track 9: I Can't Get Started by Duke/Gershwin.
After hearing a beautiful arrangement/rendition of this tune by the Buddy Rich Big Band, this became one of my favorite Jazz ballads. Greg wrote a beautiful introduction and Jerry contributed with a great vibes solo. Vibes solos and Jazz ballads certainly go together really well. The contrast between Greg's velvety flugelhorn and Andrew's biting alto sax playing gives this arrangement a wider range of expression. Noah provides the ideal harmonic foundation. This was the very first tune we recorded for the album. After setting up the drums and getting everyone set up in the studio, it made sense to start recording with a ballad, give everyone a chance to cool down a little.
Track 10: Windows by Chick Corea.
It is always a great pleasure to play and listen to Corea's music. He's one of my favorite Jazz pianists and composers. To make the arrangement interesting and out of the ordinary, I decided to have the trumpet play most of the melody and have the alto sax contribute with some "seasoning" with mostly background playing. Greg and Carl play great on their solos.
Track 11: Firm Roots by Cedar Walton.
This is our, "let's go all out and burn it up!" tune, which was a no brainer to pick as a closer for the album. This is Andrew's favorite tune and his solo is certainly a clear expression of that. Jerry almost melts the bars on his vibraphone and Morrie plays a monster solo on this one. Trading with Andrew and Jerry on the form (which is AAB, so it flips around every chorus) was a lot of fun. The fact that this was the last tune we recorded that day (plus it was getting late, it was a long day...) certainly contributed positively to the fast tempo. It was nice to wrap up the day (and eventually, the album...) with an energetic, "fireworks going off on full blast" ending.