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Obrigado Brazil

48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 29, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Obrigado Brazile

This enchanting, flavorful CD finds the ever curious Yo-Yo Ma traveling to South America, and Brazil in particular. The music varies from classical to samba to bossa nova; the combinations range from guitar, flute, and cello to female voice (the remarkable Rosa Passos), cello, guitar, percussion, piano, and bass; to simple cello and piano; to cello and two guitars. The overriding element is rhythm; each selection has a beat which is both infectious and sensual, but the contexts are splendidly varied. "Dansa brasileira" has a Debussy-like, impressionistic flavor, "Dansa negra" is sultry with an easy melody, "1 x 0" is a dance scored for guitar, percussion, and cello with a solo clarinet riff. It's impossible to get bored or tired listening to this creative CD; it's unique--just like Yo-Yo Ma himself--and endlessly surprising. It may not be quite what we'd call "classical" music, but it is many kinds of music, and they all will delight. The other musicians are as impressive on their instruments as Ma is with his cello, and that's saying a great deal. --Robert Levine

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cristal
  2. Chega de Saudade
  3. A lenda do caboclo
  4. Doce de coco
  5. Danga brasileira
  6. Apelo
  7. Danga negra
  8. 1 x 0 (um a zero)
  9. Menino
  10. Samambaia
  11. Carinhoso
  12. Alma brasileira
  13. O Amor em Paz
  14. Bodas de Prata & Quatro Cantos
  15. Brasileirinho
  16. Salvador

Product Details

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma
  • Audio CD (July 29, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00009ZKXD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Bob Zeidler on August 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's been enjoyable for me to experience Yo-Yo Ma's excursions into "not quite classical" music, and to take note of how much better he gets with each such foray, and how those forays have introduced me to other great musicians.

It was through Yo-Yo's first such foray, "Appalachia Waltz," that I initially became familiar with the fiddling of Mark O'Connor and the bass playing of Edgar Meyer, two artists I've since become well-acquainted with, collecting all of their works. And, if this early foray of Yo-Yo's was somewhat tentative on his part, in terms of adapting to new styles of playing, he has only gotten better - measurably better, in fact - since then.

"Obrigado Brazil" is the sequel to Yo-Yo's wildly successful "Soul of the Tango" album, and I think it surpasses it in every respect, not least of which is his constantly improving skill at absorbing and subsuming "world music" genres and styles. Moreover, the variety of Brazilian music on this album is far wider - and the music itself much more laid-back - than the tangos of that earlier effort. (There is a near-monochromatic tension in the rhythms and sharp accents of the tango, as a musical form, that can tend to give the music a sense of "sameness"; a little can go a far way. This is hardly the case for the mellower range of styles present in Brazilian music, which is much more of an amalgam of the many cultural styles of Brazil than the more restricted - and heavily stylized - tango form.)

For this project, Yo-Yo has brought along a few artists who collaborated on the "Soul of the Tango" project: Kathryn Stott, the pianist on both, and Oscar Castro-Neves, the great Brazilian guitarist who not only got in some of the best guitar licks on "Tango" but produced that album as well.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By CecilyK on September 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was blessed to spend almost 2 years in the beautiful country of Brazil. I learned the language and loved the people. I'm a musician myself and have been recently discovering the beautiful sounds of Heitor Villa-Lobos. This CD has 2 of his pieces as well as a fantastic selection, ranging from the smooth jazz of A. Jobim to the more traditionals sounds of Paxinguinha with the samba. There's nothing like jazz sung by a native of Rio and there's nothing so wonderful as the samba.
I admire the selection of music on this CD as it covers a wide variety of genres and a large chunk of Brazilian history. Several of the newer pieces were also quite enjoyable, especially because they were performed by the composers themselves.
Of course, Yo-Yo Ma outdoes himself again. His playing is impeccable as is his ability to become part of the larger ensemble. I'm so glad he's willing to blend in and let us hear all the different and beautiful aspects of this music. He's truly a class act as well as an astonishingly accurate and polished musician!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lacey A. Marek on September 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to see a live concert featuring the songs from the Obrigado Brazil cd. It was one of the most incredible musical experiences of my life! Yo-Yo Ma is an amazing musician - you know that he's great when you realize that you can understand the entire meaning and purpose of a song that doesn't even have lyrics. My personal favorite on this cd is track 9 - Menino. It is a gorgeous melody that the composers at the concert said was about a young boy. I still get tears in my eyes just listening to the cd. I would strongly recommend this cd, even if you are not a huge classical music fan - it is wonderful! :)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Psy Anth tist on July 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Two classical gurus told me that they were not a fan of this particular CD. They even said that the genre is classical. I dissent; I actually enjoy listening to this CD and believe it is not entirely classical music. Yo-Yo Ma fuses his classical training with Brazilian style jazz that is easy for listeners who are not astute to classical music and/or jazz. Thus, it is the perfect CD for people who are starting out with classical and/or jazz music. For advanced listeners, it is relaxing, mellow, and playful, simultaneously. Every phrase is well developed with warmth and care. It is also a nice change of (music) palette. Usually, whenever Yo-Yo Ma endeavours into a new genre, he encompasses himself with the genre's most prominent musicians. Listen to the CD and purchase it. It speaks for itself. Enjoy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Christopher Coleman on March 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Yo-yo Ma is one of the most interesting musicians working today. His eclectic tastes bring us fascinating music from around the globe, and his astonishing musicianship guarantees excellence in every new adventure. Recent CDs have seen him venturing to China via the Silk Road and to the Belle Epoque of France. His attention has also been focused on Latin America with Soul of the Tango and this first, studio version of Obrigado Brazil. He has even followed up these recordings with Obrigado Brazil Live in Concert, which repeats some pieces from the earlier studio recordings but is primarily new work in the same vein.
Ma is joined by a septet of mostly Latin American performers, two of whom also double as composers: composer/clarinettist Paquito d'Rivera, singer/guitarist Rosa Passos, guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad, Ma's long time accompanist at the piano Kathryn Stott, and a bassist and percussionist.
Listen to one of my favorite tracks, the lovely Menino, and you wil hear that Ma brings real sensibility to this music. Occasionally his performance reveals that he isn't as familiar with the style as d'Rivera or the others--he tends, for example, not to bend pitches but approach them as his Classical training would have--but this is no significant flaw, as the qualities of line and rhythm he does bring to the music compensate. Those who complain that Obrigado Brazil isn't truly Brazilian music, that it's perhaps over-refined miss the point entirely, and are advised to look elsewhere for their entertainment. Certainly if "authentic" folk music is what listeners are after, they won't find it here. But they will find wonderful music, played with love and dedication by superb musicians, and well worth hearing.
Now, to compare the studio version with the live concert recording.
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