pianist Glauco Sagebin had his choice for the ideal business
card, it would say, "Glauco Sagebin, Brazilian Jazz
Pianist." That’s because, while he prides himself
on being a Brazilian musical artist, he hates being confined
to the stereotype of Brazilian musicians… that they
"must be from Rio de Janeiro" and can only play
samba or Bossa Nova music. He’s from the south of
Brazil, Porto Alegre. For Glauco, his music goes further
than any stereotype. Glauco grew up listening to all the
music of Brazil, plus music from a wide range of outside
sources, from Coltrane’s jazz to Mahler’s
symphonies. Glauco began his professional career in São
Paulo, Brazil as a studio musician and composer. In 1985
he won the Gramado Brazilian Film Festival Award for Best
Original Soundtrack for Short Animated Film, one of the
most prestigious awards in Brazil for cinema.
The first time I met Glauco was in Tokyo, Japan where
we both lived in the 1990’s, Glauco playingmusic,
and myself working on FM radio. I heard him with a band
led by Babe Hanna, a singer/percussionist from San Francisco.
In that band Glauco showed his total range of talents,
from sensual ballads to straight ahead jazz and he always
brought down the house.
Glauco’s intent on this CD is showing the product
of an artist molded by both American jazz and Brazilian
music, and he does that with his band members. Paulo Braga
is the drummer and legend of the Brazilian musical scene,
he is held in high regard by the top jazz players in America,
Japan and Europe. Paulo has played with a wide range of
well-known artists like Antonio Carlos Jobim & Joe
Henderson. The bassist, Santi Debriano, first learned
about music from his father. Since then, he has toured
the world and worked with artists like Kenny Barron, Sonny
Fortune and Archie Shepp.
I asked Glauco to give me some background on the music
in this CD. He began by talking about his 5 original songs:
"When Baden Meets Trane" is the one, in my opinion,
that represents all those things I was trying to create,
this hybrid of jazz and Brazilian song. What I used was
the harmonic style of Baden Powell's Afro sambas full
of diminished 7 chords, and on top of that I started to
rearrange things using the cycle of descending major thirds
(a composition technique often used by Coltrane). That's
how I got that result. "Earlier Departure" is
my favorite of the 5. I have the tendency to write in
4/4, so I forced myself to write something in 6/4. I was
pretty happy with the result."
"Short Story" is my attempt to write a jazz
ballad (and is not to be confused with Kenny Dorham’s
song of that title). As Paulo said, "It seems like
your classical side interfered with that." I was
happy because it sounded like an ECM recording date, very
"Villa" As the name suggests, is a tribute to
the Brazilian classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos."
"Rio Negro" was composed with Paulo and Santi
in mind, because I knew the sound I could get from them.
The title is an afterthought. The nipping rhythm interaction
reminded me of the infamous, wild Brazilian river with
strong currents and dark waters full of Piranhas."
"Fascinating Rhythm" was the suggestion of Paulo
Braga, when he mentioned to me that it was one of Jobim's
favorites from the American songbook. I felt I was able
to work some voodoo with Jobim in the studio, basically
knocking it out in the first take. Actually, the majority
of the selections are first or second takes. I always
prefer to compromise with a few mistakes here and there
and keep the freshness and spontaneity.
"Luiza" was my choice as a waltz for the album.
"Olha Maria" is one of my favorite Jobim compositions.
Especially, with Paulo Braga around, I wanted to record
a real bossa-nova track. "Nada Como Ter Amor"
by Carlos Lyra was my choice because it is so beautiful
and not that well-known. "Pra Dizer Adeus,"
I thought, would be a great vehicle for Santi.
"Laura" was a suggestion from the executive
producer and its one "I dug a lot."
Hey Glauco, that works for me!
Rob Crocker (WBGO-FM)
New York City, 2003