Glauco Sagebin
 
  If 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 classy."

"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