Quaternaglia: Forrobodó (CARMO/13)



Eduardo Fleury guitar
Fabio Ramazzina guitar
Sidney Molina guitar
Paulo Porto Alegre guitar
Breno Chaves guitar (on “Baião de Gude,” “Lun-Duos,” “Uarekena,” “Quartetinho,” and “Forró”)
Egberto Gismonti synthesizer (on “Um Anjo”)
Recorded September 1998 (“Uarekena,” “Lun-Duos,” “Baião de Gude,” “Quartetinho,” and “Forró”) and December 1999 (“Forrobodó,” “Karatê,” “Escovado,” “Batuque,” “Furiosa,” and “Um Anjo”) at Estúdio Tom Brasil, São Paulo
Sound engineer: Alberto Ranellucci
Produced by CARMO & Dulce Bressane
Release date: November 13, 2000

Following a self-titled 1995 debut and 1996’s Antique (both released on other labels), the Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet intersected with Egberto Gismonti’s CARMO imprint for its third album. With a studied yet organic body language, this São Paulo-based ensemble guides us through its account of four distinct yet complementary composers, each of whom the QGC has worked with closely toward building a defining repertoire. Despite having undergone more than a few changes of roster since its inception in 1992, in this present iteration we have Eduardo Fleury, Fabio Ramazzina, Sidney Molina, and Paulo Porto Alegre. The guitarist whom Alegre replaced, Breno Chaves, joins as special guest on five pieces, adding a fifth layer of virtuosity.

Brazilian guitarist and composer Paulo Bellinati is represented by three pieces. Of these, “Baião de Gude” is one of his best known and, in this interpretation, moves with a filmic quality. I imagine someone on a frantic search for something, only to realize they’ve been in a dream all along once they find it. Before that, the session opens with “Furiosa (Maxixe).” This pleasing mélange of microtonal harmonies sports a robust sense of progression and muted rhythms. The latter impulses cross over into “Lun-Duos,” through which Chaves circulates with increasing fervor, spanning the gamut from shout to whisper and back again.

The pivot comes in “Uarekena.” Written by Sérgio Assad (of Duo Assad fame), it’s a weave of pulsing harmonics and dissonant chords around inviting linear melodies.

“Quartetinho” begins a traversal of works by Egberto Gismonti, whose writing is well-suited to the format of the quartet, who capture his litheness with gusto. Among the perennial classics of his oeuvre to make an appearance are the album’s title piece, which manages to scintillate while still making room for Gismonti’s inchoate shadows in a passage of astonishing detail, and “Um Anjo,” which features the composer on synthesizer. Chaves joins the quartet again for “Forró,” taking on some of Gismonti’s more cynical textures and chord voicings. But it’s in “Karatê” where the quartet’s virtuosity shines for handling such a constantly shifting composition with fluidity. It feels reborn here, played to the strengths of its dissonances.

The program ends with a twofer by Ernesto Nazareth, arranged by Gismonti and adapted by Alegre. Between the familial “Escovado” and the welcoming “Batuque,” a deep and joyous farewell is given in full knowledge that this isn’t goodbye.

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