A fine palate for Brazilian music

This time JungleDrums has joined forces with both ElevenCulture´s Lívia Rangel and Brazilian filmmaker Tiago di Mauro in order to bring you an exclusive interview with Brazilian jazz and soul legend Ed Motta.

Ed will be performing in on April 7th at the intimate Union Chapel in Islington as part of the La Linea Festival. JungleDrums is giving away a pair of tickets. Just click here and find out how you could win them.

Lívia Rangel - You are going to perform with cellist Dom La Lena, from the South of Brazil, who has a much celebrated solo work. How did that happen? Will you perform together at some point?

Ed Motta - The Festival has booked the artists, I will be in a middle of a UK tour the only thing I know is about my gig. It could be nice to play together but we don’t have much time to organise something, since everyone has a short time for sound check, etc.

LR - Can you give us a taster of what you are going to perform? Will it be mainly songs from you new album AOR?

EM - Yes it will be mostly into my AOR album and the English version of these songs. Some instrumental tunes and some of my Brazilian radio hits. In fact I’ve been doing AOR music without notice for years, so it has kinda AOR editorial on all songs and jazz, too.

LR - In AOR you sound pop through a refined language and jazz arrangements, plus a superb post-production. Tell us how people have welcomed this work so far.

EM – It’s going pretty well on the AOR world. Books & music guides in Japan mentioned it, one of the tracks went number one in Japan on North Wave FM, I toured with David T. Walker, in France going really well.

In Brazil it had expressive sales on iTunes. Same in Argentina, where I have a big fan base.
Artisan pop music I might say. It’s kinda lost on the last 30 years, pop music has other values nowadays and of course it’s not music, it’s not art any more.

LV - Professional Brazilian musicians are always celebrated in Europe because of their ‘groovy’ nature, unusual experience, some sort of quality stamp. And so many prefer to move abroad. How do you evaluate the reality of the Brazilian instrument players?

EM -The real top musicians has to fight against many things more than any time these days. For each musician that really plays an instrument, study, practise, there’s maybe 100 indie bands with a jerk/indie using a Fender Jaguar out of tune playing terrible out-of-tune open chords, with a pretty singer singing naive melodies like a child. That’s the situation now. All over the globe innit?

Tiago di Mauro - Let’s talk audiovisual. You have composed the score for Brazilian films like O Pequeno Dicionario Amoroso. Tell us about the construction of this music and curating for film soundtracks.

EM - I remember back in the early 1990s to do a film soundtrack was the only opportunity I had to experience things I have studied and learned with many musicians. I have a huge influence from soundtrack composers like Henry Mancini in the way I think on harmony, voicings, colors etc.

I also had a luck to write a musical in Brazil with two of the biggest masters from this area here : Claudio Botelho and Charles Moeller. It’s very into the Broadway vein musically speaking, very much influenced by Stephen Sondheim & Cy Coleman.

TdM - We’ve read that you love American series like Lost in Space and MacGyver. How does this hobby fit into your life and influence your work?

EM - I am freaky about Magnum PI. Mike Post soundtrack there is absolutely an AOR classic, every episode is an AOR symphony. I am crazy about the work of the English genius Gerry Anderson from Joe 90, Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet. MacGyver is ok I am not a big fan lol.

Lost In Space wow Jesus Christ from Irwin Allen one of the biggest names I love it. But my favourite TV series is Columbo with the great Peter Falk.

TdM - Are you following any contemporary series?

EM - No no, nothing contemporary, music, cinema, art, TV series, nothing from today is to my taste really. The last TV series I liked was Twin Peaks from David Lynch, such a masterpiece. In the music world I love Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz from Bahia and Lucas Arruda from Espírito Santo. They save me from a complete depression because of Mamma Mia – what a stupid period we live in.

TdM - You are a wine aficionado. Do you have any suggestions of Brazilian wines for the Brits?

EM - Yes I am not a nationalist so I can say something without fear : Brazilian wines are the most interesting from the new world, they are more Frenchy. France makes the best wines in the globe. It’s like North American music they are the best technically.

Marco Daniele’s Pinot Noir called Prelúdio is for me the best pinot noir out of France and I am kinda Fenchnch wine radical, I only drink French wines. Also, Dominio Vicari’s merlot is so delicate.

Era Dos Ventos is a superb white wine from the rare grape peverella.

Brazilian wine has a style out of the standard to please Robert Parker (wine critic) taste. Of course there’s Parker style wine here, but there’s more a new generation trying to do something very pure and honest.

I hope music in the future has the same luck as wine…

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