Album Title: Na Ponta Do Pé Artist:Caratinga Catalogue no: F-IRECD23 Date of Release: 13/10/2008 Price: 9.99 GBP
Unique in the UK, Caratinga play acoustic music from Brazil's richest and most beautiful traditions; samba and its instrumental twin style choro. Playing samba and choro’s traditional instruments such as bandolim (Brazilian mandolin), cavaquinho (the Brazilian ukelele), seven-string guitar and pandeiro (tambourine), Caratinga’s superb lineup includes Anselmo Netto (Jazzinho, Hamish Stuart and others), Adriano Adewale (Netsayi Chigwendere, Antonio Forcione Quartet) and Idris Rahman (Soothsayers, Zoe Rahman group). With dazzling acoustic interplay, infectious rhythms and gorgeous songs from a century-long tradition of Brazilian music, Caratinga have delighted audiences at festivals, theatres and arts centres throughout the UK.
In Autumn 2008 Caratinga released their second album Na Ponta do Pé, with 11 tracks of vibrant acoustic Brazilian music rooted in the choro and samba tradition.
Na Ponta do Pé translates as “on the point of the foot” - it’s a Brazilian saying that expresses how the hottest samba is danced, how the most stylish football is played; it’s where real “swing” comes from.
Na Ponta do Pé is a collection of five songs and six instrumentals, featuring seven original tracks alongside four newly created arrangements of songs by Chico Buarque, Ary Barroso, and others.
From the knockout opening samba-choro Na Ponta do Pé through exuberant baião Voa, Voa, from the gorgeous swaying samba of Retalhos to the lyrical Sarau Para Um Viola, Caratinga’s Na Ponta do Pé is packed with stunning performances and unforgettable tunes.
Leandra Varanda: vocals
Jonathan Preiss: 7-string guitar
Anselmo Netto: mandolin
Felipe Karam: cavaquinho, violin and rabeca
Adriano Adewale: percussion
Idris Rahman: clarinet
“… a festival of bliss!” Wiltshire Times
“terrific music; terrific playing” Brazil:The Magazine of Brazilian Music & Culture
October 2008 by Chris Parker
Jaunty, effervescent and life-affirming, the album (the band’s second) is at once catchy and accomplished, and with its balance of superbly cohesive ensemble playing and imaginative soloing from all parties, is a great calling card for what must be a highly enjoyable live act."
October 2008 - JUNGLE DRUMS Magazine by Zaira Brilhante
Caratinga – Na Ponta Do Pé
***** Album of the month
A high-quality mixture of samba and chorinho, “Na Ponta Do Pé” is an album replete with Brazilian-ness in every chord. You can’t stay still listening to this second release by the group Caratinga. This fundamentally comes from the quality of the band’s musicians. Led by the beautiful presence and voice of Leandra Varanda, they employ harmony in each note and pay attention to the simplest of details. Great examples include the wind instruments in the introduction to “Chuvas do Verao”, or the final chords of “Retalhos”, which along with “Voa, Voa” shares the spot of best composition, penned by Jonathan and Leandra.
October 2008 The Guardian
Caratinga is a London-based band that plays Brazilian samba and choro music with delicious-sounding acoustic instruments such as cavaquinho, bandolim, rabeca and caixixi. Adriano Adewale plays a huge variety of percussion instruments with great élan, while Jonathan Preiss leads from the seven-string guitar. Preiss contributes several lovely pieces, such as the sparky title track (which means “on the point of the foot”), which somehow fuses the spirit of Gypsy jazz with the vernacular dance music of Brazil’s northeast, and the closing Valse pour Manon. Idris Rahman of Soothsayers, on clarinet, sounds entirely at home, while vocalist Leandra Varanda puts a smile on the face of the project with songs such as Voa Voa (Fly Away) and Chico Buarque’s Samba do Grande Amor. The sound is gentle, but far from wimpy, and I imagine it will appeal equally to fans of Monica Vasconcelos and the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. (John Walters)
January 3 2009 – FINANCIAL TIMES
Caratinga - Na Ponta do Pé
The UK band Caratinga specialise in tightly arranged samba and choro, Brazil's traditional acoustic music. The core ensemble of clarinet, seven-string guitar and plunky traditional strings has a gypsy-jazz feel, especially when backed by sparse percussion. But once vocals are added the shades of bossa nova take precedence. The title track - in translation "On the Point of the Foot" - is a whirligig arrangement of swing-style clarinet and off-beat be-bop, but elsewhere the vibe is more conventional.
A nice mid-winter warmer.
Produced by Jonathan Preiss.
Recorded by Joe Leach at
Cowshed Studios, London
Mixed by Idris Rahman and Jonathan Preiss,
Mastered by Homero Lotito at Reference Studios, São Paulo
Photography by SL Chai.
Original artwork and album
design by Ana Cozendey.
Liner notes – about the musicians
Leandra Varanda -
Leandra is from São Paulo, Brazil and paid her dues singing in numerous bars and clubs in São Paulo’s Vila Olímpia district, taking inspiration along the way from great names in Brazilian music such as Elis Regina, João Gilberto and Marisa Monte. Na Ponta Do Pé sees Leandra getting back to her roots and singing the sambas and other styles that she grew up with. Na Ponta Do Pé also showcases Leandra’s songwriting, with two great new tracks Retalhos and Voa, Voa.
Anselmo Netto -
From Salvador in Brazil’s northeast, Anselmo is a true virtuoso. Following a successful career touring and recording in Brazil for many years, he moved to London a couple of years ago, and since then, he’s toured everywhere from Moscow to the Montreux Jazz Festival, and been a special guest on Guy Barker’s World Café on the BBC World Service. He’s also frequently to be found playing with artists including Hamish Stuart and Guida de Palma’s Lisbon-based Jazzinho; with whom he was featured on the Ed Motta-produced Atlas (2005).
Adriano Adewale -
Adriano is from São Paulo. He moved to London in 2000 and formed his first UK band Sambura, releasing the album Cru. He is widely known as part of the Antonio Forcione Quartet with which he has performed all over the world. His recording credits include three albums and a DVD with Forcione, Netsayi Chigwendere’s Chimurenga Soul, Zoe Rahman’s Melting Pot and Madagascan guitarist Modeste’s Fomba.
Jonathan Preiss -
A native Londoner, Jonathan’s background is originally in jazz and classical music, and he played for many years with classical group the London Guitar Trio. He fell in love with samba and choro about ten years ago, took up the Brazilian seven-stringed guitar and eventually formed Caratinga. His recording credits include Caratinga’s eponymous first album, and a critically acclaimed CD Above the Bellow with celtic accordionist Luke Daniels. Jonathan’s also performed with Netsayi Chigwendere (London Jazz Festival 2006) and Tina Grace.
Felipe Karam -
Cavaquinho, Violin, Rabeca
Felipe is from the city of Porto Alegre, in Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. In Porto Alegre he played with the group Café Acústico, whilst since relocating to London he has played with, amongst others, Capital do Samba, Zeu Azevedo’s Forrodaki and singer/songwriter (and longtime Nitin Sawnhey collaborator) Tina Grace. On Na Ponta Do Pé Felipe plays his first instrument, the cavaquinho, and is also featured on violin and rabeca (Brazilian folk fiddle).
Idris Rahman -
Anglo-Bangladeshi clarinettist Idris Rahman has played across Europe with his own group Soothsayers, as well as with artists including Zimbabwean singer/songwriter Netsayi Chigwendere and Palestinian singer Reem Kelani. Idris also mixed Na Ponta Do Pé; his mixing credits include two albums nominated for the UK’s Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, Zoe Rahman’s Melting Pot (nominated in 2006) and Basquiat Strings’ eponymous Basquiat Strings (nominated in 2006).
Liner notes – track by track 1 - Na Ponta Do Pé (Preiss)
On the point of the foot
Written as a tribute to the immortal Jacob do Bandolim, this high-energy samba-choro features some jaw-dropping ensemble playing and stunning solos from Anselmo on mandolin and Idris on clarinet.
2 - Voa, Voa (Preiss/Varanda) Fly Away
A driving acoustic baião by Leandra and Jonathan. Leandra’s lyrics come right from the heart, articulating the experience of leaving one’s own country, of going out into the world with an open heart and mind as one’s most valuable guide; “Mente e livre e livro/Mapa de guiar/Caminho de escolher alegria e nao chorar …”. The track also features a great solo from Felipe Karam on rabeca, the Brazilian folk fiddle.
3 - Retalhos (Preiss/Varanda)
The title track is a beautiful slow samba in the classic style, a simple tale of love and separation, underpinned by the pulse of Adriano’s surdo and with some superb lyrics from Leandra. Listen out for the cry of Anselmo’s haunting cuica in the last verse …
4 - Enferrujado (Preiss)
Starting with the unmistakable sound of Adriano’s reco-reco (wooden scraper), Enferrujado is a twisting, turning and ridiculously catchy tune in which the choro tradition’s love of humour and surprise is very much to the fore.
5 - Samba Do Grande Amor (Buarque)
Samba of a Great Love
Chico Buarque’s classic song gets the Caratinga treatment, with 7-string guitar, mandolin and clarinet weaving lines around Leandra’s great vocal. Chico Buarque’s music often references choro, and this song was a long-time Caratinga favourite before we decided to create this new arrangement for the album.
6 - Sarau Para Um Viola (Preiss)
A tribute to one of Brazil’s finest, an inspirational figure for all of us, samba and choro legend Paulinho da Viola. Sarau Para Um Viola takes its cue from earlier Saraus by Paulinho and others which in turn paid their respects to the greats of the choro tradition. Mandolin and clarinet take turns with the tune, then come together in a lovely unison.
7 - Na Baixa Do Sapateiro (Barroso)
Ary Barroso’s timeless love-letter to Bahia has been recorded many, many times since its composition in 1938. Almost seventy years later, this arrangement showcases Caratinga at its most dynamic, growing from an introduction of magical acoustic interplay into a pulsating samba that also highlights Jonathan’s guitar.
8 - Baião-di-versity (Netto/Daniels)
This tune came out of a great project that Caratinga were involved in in 2005, working with celtic accordion virtuoso Luke Daniels. Luke and Anselmo wrote the tune together, and it quickly became a live favourite. This new arrangement features Felipe on violin, and an unstoppable groove driven by Adriano’s zabumba.
9 - Chuvas do Verão/Vibracões (Fernando Lobo/Jacob do Bandolim)
We were playing these two beautiful tracks separately for a while before experimenting one day and realising that they were natural partners; Leandra’s lovely interpretation is followed by Anselmo’s take on Jacob’s classic Vibracões, before voice, mandolin and clarinet entwine in a richly textured final verse.
10 - Remexendo (Gnattali)
Anselmo and Jonathan started playing this classic choro tune in 2006 when they performed as a duo in a centenary tribute to Radames Gnattali. Felipe, who, like Gnattali, is from Porto Alegre, was eager to get in on the act, and Remexendo soon became a Caratinga favourite.
11 - Valse à Manon
A tune for some great friends of the band and dedicated to their daughter Manon. Idris’s clarinet on this one will remind you where choro gets its name from (that is, the Portuguese verb to cry).