- "Warm music in the cold"
Imagine Berlin in November: The first real cold days of the dark season, 6 degrees below zero in Celsius or 19 degrees in Fahrenheit. The German "football nation" is furious about probably not qualifying for the next championship. - However, there is an island of warmth and happiness I can flee to: "Bossacucanova" plays jazzy electronic bossa nova at the "UFA Fabrik" ...
"Bossacucanova" (for this concert unfortunately without Roberto Menescal, the living legend of original Bossa nova) came to Berlin as the ambassadors of a new generation, presenting the well-known Bossa Nova in a new skirt. After the concert, I spoke with Alexandre Moreira and the drummer of the Band - not introduced, therefore here referred to as "the drummer".
Rainer: How would you describe your music. It is Easy Listening - "new" Easy Listening?
Alexandre Moreira: I think so! It is easy to listen to, because this CD contains a lot of great standards of Brazilian music. The melody and the harmonies - it´s a familiar stuff. When you hear it, you will think: Oh, I know this sound! Very nice, oh: "Telephone", "The Girl From Ipanema"... - But this is a new conception! We tried to vary from the original.
Rainer: In one song Marcelinho DaLua rapped to his loops. Is this a part of your concept?
Alexandre: In the extra rehearsal we played - just for fun! - some new stuff. In the main act of the concert, we tried to perform our music exactly as it can be heard on CD.
The drummer: The group was missing Roberto Menescal. We had to play without him and his guitar solos were missing.
Alexandre: Roberto has a great energy. He is like a god for us. He was born to be a leader ... - he is charismatic! He also is a great producer in Brazil. - What do you think our CD sounds like?
Rainer: I like "Brasilidade"! This is the kind of music I put on when friends visit me. If I should have to describe the style, I would say it is "Good-Mood-Music".
The drummer: This CD "Brasilidade" is in Brazil recognized as "Electronic Music".
Alexandre: We use a lot of samples to construct our music.
Rainer: I saw it during the concert: Marcelinho DaLua on the turntable started a song with loops and the rest of the band joined him. It was hard to deduce what was playback and what was performed live. It seems a perfect mixture.
Alexandre: We work with a singular process. You take a little piece of a bongo beat ...
The drummer: ... a loop! - ...
Alexandre: ... and you transform it. Then you mix it with other pieces and create a new beat. This is the "conductor track". Then you add other harmonies and base stuff to it, until the wanted sound is reached. But when you play live, this is very difficult. For playing the percussion of our CD we would need four or six musicians. So we made the decision to use samples - live. It is even too expensive to travel through Europe with - let´s say - twelve musicians ... This is the difference - our conception: We use samples.
Rainer: What counts is the result!
Alexandre: We try to mix with harmony. There is a balance between the acoustic and electronic sound. There is the same balance on CD and on stage.
The drummer: I´m totally caustic.
Rainer: Is this your first journey to Germany? Were you prepared for the cold weather here?
The drummer: (laughs) Yes it is our first journey! - It´s funny, we had to put on a shirt, another and another ... so we looked really fat! People in Germany are wearing only one good, warm coat.
Alexandre: But if we´d buy a good one in Germany, we only can use it here. You never need a warm coat in Brazil! Never, never ...
The drummer: This is a real problem for us: the weather.
Alexandre: We have plans to come back. In the summer ...!
Rainer: It took three or four songs, until the audience was "warmed up" by your music. Maybe it took so long, because the German football team has a little problem with its qualification for the next championship ...
Alexandre: Like Brazil (laughter) ...
Alexandre: It´s the first time in the history of Brazilian football. Brazil never lost against Chile. Now they did. And they lost against Honduras. Maybe Brazil is not good enough ...
The drummer: Maybe it´s good for the political history. If Brazil does not take part in the Championship, it can watch out for his real problems.
Alexandre: Football is strange. The rules are not so clear. If a country plays against another nation, it´s like a war ... - Crazy!
Rainer: Yes, it has a lot to do with emotions. We better do it on the grass than on a battle-field.
Alexandre: The rules for football are not clear, like the rules for basketball or other sports. There can be a result without a winner.
The drummer: There is no other sport with this characteristic!
Bossacucanova - the group
Rainer: Back to the music: "Bossa Nova" means "New Wave" in English.
Alexandre: The first album in Bossa Nova history came in 1958 from Joao Gilberto. It was the start of this movement.
Rainer: This music is so old - and you are still playing it. Do you think there is a generation-conflict?
Alexandre: No. We try to make the new generation listen and catch the spirit! For me, this kind of music is like the American jazz. It is "forever". You will still hear it in fifty or two-thousand years.....
The drummer: Bossa Nova is the "new" New Bossa Nova.
Alexandre: And our name, "Bossacucanova" means translated: "Bossa with a new mind". It´s a very musical name. It has a good sound!
Alexandre and the drummer (together, pronouncing it like a rap): "Bossa! Cuca! Nova!"
Rainer: Thank´s a lot for the interview.
Alexandre: I´d like to say, I´m very happy that I played in Germany. I really liked it. I hope we´ll come back for another concert. - In summer, please! (laughter)
The drummer: Jazzdimensions.de online magazine, thank you! We are "Bossacucanova" and happy having spoken to you!
Fotos: Rainer Voss