June 19, 2012
At this point I am writing to catch up, having been, happily, too busy with music and living to stop and record it. But I want to get down the essence of these special days of portugues and life as an itinerant musician even as I feel them slipping through my fingers, so here goes. Today I spend the morning and afternoon finishing up my new Choro, so I can email them to Marcilio and be ready for my session with him tomorrow. In the evening I am meeting Mariana and Bernard at Baixo Gago before the roda, to have supper and catch up. Bernard, a music friend and the designer of the cover of my last CD, was in a terrible rollerblade accident a couple of years ago, and Mari and I try to get together with him every time I am in town as he has been slowly recovering. He arrives tonight looking happy, speaking English, and brings his sax to play in the roda later. He seems to be his old cheerful self again, and he has got his design business back up and running. The roda musicians, as they arrive, are so glad to see him– he used to live around the corner from the Sao Salvador roda, but now has moved quite far from the center of town. He sits just outside the roda table, as he doesn’t have many tunes back yet, but they keep inviting him in to play and he does play, gladly. At one point I get to play the gorgeous “Evocacion do Jacob,” an emotive piece written in memory of the great Jacob do Bandolim, with Vale– the ultra-cool 80+ 7-string player in the roda who I adore. Mariana’s new boyfriend arrives later and seems like a really good guy. The bar is packed and so noisy that after a couple of hours I leave the music table and sit and talk with my friends. At the end of the evening Bernard insists on walking me up the street to flag a taxi, exclaiming that he is so happy to be with his friends again, and he wants to see me every time I come to Rio. I wave good-bye as he is hurrying back to describe the details of his motorcycle to Marcio, Mari’s bf. A lovely evening.