Totally authorial album, conceived during the pandemic period, which broke the borders between Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, the USA and Cape Verde
Composer, singer and guitarist Bernardo Lobo and pianist, music producer and composer Pablo Lapidusas edited the album “Zambujeira” for the Brazilian record company Biscoito Fino, which reached streaming platforms.
The album, in instrumental format and completely authored, has eight tracks and distinguished and international guest appearances, such as the Portuguese artist Maria João, the Brazilians Jaques Morelenbaum, João Gaspar, Jessé Sadoc and Carlos Malta and the Cape Verdeans Miroca Paris and Rolling Semedo. To participate in this project, Bernardo and Pablo invited Alexandre Vaz, a Brazilian music producer based in New York with numerous important projects signed in his name.
“Zambujeira” is a meeting album between two artists who have known each other for a long time and who decided to create together during the pandemic, taking as inspiration themes such as migration to Portugal (the land that welcomed them both), children, distances and new directions. Co-produced by Bernardo Lobo and Pablo Lapidusas, “Zambujeira” was recorded between May and October 2021 in Portugal (Lisbon and Portimão), USA (New York) and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro). Due to the pandemic, all recordings were made at the musicians’ home studios and at Superlegal Studio-Brooklyn (NY).
The single “Estradas” preceded the release of the album, and not by chance is also the track that opens the new album at the suggestion of master Edu Lobo, Bernardo’s father, who upon hearing the duo’s work at first hand, wrote: “My dear son, the work is very beautiful and, above all, very original. I don’t know what the order of the themes will be and that’s why I wanted to suggest to you a track that I think is ideal to start with: Estradas, and I’ll explain why. It’s a very well-constructed melody and a 5/4 tempo that already gives a pretty accurate idea of what you’re up to. The voices enrich the track, not to mention the arrangement and the beautiful solo by Jessé (Sadoc)”.
The “Estradas” theme, like the entire album, is unique in itself. It’s different for the carioca Bernardo Lobo, a composer in tune with his time, who produces original, contemporary music from the Brazilian elements that formed his head, in an exciting and sophisticated mix of samba, baião, ciranda, afoxé and xote that characterize his work and are very present in the six albums prior to “Zambujeira“. For the first time, Bernardo ventures into an Instrumental album, always having Brazilian music as a reference, but in search of a sound without borders, modern and bold in form and arrangements, difficult even to catalogue, in a movement of detachment or even an “even soon” to his previous musical references, strongly based on the song, strongly based on Brazil. Bernardo has historical partnerships with great names in MPB, such as Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, Seu Jorge, Paulo Cesar Pinheiro and Marcos Valle, just to name a few, in addition to his father, Edu Lobo, and his mother, Wanda Sá.
“It was the meeting between two artists, longtime friends, that resulted in a fresh, instrumental and unlabeled album. An authorial work, signed by the two, with melodies and textures that tell stories of friendship, migration to Europe, South American roots and love”, says Lobo about “Zambujeira“.
From Brazil, Argentine pianist Pablo Lapidusas also migrated to Portugal, a musician/citizen of the world, as well defined by Brazilian journalist Antônio Carlos Miguel. With five albums released and a songbook with his compositions, Lapidusas has collaborated with numerous artists on recordings, TV/Radio specials and tours in over 30 countries, including Hermeto Pascoal, I Musici di Montreal, Marcelo D2, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Hamilton from Holland, Marcus Wyatt, Eugene Friesen and Ehud Ettun. Earlier this November, Lapidusas won the “Prémio Profissional da Música” in the Soundtrack category, for the song from the series “Herdeiros de Saramago“, on RTP. This was the first time that a Portuguese production was awarded in this category of the award.
Although it is in the instrumental format, the same as its five previous works, “Zambujeira” also launched Lapidusas out of its comfort zone. “We chose to privilege the song above any other idea. The album, despite being based on the piano, has almost no solos, but textures, which support and colour the melodies. All themes are three minutes, on average, and that was a challenge for me. That was the north for the album“, points out Lapidusas.
Following the other seven tracks on the album, we find “Além-mar“, inspired by the theme “Gmynopédie 1“, by Erik Satie, which features the special participation of conductor Jaques Morelembaum; “Longe do Rio, Perto do Tejo“, in which the participation of the brilliant Maria João transformed the song with her percussive singing and enhancing the melody; A little chorinho, which pays homage to the artists’ children, who open the track with speeches and smiles; “Andorinhas” is a theme by Pablo that soothes the soul and heart. The title track, “Zambujeira“, is influenced by Brazilian music icons, such as Dori Caymmi, and an Africanity marked by the special appearances of the great Cape Verdean musicians Rolando Semedo (guitar) and Miroca Paris (percussion), who lead the arrangement and the colour of this theme to warm. And finally, two themes are also co-authored by producer Alexandre Vaz; “Echoes of the sea“, in which you can hear the Algarve sea and the unmistakable flute of the air sculptor Carlos Malta, and “Luz e Breu“, the only song before the period of confinement, which in its original version, from the year 2000 (Lobo/Vaz), had the participation of Milton Nascimento singing with Bernardo and now appears in an impeccable interpretation of Lapidusas. Alexandre Vaz’s accurate musical production underlined and enriched the textures of the songs, privileging and enhancing what each of the musicians brought to the project.
For Ivan Lins, the album “Zambujeira” is a “pleasant surprise in the square”. Invited to write a release about the album (in full attached), he says that Lapidusas “transits well through all genres of music with a lot of creativity, flirting with harmonic and rhythmic oddities with a lot of malice and grace”, while “Lobo shows it here a new aspect (at least for me) in his authorial trajectory: instrumental music”. The renowned Brazilian singer, composer and pianist concludes: “It is a light, subtle, exciting work. Very well recorded. And very well produced by Alexandre Vaz, a Brazilian residing in New York, who, being a multi-instrumentalist, participates in several tracks, in addition to being co-author of two themes. The compositions range from semi-erudite, jazz, world music and, of course, Brazilian popular music. In concept, it’s an unusual record. I wouldn’t say ‘difficult’ at certain times, but because of its inventiveness and unpredictability, it is for a few and, above all, for good ears, for those in love with good and surprising music from the 21st century.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
BERNARDO LOBO is a composer, guitarist and singer, born in Rio de Janeiro, with MPB in his DNA. Son of Edu Lobo and Wanda Sá, he built partnerships that validate his enormous talent for the song with stars such as Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, Paulo César Pinheiro, Marcos Valle, Seu Jorge, Joyce, Pedro Luís, Moyseis Marques, Abel Silva and Susana Travassos, among other names in music, in addition to having already shared the stage with renowned artists such as Chico Buarque, João Bosco, Carminho, Selma Uamusse, João Donato and Roberto Menescal, to name a few. He has released six albums throughout his career: Nada Virtual (2000); Saturday (2006), Saturday live (2008), Valentia (2012), C’ALMA (2018) and Uma Viola Mais Than Enluarada (2019). Over the years, he has performed on many stages around the world: Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, England, Japan, USA, Portugal, Switzerland and Holland, in addition to Brazil.
PABLO LAPIDUSAS is a pianist, composer, producer and teacher, with a bachelor’s degree in music from Unicamp and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance at ESML. He was born in Argentina but grew up in Brazil. He has released five albums: Hedgehog (2008), Estrangeiro (2013), Live in Johannesburg (2015), Bora (2018), Ombligo (2021) and a songbook (Pianoworks I) with his compositions. He has collaborated with numerous artists on recordings, TV/Radio specials and tours in over 30 countries, including Hermeto Pascoal, I Musici di Montreal, Marcelo D2, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Edu Lobo, Eduardo Dussek, Hamilton de Holanda, Marcus Wyatt , Carlos Malta, Eugene Friesen, Ehud Ettun, Wanda Sá, Quarteto em Cy, Victor Biglione and Maria João. In 2021, Pablo was the winner of the “Professionals of Music Award” in the Soundtrack category with the series “Herdeiros de Saramago”- RTP. In addition to being a performer and producer, Pablo has an intense teaching schedule, giving classes, workshops and Masterclasses in Portugal, Brazil, Italy, Israel and India.