I will take this opportunity to acknowledge my deepest recognition and appreciation to some of my fellow musicians, who throughout the decades have inspired, helped and taught me wonderful things which I have been using in my career as a composer and musician to this day. Mostly, those who are involved with Brazilian Jazz, Bossa Nova and Classical Crossover.
A great pianist/composer/arranger who was by far, the one who first showed me the light of how a song can be interpreted, with such a lyricism and sophistication. He took me by the hands, so to speak, into the richest world of Harmony. He was my first theory teacher, after he graduated from Juilliard School in the late 1960's. My way of thanking this good friend was to write a song for him: "A Hug For Richard". To this day he continues being a source of inspiration to me.
Haroldo Mauro Jr.
An accomplished jazz pianist and a graduate of Manhattan School of Music with a Master of Music Degree in composition who performed in my band AMAZON for several years in NYC. I took lessons in Counterpoint with him, before he went back to Brazil, where he is now a full-time music professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro (Unirio). I dedicated to him the title song of my last CD - "Bem Brasileiro - Com Alguns Sotaques" (Very Much Brazilian - with Some Accents), and also "Different Options". I love his composition "Algum Dia", among others. His CD "Bossa na Pressão" has received excellent reviews.
A complete musician and the greatest flutist I ever met! He taught me Music Notation, using a simple mathematical method of counting all possible notes values inside of a simple bar! Because I had some knowledge in Architecture in my early years, it was a simple and at the same time a great experience for me dealing with Arithmetic and Symmetry. Even today, when I am writing a very rhythmic melody, I remember him, seating at the table of my apartment, almost sleeping after one of our long concerts at the Spanish Theater in NYC and telling me How To Count!. I wrote a song in his memory called "A Hug For Mauricio".
A great composer/pianist and arranger for some of the most outstanding singers in the USA, including Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson. He showed me how to use Block Chords in my arrangements for my band AMAZON, using great counterlines underneath the melodic lines! I wrote a song for him: "A Hug for Llew". He wrote one for me, too: "Thiago"! I still have the recordings with my band with Llew at the piano, on several of my concerts in New York and in Oberlin College, Ohio.
An inventive pianist, composer/arranger, who has played in my band for many years. Even today, when I record a CD or having a concert with my band, he's there for me. I can count on him with his rich sense of harmony and a variety of rhythms. He is one of the few north-americans musicians, who can fool you as a Brazilian born pianist! I wrote a song named ³Bitter Pills - Que Amargura², dedicated to him.
What a talent! He played in my band for a short while and recorded in my first two albums - as Richard Kimball did - playing the piano with such inventiveness that I could not believe it! I wrote a song dedicated to him, called "More Than Midnight II"
Give him a song and he transforms it into something special. Sometimes I am listening to the radio and can tell if the trumpetist playing is Claudio! His solos are unique: melodic and at the same time very rhythmic! We wrote several songs together. I wrote a song for him: "A Hug For Claudio", when he was the featured artist in my band AMAZON, for many years.
There are some songs, which, when I finish writing it, my thoughts go straight to the magic fingers of Helio Alves on the piano! His left hand is rich and melodic. However, no one can come closer to his right one. Itıs a dream! He plays the title song of our CD A Flame in the Dark with Dexter Payne, clarinet and Gustavo Tavares, on cello.
With Gil I learned, besides other musical elements that "there is not a wrong note, but a different one"! He used to come to my place on Wednesdays and we would exchange ideas about arrangements and some concepts, new for me, then. Some of my arrangements were made as soon as he left my apartment, so that I would not forget his wise and unique suggestions. I wrote a song in his memory, "A Hug For Gil", which is on my CD "Another Feeling".
Introduced to me by the excellent Brazilian classical guitarist/arranger Carlos Barbosa-Lima, (with whom I had recorded my "Chants for the Chief" for Concord Records) Sharon - a twice Grammy Winner with her CDs "Dreams of a World" and now, in 2010, with her new CD ³Journey to the New World²- is without any doubt the most outstanding musician in the world of the Classical Guitar today! With her, I have learned a whole world of finesse and musical sophistication. I am honored by the fact she often performs my compositions in her concerts. Our CD "Journey to the Amazon" with Paul Winter as a special guest, was awarded a Grammy nomination in 1999. Performing and recording with her is always an honor! I dedicated to her a song named "What About That?" and also "The President."
Guitarrist/composer, he has been the arranger of my classical-crossover compositions for string quartet, quintet and String Orchestra. Besides having performed together in many concerts in the USA and in Brazil, he also is my partner and the arranger for guitar and string quartet on the CD "The Right Seasons - Heart to heart". I am honored having two of my compositions in his CD "Concerto à Brasileira" and two more in his last CD "Coisas da Vida, with clarinetist Wilfried Berk. I also just wrote a song dedicated to him, called "Um Samba para Daniel". A DMA from Manhattan School of Music, he was the first Brazilian ever to receive a Doctor's Degree in guitar performance.
Besides being a member of my band for many years, Bob is responsible for the recording, mixing, editing and mastering of the majority of my CD's, including the most recent ones - ANOTHER FEELING, DISK-TUM-DERREI, OUR TIME TO REMEMBER and A FLAME IN THE DARK, all of them recorded at my Cinderella Studio, in New York. I wrote a song for him not recorded yet: "A Hug For Bob Auld".
Arnaldo de Souteiro
My Brazilian producer and a loyal friend for over two decades, who has produced the majority of my CDs thru his label Jazz Station Records (JSR) and responsible for their exposure around the world. Priceless! I wrote a song dedicated to him which reflects our friendship, called "Tal Como O Vinho" which appears in our CD "Another Feeling".
Clarinet & Alto sax player, like Cliff, plays choro and other Brazilian rhythms as he had been born in Brazil! He is my partner in my last 2 CDs - "Another Feeling" and "Disk-Tum-Derrei" and also has a wonderful participation on my next one: "Our Time To Remember". I wrote a song for him "Chorando e Sambando" which is the title song of our just released CD "Disk-Tum-Derrei - Chorando e Sambando".
He arrived in New York together with the refined bassist Nilson Matta many years ago. Heıs one of the greatest guitarist around, with a special finesse in his solos. He always knows how to integrate his technical abilities with good taste. I wrote a song dedicated to him - "Samba Chorado" - which he recorded with my band Amazon. This song also was recorded by Carlos Barbosa-Lima on his CD "Music of the Americas" for Concord Records and by Daniel Wolff/Wilfried Berg on their CD "Coisas da Vida" - Karmim Records. I also wrote a song dedicated to Nilson, called "Walking Down the Road".
A wonderful cellist and a good friend! I invited Gustavo to join us for the recording of our Cd A FLAME IN THE DARK, in memory of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N. Special Envoy to Iraq, where he was killed by a suicide bomber together with 21 other members of his delegation. Gustavo is our Special Guest in this album. He plays the cello in a Symphonic Orquestra in Norway.
Maria Teresa Madeira
I met her at the International Summer Course, at the Brasilia Music School, in Brazil, together with Gustavo Tavares. So, I took the opportunity to join both of them in our CD A FLAME IN THE DARK. Maria Teresa was a superb student of the famous piano teacher/composer Daisy de Luca. M.T.M. just won the first place in a competition to teach piano at the UniRio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Among the musicians I have great admiration is Tiberio. I met him several decades ago in New York, during a Master Class given by a famous Latin-American composer. Since that time, Tiberio has performed, arranged and recorded some of my compositions. He plays the guitar with a tremendous sweetness. He is a composer, having recorded several albums with his pieces. I wrote a song for him called A Hug For Tiberio (Choro Alegre), which appears on Sharon Isbin's Grammy nominated CD Journey to the Amazon, with Paul Winter and myself. This song also appears on the CD Sounds of Brazil, by the Quintet of the Americas.
The year was 1973 in New York City. I was finishing the recording of my first album The Music of Thiago, when I met Paulo Moura. One of the musicians at the Vanguard Night Club who also performed in my band, gave Paulo Moura my telefone number. He came to my house and we met. I invited him to record in that album and he agreed. Together with Claudio Roditi, Dom Salvador, Portinho, Lloyd Mcneil and Richard Kimball, among others, Paulo Moura played beautifully. I am honored that Paulo Moura has since then participated in several songs in the different albuns I have recorded, both in the US and Brazil. He plays with a tremendous sophistication and inventiveness. The results are just magical!
My career as a musician/composer would have been much harder if it was not for the help of producer/engineer George Klabin. It was in his famous Sound Ideas Studio, in Manhattan where I recorded my first album, a LP called "THE MUSIC OF THIAGO", in which famous musicians such as Paulo Moura, Claudio Roditi, Richard Kimball, Bob Rose, Airto Moreira, Dom Salvador, Don Payne, Richard Crooks, Lloyd McNeill, Michele Bourman, Herb Bueshler, Bob Dougherty, Portinho and Kay Coleman. participated. With the exception of a few, the majority were friends of George who asked them to play in this album. Otherwise, I would never could have their presence in this very precious album. Many years later, my producer Arnaldo de Souteiro found this LP in England and thru his label JSR transformed in a CD called "AMAZON". It is all over the places, including in the CDBaby's List! Again, thank you, George Klabin!
François and Sheila Haas
My gratitude goes to François and Sheila Haas for their deepest friendship thru the decades and also for the respect to my career as a composer/musician. They, in fact, were the producers of my 4 CDs, SWEET BRASIL, THE RIGHT MOVE, THE NIGHT THE MOON CRIED and AMOR SEM FIM (Endless Love). Without their help, I wouldnıt be able to have my compositions exposed to the music world. To this day, they are deeply involved in my life, enriching it with their friendship and love.
Sergio Brandão , bass and Marcus Silva, piano
My band THIAGO DE MELLO and AMAZON was enriched with the presence of many talented musicians and among them were these two Brazilians, who for several years performed with us before they moved from New York to California. Several recordings and concerts had their rich presences, one of them in particular, during our band participation in the famous SOUTH STREET SEAPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL, New York, in 1982
There are many other great musicians I want to thank. Some, are close friends of mine, who are still on the road, from whom I learned a great deal by having them performing in my band for some time or participating in the recordings of my various CDs, such as Marcus Silva, Aloisio Aguiar, Richard Davis, Sergio Brandão, David Finck, Richard Lesnik, Hamilton de Holanda, Bob Rose, Ithamara Koorax - the Divina Diva, Lillian Carmona, Elenice Maranesi, Paulo André, Dario Ezquenazi, Paulo Braga, Dick Oatts, Michel Camilo, Mark Kirk, Diego Urcola, Hendrik Meurkens, Mark Soskin, Lula Galvão, Conrad Herwig, Helio Schiavo, Marcio Bahia, Portinho, Sergio Barrozo, Paulo Russo and many more.
There are some, who sadly no longer are with us and from whom I also learned a great deal by performing with some of them, such as: Luiz Bonfá, Moacir Santos, Dom Um Romão, Luiz Henrique, Susannah McCorkle or just listening to their works: Noel Rosa, Ary Barroso, Sivuca, Tom Jobim, J. S. Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Villa-Lobos, Pixinguinha, Bill Evans, Eric Satie, Ravel, Debussy, etc.
April 20, 2009