St Mary In The Castle in Hastings may not have quite the intimacy of the Tabernacle’s basement but with low lighting and candles on the tables the atmosphere was certainly conducive to an evening of Samba, Choro and Bossa Nova.
Marcio da Silva delights in challenging us, and we were soon immersed in the gentle melancholy of Tom Jobin’s Corcovado, which at least seemed familiar, before plunging into the wider repertoire with its emotionally expressive immediacy.
Historically the Choro – which literally means Crying - gave birth to the Samba and at the end of the last century to the Bossa Nova.
We heard five examples of early Choro, including Brejeiro by Ernesto Nazare which was remarkably upbeat with its clarinet solo and drum accompaniment from Marcio himself.
The One Note Samba by Tom Jobim may have been familiar to all but Chico Buarque’s Samba de Orly was equally pleasing. Jobim’s Desafinado brought us a moving Bossa Nova and the evening was rounded of by a laid-back rendition of The Girl from Ipanema.
Marcio was joined on the platform by guitarist Ariel Gragnani, clarinettist Boyan Ivanov, percussionist Emmanuel McDonald and Owen Nicolau on bass – many of whom are familiar performers with Hastings Philharmonic.
Marcio sang all of the songs himself and attuned his normally operatic voice to the restrained, at times almost husky tones, which felt perfectly suited to the clubs for which these songs were written and the potential political message they hold beneath the more romantic surface.
The solo instrumental pieces allowed the individual players to show their sensitivity to the compositions, and also a genuine sense of enjoyment, which spilt over into the audience. Nobody got up to dance but I would not have been surprised if they had. Maybe next time? By Brian Hick.
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