Last week a drummer from Brazil who reads the blog got in touch with me about the Marcio Bahia transcription I did recently. We met on Skype and, with some assistance from Google Translate (I’m still working on my Portuguese), talked about Brazilian drumming, and shared some ideas.
One of things that I asked him was if he knew who this drummer was.
It's been driving me nuts. When I first discovered Elis Regina and was scouring YouTube for all the videos I could find this was one of the first ones I stumbled upon, and it’s still one of my favorites, but I never could figure out who the drummer was. Shot in 1968, it features a 23 year old Regina singing the Edu Lobo tune “Upa Neguinho” at the Palais de Festivals in Cannes, France. It was apparently her big break in Europe. A few months later she became the first Brazilian singer to perform at Paris’ Olympia Theater.
The drummer’s name is José Roberto Sarsano. If your Portuguese is better than mine, you can hear him talk about this famous performance here:
The other musicians in the video are pianist Amilson Godoy, and bassist Jurandyr Meirelles. Besides serving as Elis’ rhythm section, they were also a trio in their own right called Bossa Jazz Trio.
Why his name isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Toninho Pinheiro, and Paulinho Braga, I’m not really sure, but I think his playing is fantastic, and once I can lay my hands on some more recordings there will be some transcriptions here for you. Many thanks to Rafael Alexandre for his help!