Saturday, February 22, 2014

Transcription - Cuca Teixeira, "Recado"

Everybody knows that Brazil is a hot spot of rhythm and percussion.  Besides the amazing pandeiristas and percussionists, as well as the bateria sections of Rio's samba schools, Brazil has got some absolutely killer drum set players; players who we in the northern hemisphere often don't get to see or hear much from. I would venture to say that some of the greatest drummers alive today are from Brazil.  Guys like Marcio Bahia, Kiko Freitas and Edu Ribeiro are at the top of their game.

One of the most in demand drummers in Brazil today is Cuca Teixeira.  He's a highly sought side man, having worked with Hermeto Pascoal, Marina Lima, Paula Lima, Michel Leme, Thiago Espírito Santo, and Jane Duboc.  Arguably his biggest gig for the past ten years, however, and the one he is probably most known for, has been as drummer for Maria Rita.

Rita is the daughter of the late singer Elis Regina, and pianist/composer/producer extraordinaire César Camargo Mariano, and is an absolute super star in Brazil at the moment.  And rightfully so.

Cuca's first recording with Maria Rita was her second release, aptly titled "Segundo".  The album's second track, titled "Recado" features some of Cuca's best work.  Check out the way he splits the syncopated Partito Alto rhythm between the rim click and accents on the hi-hat.  I think my favorite aspect of his playing here, besides the incredibly deep pocket, is the patience with which he gets through the tune.  As the song intensifies from the piano solo to the end many of us would be tempted to open up to a ride cymbal and snare drum.  But Teixeira stays right at home on the hi-hat and rim click, building intensity with a confident subtlety that many drummers lack.  This track certainly changed the way I think when someone calls a samba.

For a PDF version of the transcription, please send me an e-mail.

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