Baden Powell (guitarist)
|Birth name||Roberto Baden Powell de Aquino|
|Born||August 6, 1937|
Varre-Sai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||September 26, 2000 (aged 63)|
Rio de Janeiro
|Genres||Brazilian jazz, bossa nova|
Baden Powell de Aquino (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈbadẽ ˈpaw]; 6 August 1937 – 26 September 2000), known professionally as Baden Powell, was a Brazilian guitarist. He combined classical techniques with popular harmony and swing. He performed in many styles, including bossa nova, samba, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz and MPB. He performed on stage during most of his lifetime. Powell composed many pieces for guitar, such as "Abração em Madrid", "Braziliense", "Canto de Ossanha", "Casa Velha", "Consolação", "Horizon", "Imagem", "Lotus", "Samba", "Samba Triste", "Simplesmente", "Tristeza e solidão", and "Xangô".
Baden Powell de Aquino was born in Varre-Sai in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His father, a Scouting enthusiast, named him after Robert Baden-Powell. When he was three months old, his family relocated to the Rio suburb of São Cristóvão. His house was a stop for popular musicians during his formative years. He started guitar lessons with Jayme Florence, a famous choro guitarist in the 1940s. He soon proved a young virtuoso, having won many talent competitions before he was a teenager. At age fifteen, he was playing professionally, accompanying singers and bands in various styles. He was fascinated by swing and jazz, but his main influences were in the Brazilian guitar canon.
In 1955, Powell played with the Steve Bernard Orquestra at the Boite Plaza, a nightclub within the Plaza Hotel in Rio, where his skill got the attention of the jazz trio playing across the lobby at the Plaza Bar. When Ed Lincoln needed to form a new trio, he asked Powell to join on guitar to become the Hotel Plaza Trio. Powell brought in Luiz Marinho on bass and a fourth member of the "trio": Claudette Soares on vocals. Powell, Lincoln, and their young musician friends took part in after-hours jam sessions, gaining notice in the growing Brazilian jazz scene.
Powell achieved wider fame in 1959 by convincing Billy Blanco, an established singer and songwriter, to put lyrics to one of Baden's compositions. The result was called "Samba Triste" and quickly became very successful. It has been covered by many artists, including Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd in their seminal LP Jazz Samba.
In 1962, Powell met the poet-diplomat Vinicius de Moraes and began a collaboration that yielded classics of 1960s Brazilian music. Although bossa nova was the prevailing sound at the time, Baden and Vinicius wanted to combine samba with Afro-Brazilian forms such as candomblé, umbanda, and capoeira. In 1966 they released Os Afro-Sambas de Baden e Vinicius.
Powell studied advanced harmony with Moacir Santos and released recordings on the Brazilian labels Elenco Records and Forma, as well as in the French label Barclay and the German label MPS/Saba (notably, his 1966 Tristeza on Guitar). He was the house guitarist for Elenco, and of the singer Elis Regina's TV show O Fino da Bossa.
In 1968, Powell joined with poet Paulo César Pinheiro and produced another series of Afro-Brazilian-inspired music, released in 1970 as Os Cantores da Lapinha.
Powell visited and toured Europe frequently in the 1960s, relocating permanently to France in 1968.
In the 1970s, he released recordings with labels in Europe and Brazil. In 1981, during four weeks, he was on the stage of Palais des glaces in Paris as guitarist and singer. However, he had health problems and spent the 1980s in semi-retirement in France and Germany. In the 1990s he and his family moved back to Brazil, where he continued to record and perform. Public recognition of his work came around that time in Brazil.
By the end of the 1990s he converted to the Evangelical faith, to which he credits overcoming his long addictions to alcohol and tobacco. He fell terminally ill in 2000 and died of pneumonia triggered by diabetes on 26 September 2000, in Rio de Janeiro.
Baden Powell decided at age 19 to stop playing the electric guitar, preferring to concentrate on the classical guitar for the rest of his career. He did record a series of albums with a borrowed steel-string acoustic, but that is as far as he strayed from his main instrument in his adulthood.
An analysis of his repertoire reveals a wide range of interests. It spanned all the idioms of Brazilian popular music of the 20th century: samba, bossa nova, Afro-bahian ritual music, frevo, choro, North Eastern Sertão music, even European and Japanese lullabies. Like most musicians growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he was deeply influenced by jazz, especially bebop and swing. He covered Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" on two recordings, and Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are" on three occasions (including his first solo album).
This upbringing is reflected in his playing style, which shows a fusion of jazz harmonies and classical guitar technique, with a very Brazilian right hand (the one carrying the rhythm on the guitar). In solo classical music, he was proficient in the works of Tárrega and Bach. When playing in a group, he was able to accompany singers with quiet mastery, or let loose and play street samba in sloppy "party" style as if the guitar was another percussion instrument. Like Monk, he was fond of the minor second interval as a way to "bend" the tonality. However, because of his jazz background, he would rarely physically bend the string, preferring instead to play the minor second using an adjacent open string. Students of his style should note this preference for chord voicings that feature extensions on the open strings as a way of punctuating passages. Other idioms to watch for are the endless variations in rhythm played by the right hand, always within the proper 2
4 samba meter, as well as his tendency to put his "signature" in a fast descending scale with a (slower) ascending arpeggio in the relative key. He also used vocalise and scat singing, often in unison with the melody line (especially when the melody was sung on the bass strings of the guitar).
His influences were his first teacher "Meira" (Jayme Florence, 1909–1982), Dilermando Reis (1916–1977), and Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha, 1915–1955). He also commented about being influenced by the work of Les Paul (1915–2009), Django Reinhardt (1910–1953), and Jacques Loussier (1934–2019).
Baden Powell first appeared as accompanist on a few big band and samba recordings from the 1950s. He recorded his first solo album in 1959, but it was released in 1961. His first and second albums contain jazz standards, Brazilian popular music of the time, and original compositions. In 1962, he recorded with flautist Herbie Mann and drummer Jimmy Pratt. In 1963 he led small ensembles in Brazil and France. The French labels Barclay and Festival released many of his recordings. In Germany, MPS/Saba released his work with producer Joachim Berendt. In Brazil, he recorded for Elenco Records, Forma, and the Brazilian subsidiary of Philips Records. After a few new releases in the 1980s, Powell returned to recording studios in Brazil for his final years. His later recordings consist of solo guitar or voice and guitar.
|Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão||1961||Philips (Br)||with Carlos Monteiro de Souza and his orchestra. Produced by Baden Powell|
|Um Violão na Madrugada||1961||Philips||with Carlos Monteiro de Souza and his orchestra. Produced by Armando Pittigliani|
|Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt||1963||Elenco||with band directed by Jimmy Pratt on drums. Produced by Aloysio de Oliveira|
|À Vontade||1963||Elenco (Br)||with flute, drums and percussion. Produced by Oliveira|
|Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, also released as Fresh Winds||1964||Barclay (F),United Artists (US)||with trio and orchestra dir. by Paul Mauriat, recorded in Paris. Produced by Jacques Lubin|
|Billy Nencioli + Baden Powell||1965||Barclay/Polygram||French singer Nencioli with band and strings feat. Powell. Music by Powell|
|Os Afro Sambas de Baden e Vinicius||1966||Forma (Br)||with Vinícius de Moraes, Quarteto em Cy, horns and percussion. Produced by Roberto Quartin and Wadi Gebara Netto|
|Tempo Feliz||1966||Forma/Polygram||with trio feat. Mauricio Einhorn on harmonica. Produced by Quartin and Gebara Netto|
|Ao Vivo no Teatro Santa Rosa||1966||Elenco||live, with trio feat. Oscar Castro-Neves on piano. Produced by Oliveira|
|Tristeza on Guitar||1966||MPS/Saba||solo and with trio. Powell uses guitar overdubs. Produced by Joachim-Ernst Berendt and Gebara Netto|
|O Som de Baden Powell||1968||Elenco||with Copinha on flute and rhythm section. Produced by Berendt & Gebara Netto|
|Os Originais do Samba - Show / Recital||1968||Philips||live, with trio, singer Márcia and Originais do Samba|
|Poema on Guitar||1968||MPS/Saba||quartet with Eberhard Weber, Charly Antolini and flutist Sidney Smith. Produced by Berendt|
|27 Horas de Estúdio, also re-rel. as Aquarelles du Bresil||1969||Elenco||solo, with trio and string section. Produced by João Mello|
|Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, Vol. 2||1969||Barclay||arranged and conducted by trumpeter Ivan Jullien. Musical direction and production by Lubin|
|Os Cantores da Lapinha (As Musicas de Baden Powell e Paulo Cesar Pinheiro)||1970||Elenco|
|Baden Powell Quartet, Vols. 1-3||1970||Barclay||compilation, 3-LP boxed set|
|Live in Japan, also re-rel. as Face au Public and Gravado ao vivo em Paris[sic!]||1971||Barclay||life, with trio|
|Canto on Guitar||1971||MPS/Saba||with trio|
|Solitude on Guitar||1971||CBS (G)|
|É de Lei||1972||Philips|
|Images on Guitar||1973||MPS/BASF, Canyon (Jp)||live|
|L'Âme de Baden Powell||1973||Festival (F), Imagem (Br)||with trio and singer Janine de Waleyne|
|La Grande Réunion||1974||Festival||with Stéphane Grappelli|
|Grandezza on Guitar||1974||CBS (Nl)||with Herb Geller and Eberhard Weber|
|Baden Powell + Cordes - Mélancolie||1975||Festival||with Janine de Waleyne and string section|
|Baden Powell canta Vinicius de Moraes e Paolo Cesar Pinheiro||1977||Festival|
|Baden Powell||1978||Musidisc (F)||compilation, 4-LP set, with trio and Janine de Waleyne|
|Nosso Baden, also re-rel. asSimplesmente||1980||Atlantic/WEA (Br)||with percussion group Originais do Samba|
|De Baden para Vinicius||1981||WEA||live|
|Felicidades, also re-rel. as Live in Hamburg and Felicidade||1983||Pläne (G), Iris/Kardum (F)||live|
|Violão em Brasileira re-rel. as Rio das Valsas and Seresta Brasileira||1988||Idéia Livre (Br), Caju (Br/Jp), JSL (F), Milestone (US) et al.|
|At the Rio Jazz Club||1990||Caju||live|
|Os Afro Sambas||1990||Banco BMC (Br)||re-recording of the 1966 album, again with Quarteto em Cy, lead vocals by Powell|
|The Frankfurt Opera Concert 1975||1992||Tropical Music (G/Jp)||live, with trio|
|Live in Rio||1994||Kuarup (Br)||live, trio with his sons|
|Décembre 94 de Rio à Paris||1995||Frémeaux & Associés (F)|
|Live in Montreux, 22 Juillet 1995||1996||Frémeaux & Associés||live|
|Baden Live à Bruxelles||1999||Lua (Br), Sunnyside (US)||live|
|Lembranças||2000||Trama (Br)||solo with occ. perc and flute|
|Baden Powell de Aquino||2001||Iris||compilation, 2-CDs plus CD-ROM|
|O Universo Musical de Baden Powell||2002||Universal, Sunnyside||compilation, 2-CD set with recodings from 1964-1977|
|Samba in Prelúdio - Quand tu t'en vas||2002||Frémeaux & Associés||with Benjamin Legrand and Philippe Baden Powell|
|Frémeaux and Associates Recordings 1994-1996||2003||Frémeaux & Associés||compilation|
|Baden Powell||2003||Universal||compilation, 13-CD box set with recordings from 1961-1972|
With Herbie Mann
With Miltinho com o Sexteto Sideral
- Um Novo Astro (Sideral, 1960)
- McGowan, Chris; Pessanha, Ricardo (1998). The Brazilian sound: samba, bossa nova, and the popular music of Brazil. Temple University. p. 64. ISBN 1-56639-545-3.
- Whatmusic.com. Ed Lincoln: The whatmusic.com interview...
- « Variétés : Baden a surpassé Powell », Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Le Quotidien de Paris, 3 June 1981.
- De Stefano, Gildo, Il popolo del samba, La vicenda e i protagonisti della storia della musica popolare brasiliana, Preface by Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Introduction by Gianni Minà, RAI-ERI, Rome 2005, ISBN 8839713484
- De Stefano, Gildo, Saudade Bossa Nova: musiche, contaminazioni e ritmi del Brasile, Preface by Chico Buarque, Introduction by Gianni Minà, Logisma Editore, Firenze 2017, ISBN 978-88-97530-88-6