A playlist apresenta o trabalho de arranjadores que foram peças fundamentais para a música brasileira.

Photo: Kriz Knack

The new playlist features the work of arrangers who were key players in the construction of Brazilian music.


The guest for the 5th edition of the “Curadoria MCB” playlist is the musician, composer, researcher and arranger Paulo Serau. The list organized by Serau is dedicated to Brazilian music arrangers.


The playlist

A self-taught musician, Paulo Serau established a large part of musical learning from his attentive listening. With the art of arrangement it was no different. He dedicated himself to researching Brazilian popular music arrangers and identifying each of their qualities and characteristics to mature in their craft. For this curatorship specially made for the MCB, Serau selected the work of arrangers who were fundamental pieces for the construction of Brazilian music. This playlist features arrangements by Pixinguinha, Radamés Gnattali, Leo Peracchi, Tom Jobim, Carlos Monteiro de Souza, J. T. Meirelles, Moacir Santos Julio Medaglia, Rogério Duprat, Eumir Deodato, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Laércio de Freitas, Geraldo Vespar, Nelsinho, Dori Caymmi, Lincoln Olivetti, Jota Moraes and Cristóvão Bastos – great aesthetic reference in the study of Paulo Serau. Finally, the musician includes two songs that were arranged by him.

Click here and listen to the new playlist

About Paulo Serau

Serau has worked with names such as Alaíde Costa, Ângela Maria, As Galvão, Ayrton Montarroyos, Carlinhos Vergueiro, Carlos Lyra, Cauby Peixoto, Claudette Soares, Cristóvão Bastos, Elba Ramalho, Inezita Barroso, João Donato, Leci Brandão, Leny Andrade, Marcelo Jeneci , Maria Alcina, Mônica Salmaso, Sergio Santos and Zezé Motta. He has already performed the musical direction and arrangements for the projects: “Elizeth Cardoso 100 Anos ao Vivo” (Biscoito Fino, 2020); “The Songs of a Boy” (Independent, 2019); “Sing Inezita!” (Kuarup, 2019); “Two Nights for Dolores Duran” (Canal Brasil, 2015); “Cabocla Eu Sou”, by Inezita Barroso (TV Cultura, 2013), among other productions. He released two books: “Choro para Big Band” (2011) and “O Choro de Luiz Gonzaga” (2013), with the Funarte Centenário de Luiz Gonzaga award 2012. In addition, he contributed to the production of articles for the publications “Direito e Brazilian Cinema” (Lisbon International Press, 2020) and “Brazilian Law and Music” (Lumen Júris, 2020).

The musician also conducts research on the musical field, namely: “The role of arrangement in Brazilian music – História, Escuta e Debate” (Sesc São Paulo, 2021) and “Pixinguinha and Radamés at 78 rpm: listening to 78 rpm records” , aesthetic analysis and transcription of arrangements by Pixinguinha and Radamés Gnattali (Center for Research and Training of Sesc São Paulo, 2019).


Selected works with comments by Paulo Serau

Lamentos – Pixinguinha e seu conjunto

Agora é Cinza – Diabos do Céu e Mario Reis

We listened to the “Pai de todos” – the great Pixinguinha with one of his masterpieces, “Lamentos”, in addition to the arrangement of “Agora é cinza”, with beautiful writing for woodwinds and a great intermezzo, a trademark in his arrangements;

Lábios Que Beijei – Orlando Silva
Aquarela do Brasil (samba) [1939] – Francisco Alves

Another pillar of Brazilian musical writing, Radamés Gnattali. We have the waltz “Lábios que Beijei” perhaps his first great popular arrangement; and the revolutionary writing for the samba-exaltation “Aquarela do Brasil”, which introduced characteristic rhythmic elements to the orchestra’s winds and brought a Brazilian musical aesthetic sophistication;

História De Pescadores: Canção da Partida (Histórias dos Pescadores I) / Adeus Esposa / Temporal / Cantiga De Noiva / Velório / Na Manhã Seguinte – Dorival Caymmi

Leo Peracchi’s exquisite work for a masterpiece by Caymmi. We hear within this suite impressionist elements in popular music, soundtrack elements, soundscapes and much more;

Canção da Volta – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Elizeth Cardoso
Chega de Saudade – João Gilberto

Two moments by Tom Jobim. In “Canção da Volta” his writing was still imbued with the standard aesthetic of samba-canção. In “Chega de Saudade” we already have an aesthetic evolution and another musical understanding to create minimalist accompaniments that made the perfect bed for João Gilberto’s revolutionary interpretation;

Você Passa Eu Acho Graça – Clara Nunes
Arranged by Carlos Monteiro de Souza

In “Você Passa eu Acho Graça” a grand orchestration that mixed elements of traditional samba and samba-canção with brass and strings;

Mas, Que Nada!  – Jorge Ben Jor

J. T. Meirelles presents in this iconic arrangement of “Mas, que Nada!”. The characteristic sound of Samba-jazz, a sub-genre for which he was an excellent exponent;

Insensatez – Sylvia Telles
Fica Mal Com Deus – Geraldo Vandré

This version of “Insensatez” shows the exquisite work of Moacir Santos, a writing rich in details and timbres to embrace the modern interpretation of Sylvia Telles. In “Fica mal com Deus”, Moacir shows the mastery of regional aesthetics added to the orchestral work, it is possible to hear timbres that he used in the renowned album Coisas, such as the use of French horns, piccolo and muted trumpet;

Tropicália – Caetano Veloso, Manoel Barenbein

Julio Medaglia is responsible for the arrangement of “Tropicália”. The track begins with an improvised happening by drummer Dirceu, at the same time Julio asks the musicians to create tropical and forest sounds. It is also possible to notice elements of Brazilian classical avant-garde music added to the language of baião in the chorus;

Domingo no Parque – Gilberto Gil
Construção – Chico Buarque

In “Domingo no Parque” Rogério Duprat was responsible for sound collages and a musical desbundance also coming from the erudite avant-garde together with elements of popular culture as a late unfolding of the anthropophagic thought of Brazilian modernism. In “Construção”, Duprat raises the sinuous discourse of Chico Buarque’s lyrics to the nth degree, making it no longer possible to hear the song detaching it from the orchestra’s outstanding phrases and virtuoso interventions in this arrangement;

The Girl From Ipanema – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Deadato
Vera Cruz – Milton Nascimento

Eumir Deodato presents an arrangement of “Garota de Ipanema” with variations on the theme, with a strong influence from jazz and the contemporaneity that surrounded him, having a result so exquisite that Tom Jobim embraced it as a definitive version, even in orchestral reductions. In “Vera Cruz”, Eumir’s work, always ahead of its time, embraces the new sound coming from Minas Gerais composers, with poetic textures and phrasing;

Sá Marina – Wilson Simonal
Águas De Março – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina

Cesar Camargo Mariano was one of the exponents of Samba-jazz, worked with numerous artists and consolidated himself as a great arranger with his work alongside Elis Regina. In “Sá Marina” his piano is the center of a swing that was hardly heard in Brazil at that time, in this song I highlight the characteristic work of choir and strings with a Soul aura. The arrangement of “Águas de Março” is one of his gems for the renowned album Elis & Tom, modernizing the work of Tom Jobim who was initially apprehensive;

A Rã – João Donato
Aquarela Brasileira – Elza Soares

Laércio de Freitas, another excellent Brazilian pianist and composer, presented us with this pearl that is the arrangement of “A Rã”. Another masterpiece of his writing is the definitive arrangement he wrote for “Aquarela Brasileira” recorded by Elza Soares in the 1970s;

Batendo a Porta – João Nogueira
Morena de Angola – Clara Nunes

Geraldo Vespar, a musician who initially stands out with Bossa-nova and later stands out in musical writing alongside great samba artists, such as João Nogueira, Clara Nunes, among others. We heard two consolidated arrangements “Batendo a Porta” and “Morena de Angola”;

Passe de Linha – João Bosco

Nelsinho Trombonista is director of several orchestras and recordings signs this iconic arrangement of “Linha de Passe”;

O Trenzinho Do Caipira (Bachianas Brasileiras Nº 2 – Tocata) – Edu Lobo
Procissão da Padroeira – Monica Salmaso

We listened to two works by Dori Caymmi, the first in “O trenzinho do Caipira”, quoting original excerpts by Heitor Villa-Lobos, recreating harmonies and, at the same time, with an incomparable popular flavor; the second arrangement is a masterpiece written for double bass and cellos for Monica Salmaso’s perfect interpretation of “Procissão da Patroeira”;

Meu Bem Meu Mal – Gal Costa
Lança Perfume – Rita Lee, Roberto De Carvalho

Lincoln Olivetti is known as the pop wizard, the greatest arranger of the 1980s in Brazil. He created beautiful arrangements with unmistakable organic and electronic textures and timbres for countless artists of all Brazilian musical genres, as we can hear in “Meu bem, meu mal” and “Lança perfume”;

Lindo lago do Amor – Gonzaguinha
Beija-Me – Zeca Pagodinho

Jota Moraes, an expert vibraphonist, was another arranger who masterfully mastered the electronic resources of the studio in the 1980s, a prime example of this can be the arrangement of “Lindo lago do amor”. As proof that in music there can be no barriers, he also wrote the excellent arrangement of “Beija-me”, based on the sound of North American big bands and our great Orquestra Tabajara;

Papel Machê – João Bosco
Samba Do Grande Amor – Chico Buarque
Resposta ao Tempo – Nana Caymmi
Ame, Elton Medeiros – Paulinho Da Viola

Cristóvão Bastos is one of the most coherent, self-possessed and elegant arrangers of our music from the 1970s to today. Everything Cristóvão writes has a motive, a feeling, a color. Cristóvão has a deep knowledge of popular music and has contributed with his writing to numerous hits, such as “Papel Marchê”, “Samba do Grande Amor”, “Resposta ao Tempo” and “Ame”;

Dor de Saudade – Hilda Maria
Duas Contas – Grande Banda, Paulo Serau, Sergio Santos

Arrangements by Paulo Serau

We listen to the contemporary bossa “Dor de Saudade” composed by Hilda Maria and Luciano Ruas. In “Duas Contas”, Garoto’s masterpiece, we hear an elaborate contemporary big band sound accompanying singer Sergio Santos.


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