Avant Garde Jazz

Hermeto Pascoal

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Hermeto Pascoal is a noted Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist. His compositions appear on albums by Miles Davis and other jazz heavyweights. Pascoal’s sextet is an extra — sensory musical unit that has been with him for over 40 years and used to rehearse daily. The music runs from the lyrical and romantic to raucous, from folkloric to his futuristic angular melodies, often creating a dense barrage of sound. The band sometimes uses synthesizers and saxophones as well as a battery of invented instruments - hub caps, teapots, and bowls of rocks - guided by Hermeto’s wizardry and benevolent spirit.

There have been few musicians to ever reach the stature of Hermeto Pascoal. A true maestro and a cultural icon, he represents the highest level of musical evolution; as a multi-instrumentalist, as a composer, and as an arranger. Once described by Miles Davis as “the most impressive musician in the world”, there is good reason (beyond his Gandalf-like appearance) why he is known as “O Bruxo” (the Wizard).

A self-taught musician,Hermeto Pascoalascended from his humble upcountry origins to an international acknowledgment still unfair to his musical stature. Developing his ears from an early age at his grandfather’s blacksmith shop, Pascoal used to pick up pieces of iron and hit them, trying to create music (not to emulate the harmonics of his father’s eight-bass button accordion, as has been spread). This led to an unusual approach to music, where the tones themselves give a stronger conducting motif than chord connection, scales, or modes. His understanding of music as a vital force,emanating organically from everything in Earth. He has also developed the Sound of the Aura concept,in which music is developed out of people’s speech, traffic noise, and out of every possible source of sound.

His latest album,“Hermeto Pascoal e sua Visão Original do Forró” is his homage to the genre, as well as showing his talents as a lyricist.Hermeto plays the accordion (including an 8 bass accordion) on alltracks and is accompanied by various friends and musicians from Pernambuco, including bass player Itiberê Zwarg, percussionist Fabio Pascoal, guitarist Heraldo do Monte, and the late saxophonist Vinicius Dorin.

“My head is universal,” he says. “I wasn’t born just to perform classical or jazz. Whoever walks a fixed line is a train!.”

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Jeroen van den Bogert



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