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MP3 Craig Einhorn - Choros

South American Music for the Spanish Guitar

16 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Flamenco, WORLD: Samba

This review appeared in the Eugene Weekly in July 2005:

"A down-and-dirty way for Americans to get a feel for choro," writes Craig Einhorn in the notes to his new CD, "is to drink two beers rather quickly and sing ''Give My Regards to Broadway.''" The Brazilian music form choro is derived from Euro-dances such as polkas and waltzes, loosened up by African slaves, and literally means "to cry" in Portuguese. What Einhorn means is that, like everything that comes out of Brazil, from bossa nova to forro to bikini bottoms on the beach, it swings.

Not all classically trained guitarists can pull this off, which is why some performances of the most famous choros, those written by Heitor Villa Lobos, can sound stiff in the wrong hands. But Eugene''s Einhorn (who also overdubs electric bass and various percussion) has the touch, and with advice from Edson Oliveira and assistance from Kenny Sokoloff, Joaquin Espinoza, and Samba Ja''s Brazilian-trained Jake Pegg on various percussion instruments, has put together a rich yet intimate survey of music by 20th century Brazilian and Argentine composers, including Villa Lobos, Baden Powell, and the famous "Tico-tico no Fubá" popularized by Carmen Miranda and Walt Disney. A treat for fans of guitar and world music. - Brett Campbell

Choros, South American music for the Spanish Guitar. Several years ago Craig Einhorn completed a CD, entitled Obras, with special guiest Mason Williams. Now Einhorn has focussed his energy on the guitar music of Brazil and Argentina. Einhorn plays classical guitar, electric bass and percussion. three other percussionists were also used. The following are the Choros CD liner notes: Brazilian choro (also known as chorinho) has been considered urban popular music since its emergence in the late 19th century. It developed out of the performance of European dance forms, including polka, valsa (waltz), mazurka, and others, and is performed by groups of musicians with various guitar-like instruments. Musicians gather for jam sessions called rodas de choro, or choro circles. In choro''s early development the melody was often played on flute but around 1900-1920 this role was passed to the bandolim (mandolin.) Choro means "to cry," and it is almost certainly that the sentimental nature of the Brazilian style, adapted to European dance music that led to its name. Choro is also a way of phrasing and in this sense the word applies to several types of Brazilian music. A choro ensemble is called a "regional de choro." Choro is also performed by solo instruments like piano and guitar.

The solo guitar choro was the inspiration to create this CD. Originally I planned to record Choros as set of solo guitar pieces. But in the summer of 2004, I was hired to perform at the Fiesta Latina in Springfield, Oregon, and had to assemble a group with a bassist and percussionist. For this CD recording, I decided to play the bass parts myself on an electric bass and to add various percussion instruments to nearly all the faster works, which hopefully brought to these choros a refreshing energy. When I was about to record the percussion on Milongueo del Ayer and Sons de Carrilhões, I had my friend Jeanette Grittani, who is a singer and songwriter and was traveling from Canada to Mexico as an unexpected houseguest for two days. She owned a sweet sounding medium size djembe. I liked its sound and I recorded with it.


Graúna "Grauna Bird" (choro)
(João Pernambuco, 1883-1947)

Born in the Sertão region of Pernambuco, João Pernambuco''s real name was João Guimarães. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro at age twenty. He used to play the music and tell stories from Sertão area and for that reason was nicknamed Pernambuco by his friends and admirers. He was greatly admired by Villa-Lobos and by Agustín Barrios, the great Paraguayan guitarist and composer. By age twenty-five Pernambuco was considered one of the "bambas" of choro: one of the best. The graúna is a black bird found in Brazil that sings a powerful and melodic song and has a remarkably silky and bright plumage.

Dengoso "Overly Affectionate" (choro)
(João Pernambuco)

Milonga in D minor
(Jorge Cardoso, 1949- )

An Argentine composer, guitarist, and surgeon Jorge Cardoso taught himself popular and folk music of Latin America. His medical and musical backgrounds helped him develop a refined guitar technique. The milonga is the predecessor to the tango both in dance and music. The term is also used to mean the place where people go to dance the milonga or tango to this day.

Choro Típico "Typical Choro"
(Heitor Villa-Lobos, 1887-1959)

Heitor Villa-Lobos learned how to play cello from his father as a young child. Between ages 18 and 25 he traveled around Brazil and beyond studying indigenous music. Villa-Lobos'' guitar choros were written early in his career, during these travels. He knew João Pernambuco and participated in rodas de choro in Pernambuco''s boarding house. He was a self-taught composer, master guitarist, and later, a great conductor and educator. Brazilians are familiar with his contributions to their culture.

Divagando "Wondering" (choro)
(Domingos Semenzato, 1908-1993)

Semenzato was a Brazilian guitarist and composer from São Paulo who taught guitar to many private students. He was a good friend of the great Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima. Divagando is dedicated to my mother... (CRAIG, YOU COULD PUT YOUR MOTHER''S NAME HERE). Avenu Shalom Alechem.

Chorinho "Little Choro"
(Heitor Villa-Lobos)

Chorinho is part of the guitar five-piece Brazilian Suite Popular. The diminutive title matches the playful inner voice that occurs at the opening of this piece and functions as its theme.

Sons de Carrilhões "The Sounds of Chimes" (choro-maxixe)
(João Pernambuco)

A maxixe is a popularized Brazilian tango or polka that emerged in Rio de Janeiro prior to the twentieth century (not to be confused with the Argentine Tango). It is characterized by buoyant melodic lines supported by Afro-Brazilian influenced rhythms and syncopations. The guitar harmonics mimic the chimes.

Tango no. 3
(José Ferrer, 1835-1916)

A Spanish composer and guitarist whose father, a lawyer and musician, was the first teacher. In 1882 Ferrer moved to Paris and taught at several conservatories until he returned to Spain in 1892. Tango no. 3 is a stretch, since it was written in Spain and is not a choro, but musically it fits on the CD.

La Primavera "Spring" (milonga)
(Victor Velasquez, 1931- )

An Argentine singer, guitarist, and composer, Victor Velasquez wrote songs and guitar pieces and performed them on radio and television in Buenos Aires. In 1961 he traveled to Spain, where his recitals were well received.

Pó de Mico "Itching Powder" (choro)
(João Pernambuco)

Pó de Mico literally means "powder of the laughing monkey" but what it means idiomatically is "itching powder". When a person is unfortunate enough to have itching powder tossed on them they scratch like a monkey. Thus this piece is high energy and syncopated.

Milongueo del Ayer "Milonga of Yesterday"
(Abel Fleury, 1903-1958)

A self-taught Argentinean guitarist and composer, Abel Fleury only composed works for solo guitar based on the music of rural Argentina. Milongueo del Ayer is an example of Fleury''s imitation of the folkloric musical dance form, the milonga, as played on guitar, and is his best known work.

Valsa-choro "Waltz-Choro"
(Heitor Villa-Lobos)

Valsa-choro is also part of the Brazilian Suite Popular and is a good example of a European dance transformed into a choro.

Tico-tico no Fubá "Tico-tico Bird in the Cornmeal" (choro sapeca)
(Zequinha de Abreu, 1880-1935)

Abreu was a successful Brazilian songwriter of the early twentieth century. He unpretentiously performed Tico-tico no Fubá for the first time in Brazil in 1917 during a ball, and was surprised by the enthusiastic reactions of the dance partners. Tico-tico was popularized in the US by Carmen Miranda, the Brazilian singer who wore fruit on her head in old Hollywood films. In 1943, Tico-tico gained worldwide fame when Walt Disney included it in his movie "Hello Friends. This piece, composed in the best tradition of the genre, is a perfect example of a classic 3-part choro. The word sapeca refers to the rambunctious energy of a young child. This guitar arrangement was written by the Uruguayan guitarist, composer, and educator Isaias Savio (1900-1977). Savio moved to Brazil in his youth and did many original works and arrangements inspired by the richness of Brazilian folklore.

Quizas, Quizas, Quizas "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" (bolero)
(Osvaldo Farrés, 1902-1985)

Farrés was one of the great Cuban songwriters of the 1950''s. Quizas was very popular in the 1950''s and remains well known amongst the Latino culture. I dedicate this piece to my father. It is because of him that I searched, found, and arranged it for guitar. He told me that in Acapulco, Mexico, he once asked a Mariachi group to play a song. As they played, he sang it in Spanish, and their eyes opened wider and wider with astonishment. Once hearing about this from my father my curiosity got the better of me.

Danza Brasilera "Brazilian Dance"
(Jorge Morel, 1931- )

Morel is an Argentine guitarist who resides in New York City. He is an international performer who debuted in Carnegie Hall in 1961. Morel''s works are organized like classical music but have the energy of South American popular music. His Danza Brasilera is a bold samba for solo guitar, and the percussion I added brings out the fiery flavor even more.

Retrato Brasileiro "Brazilian Portrait" (choro)
(Baden Powell, 1937-2000)

Baden Powell is considered one of the most expressive guitar composers of the twentieth century in Brazil. He started his guitar studies at the age of eight with Jaime Florence, a guitarist for the "Regional do Canhoto" (a group that played choro in Rio de Janeiro), and began performing popular Brazilian music professionally in his teens. Powell became part of the bossa nova in the 1960''s and was admired by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Retrato Brasileiro is a heartbreakingly romantic choro and is a joy to play.

Choros is dedicated to two of my former classical guitar instructors, Jim Piorkowski (State University of New York, Fredonia) and Frank Koonce (Arizona State University), who taught me with their brilliant minds and open hearts. Choros is also dedicated to the memory of my close friend and guru, Eagle, who broke on through to the other side, in May of 2004.


CRAIG EINHORN - Acoustic guitar, electric bass, djembe drum, frog guiro, sounds of
little bells, shaker, metal scraper, handclaps.

KENNY SOKOLOFF - Moroccan clay drum, long guiro.

JACOB PEGG - Pandeiro, tamborim, ganzinho, cuíca, rebolo, triângulo, agogô.

JOAQUIN ESPINOSA - Bongos, congas, African shaker, egg and hemp shakers.


PRODUCED BY: Rebecca Oswald.

ARRANGEMENTS: Craig Einhorn and Rebecca Oswald.

RECORDED AT: Craig Einhorn''s home studio.

MIXED AT: Don Ross Productions https://www.tradebit.com

COVER ART: Joe Mross https://www.tradebit.com

DESIGN: Glen Johnson https://www.tradebit.com: Cover and back art
editing, back cover and disc photos.

RECORDING STUDIO PHOTOS: Craig Einhorn and Rebecca Oswald.


Rebecca Oswald - She dove into this project with passion and made profound adjustments. If you enjoy Choros I will have to share the credit with Rebecca more than anyone else. She is a friend for life.

Mike Carpenter, for helping me to transform a closet into mission control.

Bob, Dick, Jeff, and all the axe slingers at McKenzie River Music in Eugene, Oregon.

Edson Oliveira, for helping me with the Portuguese to English translation and for enlightening us with a better understanding of the choro and the composers on this CD.

Don Ross, for mixing, mastering, laughing at my jokes and putting it all through the wringer.

Joe Mross, for being an accomplished metal smith and painter. His fluency in Spanish gives him a beneficial grasp on Latin art and music. The red guitar symbolizes the fiery nature of Latin guitar music.

Jade Johnson, for wailing on my electric bass and making me laugh.
Graúna was played with a Joshia de Jonge guitar https://www.tradebit.com

All the other works were played with a Paul Daniel-McGill guitar https://www.tradebit.com

541-485-4008 (USA)

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