Brazilian Blues, the new album by the duo Koschitzki / Pereira, is both continuation and expansion. At the beginning of 2011, Stefan Koschitzki (saxophone, clarinet, flute) and Fabiano Pereira (guitar), started a musical track that provided plenty of scope for future exploits, together with two colleagues in the band collective Mit4spiel5. At that time, excellent solo finesse playfully and easily merged with emotions that had become music – both casual and demanding at the same time. The magazine Jazzthing praised the album as a “successful, clever debut”. Three and a half years later, in November 2014, Koschitzki / Pereira succeeded with the album Brasil Antigo as a two-man band. Rich in musical history, the two musicians revived this almost forgotten, Brazilian song tradition with a hand-picked selection of Choro originals. Juvenile, yearning and full of emotional fire in the musical interaction, Koschitzki / Pereira had succeeded in creating a small masterpiece, which sounds big because of its relatively intimate dialogue. And again, the press cheered: “14 didactic pieces for all wannabe Brazilians in the cheap seats,” the Jazz Podium headlined.
For the new album Brazilian Blues, which will be released in November 2019, Stefan Koschitzki and Fabiano Pereira have considerably expanded their musical vocabulary. The duo bypasses both stylistic and cultural boundaries and is deeply rooted in Brazil’s musical self-conception. The land full of contrasts and contradictions combines tradition and modernity in a completely natural way. Koschitzki / Pereira take this carefree attitude into account with Brazilian blues. The essences of bebop, bossa nova and pop are extremely successful distilled by Stefan Koschitzki and Fabiano Pereira into a flush, crisp work. And they sound more local than ever. While Brasil Antigo was still instrumental on both the solo and narrative sides of the duo, the two now focus on song formats. “Around Novo Dia” (The New Day) – the title of the opening track for the new album, says it all: Fabiano Pereira, son of a Brazilian father, takes the listener directly on his hand with his vocals this time and leads with a playful linguistic nonchalance into Brazilian blues.
The jazz credibility of the duo resonates in every song and gives the music a very special aesthetic. In the lithe samba “So pra te esquecer”, the emotional power of the vocals is supported by a long tenor saxophone solo. The finely tuned dialogue between the human voice and soloist freedom directs Brazilian blues in a stimulating-exciting, entirely organic way into very different, rhythmic spaces. For example, “Filosofunko”, as the title states, shows how funky, danceable and hormonal the reading of Brazilian-inspired music by Koschitzki / Pereira can sound. The Bossa Nova not only offers the “pop star” a stage, but also the accessibility of Stefan Koschitzki’s highly melodic saxophone orchestrations. Meanwhile melancholy, as an important feature of Brazilian music, flows from every pore of the new album almost like a guide. “That’s why we called the album Brazilian Blues,” says Fabiano Pereira. “We are not at the carnival in Rio with this record. Of course, it is also allowed to dance to the music, but it is the melancholy that makes the album seductive, almost a bit mysterious, as we find it. “ In contrast to this is the almost exuberant joy of playing by the duo, which has expanded its instruments for Brazilian blues. While Stefan Koschitzki can also be heard on percussion and keyboard instruments, Fabiano Pereira resorts to Cavaquinho, Berimbau and Pandeiro, in addition. They are supported this time – and this is the second, important innovation – by Jens Loh on double bass, Benni Jud on electric bass and drummer Jan-Philipp Wiesmann. The latter two are also part of the six-piece band that will be presenting the album on stage. Keyboarder Daniel Weiß and Brazilian-born percussionist Cristiane Gavazzoni complete a line-up that will not only be multi-voiced, but also versatile. Elegant, tastefully orchestrated, always tracking the essence of the respective core of the song and even once in a concrete political way. The song “Broken Memories” pays tribute to the Brazilian human rights activist and politician Marielle Franco, who was murdered in March 2018.
“In order to be able to bring the many facets of the new album to life in the live situation, we have decided to fill out the stages on which we will play with a sextet,” says Stefan Koschitzki. “Live music lives on the one hand from the joy of music, but also on the other hand, by building an entertaining, playful bridge to the audience. We are already working on that. We want to get involved with our audience in Brazilian blues.” Anyone who has taken note of Koschitzki / Pereira’s new album knows that this project will be a success. With dedication and enthusiasm.