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Happy Release Day: El Manisero – Carlos Barbosa-Lima & Johannes Tonio Kreusch

For too long, music in Germany has been pigeonholed. In serious and light music, in composed classical music and improvised jazz, in all kinds of Anglicisms from traditional-roots-music to modern-contemporary-avantgarde. The acoustic guitar often enough fell through the cracks and ended up in its own niche, a parallel world of organizers. All this is the only possible explanation for the fact that the 76-year-old Carlos Barbosa-Lima is still hardly known in this country. After all, he is not someone who would have served the pigeonholes, but a man who is a legend not only in the musica popu-leira of his native Brazil, but also in the Latin jazz of North America and in the worldwide gi-tarrist scene. He was considered a child prodigy in his hometown of Sao Paulo as early as the 1950s, made his debut at the age of 13, left for the world at 16, worked in Spain with the giant of classical guitar Andrés Segovia and later in New York – for a long time his “home base” – with Antonio Carlos Jobim, the inventor of bossa nova. Who has recorded more than 100 albums to date, in various genres, but always marked by his own unique, Brazilian-based style. And who has given concerts in the most important halls in the world, for example at the age of 21 for the first time in Carnegie Hall.

Kreusch and Barbosa-Lima are therefore the perfect team to make even the best-known earworms of Latin American music such as the title-giving “El Manisero” by Moisés Simons, “Rosa” by the Brazilian predecessor and choro grandmaster Pixinguinha or Manuel María Ponce’s “Estrellita” sound completely new, fresh, lively and with a very personal touch. Which is also due to the fact that Barbosa-Lima primarily selected pieces with which he has long maintained a strong individual relationship. To the famous “Manhã de Carnaval”, for example, one of Luiz Bonfá’s hits from the time when the very young Barbosa-Lima was personally introduced to the then star. Or, of course, to the Antônio Carlos Jobim songs “Canta Mais” and “Por Causa de Você,” which sprang from their joint work. Finally, it is no coincidence that three tracks on the album are by Alberto Ginastera: The collaboration with the Argentine composer was arguably one of the most satisfying and successful for Barbosa-Lima, culminating in Ginastera’s 1976 Sonata op. 47 dedicated to him, which became a landmark in classical guitar literature.

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