Quarteto Novo

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About Quarteto Novo

The Quarteto Novo was a seminal group with a strong Northeastern accent. They brought the tradition of that region of Brazil and mixed it with the bebop jazz language, the result so influential that it broke cultural and physical barriers throughout the planet. It is possible to discern baião grooves in "Save the Last Dance for Me" by the Drifters, "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley, "She Loves You" by the Beatles, and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" by Burt Bacharach, among many others, not to mention the uncountable jazz renditions with that rhythm. Certainly modern, distinguished proponents of that genre, like Egberto Gismonti, have the Quarteto Novo to thank for that. In 1966, the Rhodia company wanted live music for a fashion event, hiring the violonista/guitarist/banjo player/viola player Heraldo do Monte, drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira, and bassist/violonista Théo de Barros and forming the Trio Novo. When composer Geraldo Vandré's "Disparada" was classified on TV Record's II Festival of Brazilian Popular Music, the Trio was assigned to accompany singer Jair Rodrigues, who would interpret the song at the festival. But, due to the contract with Rhodia, they couldn't perform in that venue and the Trio Novo effectively accompanied Jair Rodrigues at that festival, but under a different formation: Aires on the Brazilian viola, Manini on the drums, and Edgar Giannullo on the violão. After pianist/brass/flute player Hermeto Pascoal joined the trio, it became the Quarteto Novo, which recorded its only LP with songs by Vandré and the group's participants, for Odeon in 1967. The album Quarteto Novo won the Troféu Roquette Pinto and the Troféu Imprensa. The Quarteto Novo was then personally sponsored by an individual, Geraldo Vandré, who had a good salary as an inspector for SUNAB, a governmental agency. They toured Brazil as Vandré's exclusive group, being the backing group for Vandré on his 1968 album Canto Geral. The group also accompanied Vandré, a host of TV shows for TV Record and TV Bandeirantes of São Paulo. The group also backed Edu Lobo and Marília Medalha on Edu Lobo's winning composition "Ponteio" at TV Record's III Festival of Brazilian Popular Music. The song was recorded by Edu with accompaniment by the Quarteto Novo, the group also accompanied Edu on his European tour. The group disbanded in 1969 and the LP was reissued by EMI/Odeon as a CD in 1993. ~ Alvaro Neder


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