Jazz Institute of Chicago

Luiz Ewerling and A Cor Do Brasil: Our Earth

Luiz Ewerling and A Cor Do Brasil: Our Earth

Luiz Ewerling is a uniquely talented drummer/percussionist/guitarist/composer. He comes from the south of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, near the border with Uruguay. He has been in Chicago for over 20 years, initially sponsored by Breno and Neusa Sauer to play with their Made in Brazil (aka Som Brasil) group, Luiz quickly became a drummer in demand for his world-class chops, killer grooves and adaptability to nearly any style of music. This release is one of his lifetime dreams, the result of at least 10 years of composing, notating, rehearsing, recording, re-recording and finally, mixing and mastering.

The 10-year gestation was worth the wait. This is a great place to start if you want to see how Brazilian music has grown with jazz since the early '60's. Ewerling's drumming begins with the bossa nova and then stretches the listener to learn more about the samba, partido alto and baiao. His music is built on a fusion of these Brazilian grooves, the best elements of funk, complex modern harmony, jazz, powerful overdriven Santana-like guitar solos and gorgeous Portuguese lyrics that tell us a story (check his website for translations).

His musical odyssey has also enlisted and benefited from a great deal of help, beginning with Christy McGonagle's initial transcriptions of his compositions, pianist and harmonica wiz Howard Levy, pianist Steve Million, bassist Tom Mendel, percussionist Geraldo de Oliveira and, others. His working band includes Oliveira, keyboardist Vijay Tellis-Nayak, vocalist Temple, guitarist Ernest Denov, and bassist/business manager, Krzysztof Pabian.

This CD is a great work of art and reflects Ewerling's perfectionist nature. Complex original compositions, incredibly playing from a tight well-rehearsed band, and wonderful individual performances for all. The opener, Brasil Sadio, creeps up on us with its chanting and groove.
Reencontro, perhaps the closest to the samba, offers Levy's worldly piano and harmonicas solo that all students should transcribe for its lyricism. Vocalist Temple sings great in Portuguese throughout, despite her northern Indiana roots. On Anjo Brasileiro Ewerling shows us his acoustic guitar chops in duet with percussionist Oliveira and even sings on Senhora Meu Mar. The closer, Africa Brasil, is the perfect encore with its high energy, multi-layered percussion, use of saudade or emotionally charged lyrics, and Denov's powerful guitar—all complimented with great use of dynamics.

This is recommended listening for all of those who love Brazilian and Latin music, do not miss this band.-MV

Available via www.acordobrasil.com or call 773-275-1021.

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