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whatmusic.com presents ‘O Som do Julinho’, the 1969 album from trumpeter Julio Barbosa. This album features a tight group of the jazzier sidemen of the day – Dom Salvador, Oberdan, Robertino Silva – playing some very beautiful and very groovy music!
  • Features ‘Samba Em Três Tempos’ & Dom Salvador’s ‘Tema Pro Gaguinho’
  • First ever worldwide release!
  • Exclusive new liner notes
  • Remastered from original tapes

Check the 30 second clips from the album...

The whatmusic.com interview...

julio barbossa!

Despite the prevalence of scores of great improvising musicians in Brazil in the 1960s, few chose to play jazz. Most were caught up in the national fervour that was bossa nova and with so many great new tunes being written by the new young composers, there was little room for more than a nod towards straight ahead american jazz. Every rule has its exception, of course, and instrumentalists such as Paulo Moura and Edison Machado recorded brazilian jazz – jazz that just happened to come from Brazil. Another such artist was the trumpeter Julio ‘Julinho’ Barbosa who was part of a group of young players who would break from the norm of playing for dancing and jam their own forms of jazz at late night bars in Rio, São Paulo and other cities across Brazil. The fact that the public wasn’t really there for this jazz left some of the musicians bitter (witness the liner notes to Paulo Moura Hepteto’s ‘Fibra’ – also out on whatmusic.com), chastising their own countrymen without recognising that by the late 60s jazz had retreated to small niches all over the world and that pop and rock music had truly taken over. More evidence, if it were needed, is that at the end of the single day that Julio Barbosa had to record this album, he left for Europe, never to return to live in Brazil.

Whatmusic.com tracked the man down and put a few questions to him.

Where we you born, Julio?
Nova Friburgo, which is a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro

What were your first steps towards becoming a musician?
I started when I was 14 years old in the school band in the city where I lived, Teresópolis. After that I left to join the army so that I could be part of the military band, and quite soon after I went down to Rio to play with some of the dance orchestras that existed at that time.

From your playing you seem to be very influenced by improvised music and by jazz in particular. Who were your main influences?
My earliest influences were Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.
I also listened to a lot of Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and Bill Evans. In terms of Brazil, I drew inspiration from my own music and playing.

When did you start leading your own group?
That would have been at the end of the 50s into the early 60s.

What were you seeking with your own band in terms of musical style and also in the musicians you chose to work with?
The first group was called Grupo Sete de Ouros, the ‘7 of diamonds’, and I had some great players like the pianist Chaim Levack, the bass player Vidal and ace drummer Dom Um Romão. The great sax player and bandleader Cipó and legendary trombonist Ed Maciel, too. As well as the musicians we had singers like Wilson Simonal and Flora Purim in the group. I was looking to create a group that had something different and where we played at dances we’d play dance music for the most part but we’d always have a thirty-minute slot where we played only jazz.

This album ‘O Som do Julinho’ was recorded in 1969? Some people list the record as having been released earlier but from the other albums on the back cover it looks more like 69. This must have been only a short time before Dom Salvador left Brazil to go the States? Yes, it was recorded in 69. It’s funny because we recorded the album in a single day at the Musidisc studios and that very same night I left for Europe. And then Dom Salvador left for the States shortly after.

One of the musicians on the album, the sax player Oberdan, was also part of Dom Salvador’s Abolição group, that were starting to create a brazilian black music sound and Robertinho da Silva, who must have been very young, went on to play brazilian progressive rock. How did you come to work with these particular musicians?
That’s right Oberdan was part of Salvador’s Abolição. I had never really had much contact with him, I just called him to grace this session for ‘O Som’. The same thing with Robertinho – some friends of mine recommended him highly. At that time I was playing lead trumpet with the Orchestra Severino Araújo on TV RIO…

You were also part of the german Max Greger Orchestra – how did that gig come about?
That’s right. I worked with the Max Greger Orchestra from 1980 through to 85. I was working in the Orchestra Brasiliana and Greger saw me play and was really interested in the way I played the trumpet, so he invited me to a try out for his orchestra. I passed the audition and with Greger’s group I learned so much through travelling and through the other musicians that I came to know here and there.

Was it because of Max Greger that you moved to Germany?
Yes, exactly and I’ve been in Germany since 1980.

You’ve also recently released a new album called ‘Embalo’ on your own label, with a group of young german musicians. What’s the story behind that record?
I always wanted to make a different kind of music and I thought it would be very interesting to get a group of young germans playing brazilian music. The results of the experiment were so good because I had worked hard with them and the CD has had a very good reception. I invited the best local musicians to play on ‘Embalo’ and all the compositions are mine.

Right now you are in Rio de Janeiro once more with Maestro José Rua planning a big band show for December 2002…
I met José Rua and his UFRJazz Ensemble in 2000. I gave him a copy of ‘Embalo’ and he liked it so much that he invited me to do a show with the orchestra of new works that I’ve written for Big Band. The idea will be to reintroduce me to the brazilian audience and hopefully with the future possibility of recording a new album of this material.

So what do you think about the interest in ‘O Som’ by record collectors and new fans around the world?
I think it great, very positive. This means that my music has a certain ‘value’ in itself and as I like young people, it’ll be an real honour to see ‘O Som’ being carried under the arms of the new young jazz musicians.

Remastered by Luigi Hoffer at Digital Mastering Solutions Rio de Janeiro November 2002

Special thanks to Durval Ferreira, Américo, Julio Barbosa, Kerstin and Maestro José Rua

© 2002 whatmusic.com
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