Bottle Alley

O blog gringo Latin Jazz Corner fez uma entrevista massa com Antonio Adolfo, primeira parte no ar, com uns detalhes legais sobre o Trio 3D, o jazz, a época, o Beco das Garrafas. Trecho abaixo, todo o resto aqui.

LJC: Early on, before you jumped into the piano, what type of music were you hearing around you in Brazil?

AA: Jazz and bossa nova. Of course, I liked all types of music. I liked some of the slow tempos, what they call samba-canção. That’s like a mixing of choro and samba in a slow tempo. Jobim has some samba-cançãos.

LJC: Was jazz always around - were you listening to American jazz artists or was it more local Brazilian playing jazz?

AA: Yes, lots of jazz artists toured in Brazil at that time . I remember going to watch some of shows, like The Modern Jazz Quartet. After the shows, these people normally went to the beco das garaffas, which means “Bottle Alley.” That was the place where samba jazz was born actually. Before samba jazz there was bossa nova and there was samba. Not played on the cymbals, the drummers didn’t play samba on the cymbals like jazz musicians. They played on the drums, but not on the cymbals. People like Edison Machado and Dom Um Ramão are guys that started to play samba no prato, as we say; no prato means on cymbals. Then beco das garaffas was the place that everybody got together to talk and to show the new jazz releases. I remember Horace Silver going there and jamming with the musicians. I remember Milt Jackson and people like Paul Winter.

I was a young kid - I was 17. I couldn’t go inside the clubs; you had to be 21. I stayed outside trying to listen. Fortunately there were Sunday afternoon sessions where I could play because they were open for young people also. Every Sunday afternoon there was a jam session in one of the clubs of the beco das garaffas. Many people used to go to the sessions like Jorge Ben, Claudio Roditi, and Victor Assis Brasil - he was a legend, he died very young, he was a great sax player. We used to go to these afternoon jam sessions from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.

LJC: I’ve heard a lot about beco das garaffas being compared to 52nd Street in New York during the bebop era. What was the area like, what were the clubs like - could you describe it?

AA: There were four clubs. It was one block from the Copacabana Beach. It was on the first block, very close to the beach. From these four clubs, one club was Bottles Bar - they called it “Bottles” because of bottles alley.

LJC: Was that where people would throw bottles down to the ground?

AA: Yes! People would start talking, laughing, and playing. Then the neighbors upstairs, they would throw bottles. You had to be careful! Also, two of these clubs were bars with hookers. Then the forth one had these jam sessions; they didn’t trust too much that bossa nova would be a big boom. The others wanted to have jazz in all these clubs. Then as the jazz and bossa nova started to be happening at that point so much, the owners of the hooker clubs sold the clubs to the owner of Bottles Bar. Except one that still didn’t trust the music too much. We had three good jazz clubs and the forth one never happened to have jazz there.

It was like a school, because we didn’t have a formal school at that time.

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