I have the pleasure of presenting the new Souza Lima playalong method series. This project is the result of extensive research and careful elaboration aiming at offering representative material on the most varied styles of Brazilian music to professional musicians, students, teachers and all those who take a general interest in this field of music.
The focus of this series is on the language of instrumental music nowadays performed in Brazil, based on elements of modern improvisation. Each volume contains two CDs with seven pieces of music, which are presented in the following versions:
1. Complete takes – in other words, the full versions of the pieces included in the book, which are performed by all the instruments playing simultaneously;
2. Without melody / solo part – so that the melodic instruments can play along with the recording, executing their own interpretations and practicing improvisations;
3. Without harmony – so that the harmonic instruments can practice the language of accompaniment, especially with regard to the rhythmic vocabulary of each style.
4. Without bass – so that the bassists can practice their traditional task of accompaniment while working on the rhythmic but also the harmonic aspects;
5. Without drums – so that the drummers can practice the rhythms characteristic of each piece of music but also create their own variations.
Each book contains the scores in the form of lead sheets in four different versions: in C, Bb, Eb, and bass clef. Due to the widely defined concept of this method, it is important to point out that musicians playing transposing instruments might have to make adaptions when reading the scores. Wind instrumentalists are at liberty to carry out adjustments whenever these are called for in order to facilitate the musical execution.
The Souza Lima playalong method series was not exclusively devised for musicians to learn and practise how to read scores and accompany the recordings. Try to be creative and explore each type of music in every way possible. Transcribing solos, rhythmic comping phrases, bass lines and drum grooves, for instance, can be an important tool in order to assimilate the elements of this language. The instrumentalists may place themselves in a new musical situation in addition to their traditional roles: the bass can act as a melodic or solo instrument, the piano can execute bass lines, and so on.
The complete music was recorded “live” in the studio to preserve as best as possible the spontaneous character and spirit of working together - features which have always determined even the most diverse genres of Brazilian music. The authors and accompanying musicians were deliberately chosen: The team unites dedicated instrumentalists known for their vast experience and true mastery of the musical style in question.
Good luck with your studies! (Carlos Ezequiel Producer)