Friday, January 14, 2005


The only real thing to report on is the Suzano class. It started off slow but yesterday, as Suzano said, ``O bicho estava pegando``. Man he was giving out information at light speed. We started out with what he calls inverted samba, ie starting on the finger tips instead of the thumb. I had worked this out as a third surdo part with the mutes on one and the up of two miming the left hand pattern on the head. However, Suzano apparently uses this pattern as his primary approach. When he lets loose, it´s serious. Monster is not a strong enough word. The otherthing is that his right hand barely moves. At least 90% of the ride is left hand. He also really emphasizes the platinelas. They have to keep moving and be even in sound.

From inverted samba we went into his trademark rides. He began to show all the funk/back beat stuff as well as the `latin feel`´ tumbao stuff which made him famous. Luckily, I had positioned myself right in front so, even though the morons in the class kept trying to play instead of listen, I was able to hear him and see exactly what he was doing. One other thing I noticed was that he plays a mylar head as well as he does a goat skin. I think that this may be a good way to get your tones up and equalized. The dude is smooth as silk.
After funk we went to reggae and other pop styles. Tonight I think the plan is to review quickly and then he´s going to give a little show with effects including loops and guitar pedal stuff. I swear I´ll have to throw a net of some of the people in the class to keep them quiet. I will definitely have my recorder. Suzano, BTW, cited the Grateful Dead with respect to taping and filming. He encourages it.

Last year I had an epiphany that the traditional caixa de cadencia, as taught to me by Jorge´s son Anderson and others, comes directly from the pandeiro partido alto part which plays: 1 and and 3 4 1 2 3and and where up of two, four and two are slaps. In the caixa ride they are rims with the other notes filled in with the left. There are, of course, many ways to sauce it up with buzzes and so forth just as you would while playing partido alto no pandeiro. This is what gives life to the bateria.

Anyhow, Suzano showed this ride on the pandeiro and stated that it comes from Cabula. So there you go, another piece of the puzzle with regard to the roots of samba. It seems to almost all be based in candomble. I plan to confirm this with Jorge Alabe on Saturday when I go to a churrasco at his house. I also plan to continue my research into the aphrodisiac question. I figure, if anybody knows.....filho de Xango. j