It is a pity that Brazilian bossa nova music today reminds us of background music in shopping malls. Such usage banalizes its beauty. Hamilton De Holanda and his trio on the other hand, enhanced it with his concert in Vaba Lava, where he paid homage to the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of the creators of bossa nova and father figures of MPB – Música popular brasileira (popular Brazilian music).
The travel through Jobim’s music started with “Wave” and “Desafinado”, the latter being the manifesto of bossa nova, and as soon as the music began, the audience forgot the chilly weather outside and was transported to a tropical, joyous island.
In his full white attire, Hamilton De Holanda incessantly swayed his head up and down accompanying his rapid fingering on the mandolin. His disheveled curly hair happily danced along as the music got faster and faster.
It is almost impossible to think of Hamilton’s silhouette without the mandolin in his hands. The instrument is part of his body as well as his mind, a fact proved by the natural ease, which he displayed at improvising around the songs’ themes or letting Salomão Soares on piano and Thiago Big Rabello on drums, follow him or continue on their own.
The trio’s sound was tight, cohesive and the level of interplay very high as well, as it winded and twisted Jobim’s originals.
Other songs covered were “Passarin”, “Children’s game”, “Olha Maria” – a song composed by Jobim together with Vinicius de Moraes and Chico Buarque –, and “Luisa”, a calm, gentle waltz that constituted the first set of tunes.
Jobim’s covers were followed by three original compositions of Hamilton that had a completely different character. The music remained the same: vibrant, fast, sinuous, but rather more powerful than soothing. One commenced with the band applauding together and joined by the public, and the last one – “Flying Chicken”, dedicated to the sound engineer – was an authentic hurricane, where the three musicians took the spotlight in turns.
Before the show ended, we returned to Brazil with “Aguas de Marco” (waters of March) and the unmistakable “Chega de Saudade”, other two bossa nova classics.
Hamilton warmly saluted the crowd in Portuguese, English and Estonian and the people left the hall with a smile on their faces generated by such a cheerful performance. Obrigado, Hamilton!
Hamilton de Holanda Trio – Jobim
Friday, April 29th at 18.00, Vaba Lava
Hamilton de Holanda – mandolin
Salomão Soares – piano
Thiago Big Rabello – drums
Check out the concert photos here.