Archive online-Paulo Moura, Brazilian improviser, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer
After close to two years of work, a large part of the Paulo Moura archive is now organized, categorized, cleaned and digitized, and available online for reference and in most cases download.
I've been honored and challenged with the responsibility of coordinating the research and development of the documents pertaining to music, which include studies, arrangements and compositions in the form of lead sheets and scores for small and large ensembles, sketches, etc.
In the many years that I performed with Paulo, I was aware that I was in partnership with an important artist in the world of Brazilian music (primarily instrumental, frequently including improvised content). In the process of evaluating more than 1000 documents, I came to know Paulo in the many roles he played throughout his career: as a consummate well-trained instrumentalist, constantly seeking to maintain his highly-regarded technique, comfortable in a wide range of genre from contemporary classical to choro, gafieira, samba, bossa-nova, and numerous northeastern Brazilian idioms, and like many clarinetists I've known obsessed with his embouchure and the quest for a playable reed; as an arranger who worked in numerous media including radio, film, theatre, the recording industry, and live performance; as a composer of instrumental popular pieces, soundtracks and theatrical music, works for symphonic orchestra, some which add percussion ensembles and chorus; and as an improviser, familiar with American jazz from the big band era forward, always seeking to absorb, understand, and adapt the innovations of the 1950's and 60's and reflect them in his own work (see particularly his arranging and performance on Cannonball Adderley and the Bossa Rio Sextet from 1962, Edson Machado's É Samba Novo from 1964, and his Quarteto and Hepteto from 1967-68).
As the archive identifies and clarifies Paulo's work, I believe that it offers a good deal more; it is a prism through which we can view many aspects of Brazilian popular instrumental music, specifically in the time span of Paulo's career (1949-2010). He spent most of his life in Rio de Janeiro, and traveled frequently within Brazil (establishing a strong presence in Sao Paulo) and internationally (ex. Paris, New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Tel Aviv). As one encounters the documents of his presentations, recordings, arrangements, and studies, the many musicians with whom he played, the places where he performed, the timeline of genre, styles and developments also come alive, offering a vast amount of information, and posing an even greater amount of questions.
The field is ripe for research, for historic contextualization, for a mapping of the many components of this vibrant and complex improvised popular music centered in Brazil, and reflected into our contemporary musical language.
Here the link to the archive, housed on the site of Instituto Antônio Carlos Jobim, where we worked. We used D-Space, and in the upper right hand corner you'll find links to translations (usually just category headings). Click on my "Notes to the User" for a brief description of the site.
And here the link to the official site of the Instituto Paulo Moura, which offers a wealth of biographical information and, on the links to "discos", streams of the majority of his recordings (!!)