I’m Crazy for You, America
“Dealing with a completely different culture is a process, and
I will always be in the middle of that process,” says jazz flutist
extraordinaire Ali Ryerson with characteristic modesty about her
latest release Brasil: Quiet Devotion.
The Concorde Picante label’s new CD contains five originals by the Rio-born
and California-based pianist/composer/arranger Weber Drummond, as
well as the rarely-heard “Chovendo na Roseira” by the late Tom
Jobim. This is not the first time Ryerson has ventured into Brazilian
territory. Last year she flirted with bossa nova and jazz samba on In
Her Own Sweet Way. The inspiration for Brasil: Quiet Devotion
came after an extended period of practice with Drummond and another Carioca
musician, legendary percussionist Hélcio Milito, Tamba Trio’s
drummer in the ’60s.
Brazilian art in some of its manifestations should soon be available
through American bookstore chain giant Barnes & Noble. Brazilian painter
Sônia Menna Barreto has signed a contract with the company,
which has 350 bookstores in the U.S., for distribution of notebooks, cards,
and agendas illustrated with her paintings.
Barreto’s American adventure is very promising. The artist has had four
of her paintings being shown at New York’s Ambassador Galleries since last
Great news for Brazilian poets who are virtually unknown even in their
own country. Twenty poets who made their names at the end of the ’60s and
afterwards now have their own anthology in the U.S., Nothing the Sun
Could Not Explain, a bilingual work published by Sun & Moon Press.
The book is a collaboration among Brazilian poets Régis Bonvicino
and Nélson Ascher, American poet Michael Palmer,
and Brazilian academic João Almino, professor of Brazilian
literature at Stanford and Berkeley universities in California.
The anthology brings together tropicalist Torquato Neto with
Paulo Leminski, who wrote a type of poetry known as marginal. The
book also includes Francisco Alvim, Nélson Ascher,
Carlos Ávila, Carlito Azevedo, Frederico Barbosa,
Josely Vianna Baptista, Lenora de Barros, Régis
Bonvicino, Ângela de Campos, Age de Carvalho, Rui
Vasconcelos de Carvalho, Ana Cristina César, Horácio
Costa, Júlio Castañon Guimarães, Duda
Machado, Cláudia Roquete Pinto, and Waly Salomão.
In 1972, American poet Elizabeth Bishop published Anthology
of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Poetry with poems of such greats as
Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Manuel Bandeira. Eleven years
later there was Brazilian Poetry—1950-1980, organized by William
J. Smith and Emanuel Brasil. Among the poets included in this
work were Ferreira Gullar and the concretists.