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Friday October 15, 2021

In their second duo album, following the Grammy-nominated release Outra Coisa: The Music for Moacir Santos, Brazilian 7-string guitar player Gonçalves and New York-based clarinetist Cohen turn their attention to music from the Música Popular Brasileira (MPB) songbook.

Artists responded to the forced isolation brought about by the 2020 pandemic in various way across the globe. In Brazil, superstars such as Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil shared performances from their homes, sharing their hit songs intimately with their fans, from one living room to another. Performing in this new format further strengthened the already deep impact these melodies and lyrics had on Brazilian culture.

Among those fans were Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves, quarantined in Rio. As Marcello puts it: ‘I’ve been dreaming of Anat singing those words through her clarinet, imagining how her unique way of interpreting melodies would powerfully convey the message of the lyrics to anyone familiar with them, even when played instrumentally.’ When listening to these quarantine-time performances ‘each one of these concerts reminded me of songs that I could play with Anat, so this project made even more sense to be done at this moment.’

And against the backdrop of a country and a world turning inward, distilling the importance of music in the lives of so many, the duo set out to record an album inspired by the beauty of Brazil, and the spirit of its people. The result is at once intimate and virtuosic, mournful and hopeful, soaked with the feeling expressed uniquely in the Portuguese language as saudade ‘” bittersweet, at once deeply happy and sad, and full of emotion.

Listen here: