Luciano Perrone’s Fantastic Drum Playing

It was a memorable evening in March 1990, at the Teatro Guaira (Curitiba). The stage of the large auditorium was honored to receive a unique concert with the “Curitiba Chamber Orchestra” with pianist Arthur Moreira Lima as soloist who invited the trail-blazer of Brazilian drum playing: Luciano Perrone, to participate along with the Mocidade Azul School of Samba from the state of Para. Perrone brought his original drums in his luggage, the instruments that accompanied him throughout his career. He and they led the members of the samba school and memorable moments of his fantastic drum playing, which I comment on here with great emotion.


“O Samba com Luciano” music by Luis Bandeira for Luciano Perrone is a song where lyrics and drum solos take turns, showing a bit of the history of the great name of the Brazilian drummer.
Luciano Perrone, (1908-2001) was born in Rio de Janeiro. At the age of 14 he was already performing at the Odeon Cinema with a clear box in a seat, a hanging plate and a bass drum without a pedal, that’s right! Before the invention of the bass drum pedal by Willian F. Ludwig’s arrival in Brazil. In the era of “big-bands”, Luciano begins along with other drummers of the same time, the adaptations of the Brazilian rhythms to drums, because until then the repertoire in the dances was basically of American music, etc. Oops! the drums arrived in Brazil !! In 1924, with pianist Osvaldo Cardoso Menezes, he performed in cinemas and theaters in RJ, becoming recognized and acclaimed by several orchestras. In an album by Orchestra Pan American (RJ), released by Odeon, he recorded for the first time in Brazil, with a clear box, with no snare drum wires …


The conductor Radamés Gnattali (with whom Luciano played with since 1929), later dedicated compositions to him with special solos: “Samba em tres andamentos” and “Chats in three voices”. In 1936, Luciano became an effective musician of the National Radio of RJ, which at that time was an important means of communication and dissemination of Brazilian music.


In the links below, the complete album i ”Radamés na Europa com seu Sexteto ” (1960) with the participation of Radamés Gnattali (piano and arrangements), Aída Gnattali (piano) Edu da Gaita (harmonica), Chiquinho do Acordeon (accordion) Luiz Bandeira (vocals), Zé Menezes (electric guitar), Pedro Vidal Ramos (contrabass), Luciano Perrone (drums / percussion) also released by Odeon Records, where on the first track we have the classic “Aquarela do Brasil” in which Perrone recorded the drums originally in the interpretation of Francisco Alves in 1939 … with the Radamés Gnattali Orquestra.
Europe, 1960, Luciano performed in Portugal, Italy, England and France with Radamés and Aída Gnattali, Edu da Gaita, Chiquinho do Acordeon, José Menezes, Vidal and Luis Bandeira integrating the 3rd Official Caravan of Brazilian Music. (I want to research the other two caravans). When Perrone completed 25 years of service at the National Radio of Rio de Janeiro, he transferred to the Radio Ministry of Education and Culture, inaugurating the National Symphony Orchestra as a timpanista.


Also, in the 60s, he released through Musidisc the LP “Luciano Perrone e Seus Brasileiros Ritmistas – Batucada Fantástica”, including several Brazilian rhythms with percussion instruments and adaptations for drums, this album published in France, was contemplated years later with the “International Grand Prix of the Disc”, by the Charles Cros Academy of Paris. In 1972, he recorded the LP “Batucada Fantástica, Volume 3”. (I’m in search of the mysterious Vol 2, to this day! ha, ha) In the links below, tracks from the 2 albums, including the consecrated: “Samba Vocalizado” and “Samba Cruzado”


Perrone used to say, encouraging:
” I do not want to be compared to American drummers, my business is the rhythms of Brazil and if you like my style, try to develop something original from it ”
a good example of this was the development of a technique for ” samba with double pedal ” by drummer Oscar Bolão, very interesting the rhythmic figures of the bass drum samba at the tambour, see below!

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Johnny Dionysio

Johnny Dionysio

Musician, born in Curitiba, Paraná. He had his first contact with percussion at the age of five, in parades during high school. In his training he studied: musical theory, drums, guitar, symphonic percussion, band practice and orchestra.

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