From the day I chose music as a way of life, I began to pay close attention to everything that could serve as reference for genres, styles, musicians and records.
Still very young I met a wiz organist with whom I did some gigs through Renato Mendes, a guy that impressed me a lot because of the good taste with which he developed the harmony of themes I already knew. I thought, “But it got a lot better this way!”
This guy is called Theo de Barros and I came to know him later in recording studios, sometimes as a musician, sometimes as a producer.
At that time, we had a band that we ourselves made a point of defining as a progressive Brazilian music group, the Plato, with Duda Neves, José Neto, Léa Freire, Duccha Tenucci, Caito Marcondes, Paulo Machado and myself. In one of those events that took place in Sampa (Sao Paulo’s nickname) in the 1970s, we had the honor of sharing stage and dressing rooms with Hermeto Pascoal! What a good life! And it was going to get better every day!
In the late 1990s, I went to work as a sub for my brother Zé Alexandre in Aruba and, in the same hotel where I was staying, I found, after a long time, my beloved José Neto who introduced me to no one less than Flora Purim and Airto Moreira! From that meeting came the invitation to record on the album that Flora would make in Rio in honor of Milton Nascimento and a season of 4-week shows at Ronnie Scott’s in London. Can you believe it?!!!
Life and its surprises! To complete, one afternoon I received a phone call from a guitarist of whom I was always a great admirer of, who was calling me to do some gigs. This guitarist was the Heraldo, Heraldo do Monte! I said all of this just to explain that these four guys, Hermeto, Theo, Airto and Heraldo, formed the QUARTETO NOVO, a group that had moved me since childhood in “O Fino da Bossa”, a program hosted by our dear Elis Regina and festivals of TV Record under full military dictatorship.
When I had the vinyl of the quartet bearing his name in my hands, and it was the only record from them, I got totally involved and I could not stop listening to it. I had the clear certainty that this would be my most important reference of instrumental Brazilian music and to this day I do not spend a week without listening to or quoting this encyclopedia, this manual of good compositional taste and virtuosity that has a unique and eternal identity.
And, as my master and friend Wilson das Neves says, “What luck !!!”