Viva Samba!

Op.100 1995

David Hellewell

The piece opens in classical samba style, but with a new rhythmic twist (echoes of “Brazil”), but is then developed into a substantial and extended piece of highly-charged and dynamic latin-american music – a difficult feat for solo piano without the normally-indespensible backing of a latin-american percussion and rhythm section. The usually-simple chord progressions of the classic samba is prevalent throughout the piece, but is eventually extended into more complex and subtle modern jazz progressions (jazzmen have often flirted with latin-american idioms). There are sections of what would be the ‘call and response’ of the brass and saxes of a LA orchestra, and also exiting and accumulating sections in Mambo style with complex cross rhythms. The piece ends with a fade-out of the opening samba rhythm.

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