Boy, do we need it, but with this atmosphere [lit. & fig.]—this air—it just doesn’t seem possible. We’re all holding our breath, afraid of what will come in if we let it out.
But we have to keep on keeping on, which is why I've returned to my Tre-Re, Retrospective Re-Release of my recorded music, where I left off when Covid came.
Chega de Saudade, by epic duo Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes, literally means “full of missing,” or longing (although I translate it differently, you’ll see).
Saudade is a unique, profound word, referring to the ache of missing someone, of longing for something—that hole inside that cries out to be filled by someone or some thing. Sound familiar?
In my experience, creativity (in this case music) fills it just about best.
Here's the fuller story I wrote about Chega de Saudade~ for its re-release:
Although Covid knocks us all sideways (some more seriously than others), forward movement persists—and so I keep on with my Tre-Re, Retrospective Re-Release, of my recordings where I left off. Most important to say: I am so, so sorry for all the losses for so many of us.
Not yet released publicly online, Chega de Saudade is in several ways the central “suite” on the Four Sweets CD. Percussionist Kirk Brundage and I both thought of Chega as our foundation, like the anchor of the album, both as a core Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes composition and also because the feels of the song fit so well with rhythms we wanted & developed. It moves from Samba Reggae—the key Bahian Afro-Brazilian beat—to traditional Rio de Janeiro samba, blending those traditions (of north and south). It’s also closest to Bahian Carnaval group performance, or batucada— in his signal at the beginning, initiating the beat. And I think we both hoped the opening, with just percussion & vocal, might suggest ancient antecedents of music~
But for me Chega came to be about the lyrics, my literal English translation of the original Portugese, here the opening chorus. The story is—and it’s completely true!—that I performed it at Jazz Camp in 2004 with Ricardo Peixoto accompanying, and I sang the Jon Hendricks English (No More Blues) as well as the original version. Afterwards, several Brazilians teaching at the camp approached me and were very complimentary (I was thrilled of course) but every one of them disparaged the Hendricks’ English version—a perfectly good version btw, but yeah, I got it—the spirit of that Hendricks lyric story is different from that of the original,
So I set out to do an accurate and faithful translation, albeit poetic and fitting the melody. I was thrilled that Corcovado Music gave me permission to release it—
Immeasurable kudos to this band, these musicians!! Thank you!! I love you! Liz Kinnon keys & direction; Hussain Jiffry bass; Enzo Todesco drums (RIP our dear brother); Roberto Montero guitar; and Kirk Brundage percussion—and a special shout-out to Liz and Roberto for their solos~
and Thanks you all for listening
I’m hoping you’re okay, that this finds you relatively healthy and stable! Really.
Sending my best to you~