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   Jorge Degas: Cantar A Vida: Release Information

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Release Date: 29.07.1998
EAN/UPC: 705304838921
TT Catalogue No: 4446

As a bass player, Brazilian Jorge Degas is one of the exceptional virtuosos in his field. He surprises us with his elaborate, individual, often very harmonically-oriented playing technique. Seldom do we find mention of the fact that Jorge Degas is also an outstanding guitarist. He grew up during the hightime of the Bossa Nova in the Favelas of Rio. During his youth, the guitar was his main instrument until he began his career as a professional bassplayer, musician, composer and singer. Until today, he creates most of his compositions on the guitar.

A good ten years have passed since his first meeting with producer and musician Wolfgang Loos. During this time, four collaborative CDs from the band XIAME resulted - their unique mixture of Latin, Folk, Pop and Jazz elements having been influenced by Jorge, his bass playing, his compositions and his unmistakably falsetto. They also worked together on a Duo Album "Soul Rhymes" with the Danish jazz singer, Vini Kjaersgaard lul. Although - or perhaps because - neither can speak the other's language, a close friendship developed between Jorge Degas and Wolfgang Loos, from which the music of a common language developed. They always and often met out of the studio, simply to play music. It was from these chamber music sessions and pure playing joy that the concept for an acoustic guitar album was born. So developed "Cantar a vida", one of his simple, fascinating, tender, coy pieces of chamber music, which presents Jorge Degas as an extraordinary singer/songwriter in the Bossa Nova tradition.

"Making an accoustic guitar CD had never occurred to me, even though I have always played and composed on the guitar. But one day, after sharing an excellent meal and a bottle of red wine together, my good friend and producer, Wolfgang Loos, came up with the idea.

After having played percussion and drums as a very young musician, I then spent several years with the guitar as my main instrument before finally settling on the bass. Apart from the percussions, the accoustic guitar is probably the most important instrument in Brazilian music. Particulary in northern Brazil, where the very rich culture is reflected in the rhythms and special moods of the melodies using mainly accoustic guitar. And of course there is the bossa nova, being the most famous Brazilian music, also rich in its use of the accoustic guitar.
Through my work with various artists from this region, I have been fortunate to get close to, and to learn a lot from, local musicians. These relationships, together with the harmonization of the bossa and choro traditions in Rio, have provided me with enough inspiration for many years of music making.
My many trips to Angola have also taught me many rhythms and ways of expressing myself on the guitar. Guitarists like Joao de Aquino, Roberto Mendes, Rui Quaresma and Ary Piasarollo have inspired me and taught me a great deal.
Of course the bossa nova is very much a part of me as I was growing up when it all started. I have played with many of the important bossa composers and from the beginning was very confident with the choro through my work with Paulo Moura. I feel that I have developed from that background and have now created my own style of expression through my compositions on the accoustic guitar.

Many rhythms and different techniques are to be found on this CD and I am very happy to have made this 'document' with my producer and colleague, Wolfgang Loos, who created 'Cantar A Vida' using few effects, with only guitar, violoncello and voice."
Jorge Degas, August 98

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