Sep 28, 2014

B2B Update - Destination Reached!

The B2B bicyclists have arrived at their destination in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Their 14,000-mile journey took nearly 13 months; they started out from Berkeley at the beginning of September, 2013. It's an inspiring accomplishment! The team has been documenting capoeira practices and music all along the way, and I'm looking forward to the recordings and video.

Postings from the B2B team have been understandably sparse lately. If you would like to check in, here is a link to their Facebook page:

Sep 21, 2014

"Doce de Coco" and "Tangerine"

I just can't resist this stuff. Check out the "B" section to Jacob do Bandolim's choro "Doce de Coco" (coconut candy*), a Brazilian classic, and compare it to the American jazz standard "Tangerine" by Victor Schertzinger. The harmonic structures are suspiciously similar. Some details differ, but the basic shape is:

  • mm 1-12:  II  V  I  three times
  • mm 13-14:  modulation up a major third, to the key of the III ( I  VI  II  V in the new key)
  • mm 15-16: set up return to II in the original key
  • mm 17-22:  Like mm 1-6
  • mm 23-24: bVIIdom, acting as subV of the following V of II
  • m 25:  II
  • m 26-27  II  V  I  to the relative minor
  • mm 28-32  progression differs somewhat

Chord charts are below.

"Tangerine" dates to 1941; Jimmy Dorsey's version was #1 in the charts for 6 weeks. "Doce de Coco" was composed in 1951. Jacob, a very fine musician, would almost certainly have known the earlier tune.

Here's Jacob do Bandolim - the "B" section in question starts at 0:47:

Here's a mellow version of "Tangerine" with Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins:

Yes, I know, the harmonic similarity isn't obvious at first listen - the tunes have a very different character otherwise. But check out the chord charts, below. The charts are in different keys, so you'll have to transpose. Click to enlarge.

*Comment from my friend Carlos: A better literal translation is coconut brittle. This is a popular brittle you find in street markets in Brazil, which you buy in chunks, looks like peanut brittle we have here. Doce de coco can also be made as a thick paste, like a jam that you eat with a spoon, or roll into small truffles. But in the context of the song (I found some lyrics online) it actually means "sweetheart" or "cutie pie", also a common popular expression.

Sep 2, 2014

B2B Update 9/2/14

The B2B team has just marked one year on the road, bicycling from Berkeley to Bahia, documenting regional capoeira practices all along the way. They are now in Recife, about 800 km from their destination, Salvador, Bahia.

Check this post from Pirata, one of the participants, and a very good writer.

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