Ta Boa, Santa! Egberto Gismonti

circense   It can’t all be ecstasy, can it?  Not always.  There’s music at the grocery store and at the dentist’s.  There are tunes when someone’s trying to sell you something on TV.  The other day I was at the hospital (visiting) and emanating from the rocks near the sidewalk, before I had even entered the front door, was something meant to be calming, healing, and medicinal.  I almost threw up.  But, at Paswonky, each tune can reflect the sensation of losing your mind, in a good way, to the notes that blister by or grab you by the collar or slyly seduce you into hearing just one more phrase, one more song.

  Ta Boa, Santa

A long time ago, a friend brought me some albums from Brazil.  Among them was one called, Circense, by Egberto Gismonti.  Translated for guys from Minnesota, that’s Circus.  The bright cover matched the music on the vinyl, but the one song that I couldn’t stop playing and haven’t yet stopped playing is called, Ta Boa, Santa.  Until Google Translate arrived, I always thought it had something to do with Christmas.  But no, it means, That’s good, Saint, or I’m a good Saint or something like that.

egberto1  Gismonti at the time of this recording.

Gismonti plays piano, six and ten string guitar, and percussion.  He began piano at age six and even (though later) studied with Nadia Boulanger, just like Copland, Astor Piazolla, and Phillip Glass.  He has written innumerable (I could count them, but the list is long) classical pieces and released many ‘jazz’ albums in Brazil and the US.  Gismonti thinks all music, ‘serious’ and ‘popular’, deserves attention.  He counts Hendrix as an influence and lived for a while in the Amazon with the Xingu Indians.


He is well-documented by many ECM recordings.  This tune, Ta Boa, Santa, propels me into a kind of carnival frenzy that refuses to let go.

About Ted Ringer

I am a writer, artist, and listener. Great music is everywhere and has no limits. Some of it is well-orchestrated and some is short and sweet. It can spring out of a moment of deep feeling or result from long periods of development. Music is communication, inspiration, and a million other things. This blog wants to share the wealth and keep toes tapping.
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