Partido Alto vs Bossa Nova as clave in samba

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I've been practicing and learning Partido alto:

https://youtu.be/yy6YTly4SiU

It seems to me that people think of the Bossa Nova cross stick pattern as a sort of clave maybe because the first bar is so similar, but to me the Partido Alto pattern seems more like a clave, a four three son clave. That all of the instruments play and creates an interlocking groove. Does anyone else notice this?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
the Partido Alto pattern seems more like a clave, a four three son clave. That all of the instruments play and creates an interlocking groove. Does anyone else notice this?
Sure, stock parts for a lot of instruments are based on it-- you could almost say it's comparable to clave, if Brazilians were inclined to create dogmas like that. I do find it easier to improvise in the idiom with that rhythm as my home base. There are enough variations on it that I wouldn't go looking for an equivalent to the Cuban 2-3/3-2 note counting terminology-- I think that's misleading.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Sure, stock parts for a lot of instruments are based on it-- you could almost say it's comparable to clave, if Brazilians were inclined to create dogmas like that. I do find it easier to improvise in the idiom with that rhythm as my home base. There are enough variations on it that I wouldn't go looking for an equivalent to the Cuban 2-3/3-2 note counting terminology-- I think that's misleading.
I guess I've never really noticed the dogma in clave.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
All I mean is that it's a defined, unquestionable thing. Whereas my pianist, a heavy mfer from Rio, says basically "Eh, it doesn't matter if you play the rhythms as long as there's a strong 8th note pulse."
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
All I mean is that it's a defined, unquestionable thing. Whereas my pianist, a heavy mfer from Rio, says basically "Eh, it doesn't matter if you play the rhythms as long as there's a strong 8th note pulse."
Ah, I see from a pianists perspective there aren't fixed parts like the guajeo in salsa, where the pianist is expected to play percussive ostinato, so they just need to play eighth notes... Maybe, it's just a piano thing, I'm guessing piano doesn't figure into much Brazillian music. I would be more convinced if he were a nylon string guitarist in Rio. Though, this is probably something for me to look into, how the harmony and melodic motifs fit with the batucada. From what I've seen, the guitarists are definitely expected to fit in with the batucada, often times playing the same tamborim rhythm either in ostinato or as a lead.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
The point is that there seems to be a different attitude towards rhythm in Brazilian music. Of course you have to know the rhythms. The guy played with Tamba Trio, studied with Hermeto, and he absolutely knows his shit. I can't imagine a player of comparable stature from Cuba saying that.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
The point is that there seems to be a different attitude towards rhythm in Brazilian music. Of course you have to know the rhythms. The guy played with Tamba Trio, studied with Hermeto, and he absolutely knows his shit. I can't imagine a player of comparable stature from Cuba saying that.
I think Brazil probably has more than one attitude towards rhythm, compared to a small relatively isolated island like Cuba. Brazil is very much divided by a river drainage basin, with a much larger population, which probably has a more diverse ethnic background to start with. So, maybe within certain styles of music in Brazil, Partido Alto is kind of like a clave? More so than the Bossa Nova cross stick, which is considered a simple motif?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
It's just an anecdote. I don't expect 200 million Brazilians to all agree with each other about rhythm. But since clave is a Cuban concept, with a lot of theory associated with it, and there is no equivalent concept or literature in Brazilian music, I'd say there's a legitimate cultural difference there.

There's a good piece here that summarizes the important rhythmic concepts for non-Brazilian musicians playing Brazilian styles in a jazz setting.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Wow, thanks Todd. Nice article. I’ll need some time to digest it and I’ll still bastardize the rhythms, but there you go.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yes, a bunch of different regional and tribal things all quite different from each other. Get into a bit of history and the most important of those styles to see where things come from.

There is a rhythm often referred to as the Brazilian clave which is the same as a 3-2 son clave with the last note moved to the "and. Which yes, would be your first typical bossa nova sode stick/or whatever-you-want-to-do-with it pattern.

It's not a "clave" though.

As with many other types of music there are things that are more important like what many describe as the egg-rolling pulse.

We sometimes want definitive answers, but that's not just how it is.

Melodic players, after have spent a decade learning the nesuances of rock and blues when they start getting into "jazz" want to define it as a few correct scales and arpeggios.

There's so much more.

It's also a bit like everything else like e,g, cooking. There sort authentic national, regional ways and so on, but still, my mom's meatballs are different from you mom's meatballs.

There's a tradition, there's dogma, there are personal styles, some people's ways to do things to a while to be accepted, some not, some are still not accepted by everyone. There are people who invent, people who are stuck in the past, all sorts of "religious" social games.

Traditional styles melding with new sonds and ideas. Happens everywhere in the world. Here in Norway it's happened many times creating the Nordic Soun(what the Swedes call mountain jazz) and more recently with metal. These things happen everywhere regardless of if understand or can relate to it or not.

In every situation though, there's an essence and a common idea concerning what it's about. We are usually exposed already in the music we understand and play when we grow up. That's just a bunch of kids in a small town while Brazil is a big and diverse country.

Well, whoa, that was a tanget. lol


Here's something cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whAeFvkxWaQ
 
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