Born: July 5, 1951 Primary Instrument: Clarinet
Gaudencio Thiago de Mello exited the earthly plane last month at the age of 80. Not bad for an Amazon indian who contracted malaria as a young child. His passing ended a prolific composing career. Most notable were compositions recorded by Sharon Isbin, Paul Winter, Claudio Roditi, Quintet of the Americas, among others. For the last 15 years, Thiago de Mello collaborated with Dexter Payne, on a total of 5 albums on the Ethos Brasil, Dexofon, Gau & JSR labels.
Thiago de Mello first recorded under his own name in 1973 with Dom Salvador, Airto Moreira, Paulo Moura and Claudio Roditi, is a Brazilian composer, as well as organic percussionist. He makes most of his instruments from natural materials from his native state of Amazonas. That's where we met in 1997 in a boat on the Amazon River! He graciously accepted my invitation to invent and play percussion on INSPIRATION, the CD I recorded in Brazil with guitarist and composer, Antonio Mello, and our musical friendship has grown steadily since......
Awards:#8 in Downbeat Readers Poll 2004 & 2006
Veteran Brazilian percussionist Thiago DeMello (then in his early 70s) long a neglected figure alongside younger more acclaimed players as Airto Moreira, Naná Vasconcelos, and Guillerme Franco, has finally hit resonant notes for the general public to hear on this beautiful recording, with clarinetist Dexter Payne as his main foil and accompanying pianists and occasional vocals. As you'd expect, there's a lot of authentic samba played, and it is done right. Basic sensual rhythms and melodies are the centerpiece for Tal Como o Vinho, Too Good Notes (a play on One Note Samba with DeMello on acoustic guitar), the heavy-handed Mar Aberto, and roomy No Wolf at the Door. The beautiful singing of Ithamara Koorax is heard on two ballads, but also on the night hymn An Evening Prayer, as well as the excellent African highlife-flavored title track, dedicated to Che Guevara, which is very close stylistically to what Abdullah Ibrahim and Carlos Ward would do. Payne's playful clarinet empowers the trio, swinging lightly in jazz fashion à la Eddie Daniels during the lyrical Kimbolian Dawn, he plays pretty during the neo- classical Rede de Cabocolo, and switches to alto sax for the dancing 6/8 framework of What About That? (for Sharon Isbin). The dance theme is further emphasized on A Hug for Gil Evans, starting with DeMello on the berimbau, and then going for samba rhythms with a Native American chant tacked on. Haroldo Mauro, Jr. is the pianist on six selections, and he's one to pay attention to, while another three feature Richard Kimball, a longtime associate of DeMello. Fans of Brazilian music will want this, but it should also appeal to a broader base of world music lovers, as the diversity, bright spirit, and clear camaraderie between the musicians is evident from start to finish.
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Have you ever walked alone through a quiet beautiful woodland and stepped into an open space full of nothing but warm and growing brightness, and felt like nature was a cathedral and you were seated in its front row? Another Feeling sounds just like that: completely, naturally, immaculate and beautiful. � Chris M. Slawecki, All About Jazz (www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php? id=24317)
... Payne makes the challenging appear effortless on Inspiration (Dexofon Records), a trio date with Brazilian guitarist Antonio Mello and percussionist G. Thiago De Mello. Relaxing and intellectual at the same time, Inspiration might remind American ears of the classic Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd collaboration, Jazz Samba. � Bret Saunders/Sunday Denver Post, Feb 13, 2005
... bossa nova with winning subtlety, fitting together like pieces of an intricate, intimate puzzle ... finally, a virtuoso musician who really hears the Brazilian whispers, and not just the carnival clamor. � Andy Smetanka / Missoula Independent /June 3, 2004 http://missoulanews.com/Archives/News.asp?no=4097
BIG SKY JOURNAL spring 1999
.. if he shows up in your town, go see this master alto sax player. It's a cool, mellow sound, sometimes airily reminiscent of Desmond, or Shank, but it has more humanity, more earth, more fire... and well worth driving a hundred miles or more to hear. � Jon Jackson
Dexter Payne Quartet +1
Tracks: 1. Alma Brasileira 2. Chorinho Pra Você 3. No Wolf at the Door 4. Sampa 5. Doce de Coco 6. Assanhado 7. Playground 8. Conversa de Botequim 9. Lembrei do Ceará
Personnel: Dexter Payne - clarinet Dave Willey - accordion Bill Kopper - guitar & 7-string guitar Raoul Rossiter - drums & percussion Victor Mestas Pérez - piano
DISK TUM DERREI
Thiago de Mello & Dexter Payne
Tracks: 1. A Hug For Noel Rosa 2. Different Options 3. Fireplace 4. Chegada 5. Interlude (Disk-Tum-Derrei) 6. Everything Has It's Time 7. Desengano 8. Missing Home 9. Sei La 10. Waiting No More 11. Meu Bau Velho (O Gaio Carijo) 12. Chorando e Sambando 13. Lembrando Claudio Santoro 14. Canto do Alvorado
Personnel: Dexter Payne: clarinet Thiago de Mello: organic percussion, piano, vocal Haroldo Mauro Jr: piano Helio Alves: piano Cliff Korman: piano
Thiago de Mello & Dexter Payne
Tracks: 1. Rede de Caboclo 2. A Hug fro Gil Evans 3. An Evening Prayer 4. Tal Como o Vinho 5. What About That? 6. Another Feeling 7. Too Good Notes 8. Kimbolian Dawn 9. The Exile Song 10. No Wolf at the Door 11. The Lonely Piano 12. Mar Aberto 13. Urumutum/Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Personnel: Dexter Payne: clarinet, alto sax Thiago de Mello: organic percussion, piano, guitar, vocal, composer Haroldo Mauro Jr: piano Cliff Korman: piano Richard Kimball: piano Helio Alves: piano Ithamara Koorax: vocals
Antonio Mello, Dexter Payne, Thiago de Mello
Tracks: 1. Coração Latino (Latin Heart) 2. Nordestino No. 2 3. Mais Uma Vaz (Once Again) 4. Rapsodio in Choro 5. Marte (Mars) 6. Obrigado Paulinho da Viola 7. Infinitivamente 8. Radamés e Pelé 9. Canto dos Passaros (Song of the Birds) 10. Inspiration 11. Tema Para K-Ximbinho
Personnel: Dexter Payne: clarinet, alto sax Antonio Mello: guitar, composer Thiago de Mello: organic percussion
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Willing to teach:
Limited schedule - contact for availability. Currently adjunct faculty at Naropa University, Boulder, CO