Baden Powell

Baden Powell

born on 6/8/1937 in Varre-e-Sai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

died on 26/9/2000 in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Baden Powell de Aquino

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Baden Powell de Aquino, usually known simply as Baden Powell (Portuguese: [ˈbadẽ ˈpaw]; 6 August 1937 – 26 September 2000), was one of the most prominent and celebrated Brazilian guitarists and guitar composers of his time.[1] He combined classical techniques with popular harmony and swing. He performed in many styles, including bossa nova, samba, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz and música popular brasileira. He performed on stage during most of his lifetime.

Baden Powell also composed many fine pieces for guitar, such as "Abração em Madrid", "Braziliense", "Canto de Ossanha", "Casa Velha", "Consolação", "Horizon", "Imagem", "Lotus", "Samba", "Samba Triste", "Simplesmente", "Tristeza e solidão", and "Xangô".


Baden Powell de Aquino was born in Varre-Sai in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His father, a Scouting enthusiast, named him after Robert Baden-Powell. When he was three months old, his family relocated to the Rio suburb of São Cristóvão. His house was a stop for popular musicians during his formative years. He started guitar lessons with Jayme Florence, a famous choro guitarist in the 1940s. He soon proved a young virtuoso, having won many talent competitions before he was a teenager. At age fifteen, he was playing professionally, accompanying singers and bands in various styles. He was fascinated by swing and jazz, but his main influences were in the Brazilian guitar canon.

In 1955, Powell played with the Steve Bernard Orquestra at the Boite Plaza, a nightclub within the Plaza Hotel in Rio, where his skill got the attention of the jazz trio playing across the lobby at the Plaza Bar. When Ed Lincoln needed to form a new trio, he asked Powell to join on guitar to become the Hotel Plaza Trio. Powell brought in Luiz Marinho on bass and a fourth member of the "trio": Claudette Soares on vocals. Powell, Lincoln, and their young musician friends took part in after-hours jam sessions, gaining notice in the growing Brazilian jazz scene.[2]

Powell achieved wider fame in 1959 by convincing Billy Blanco, an established singer and songwriter, to put lyrics to one of Baden's compositions. The result was called "Samba Triste" and quickly became very successful. It has been covered by many artists, including Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd in their seminal LP Jazz Samba.

In 1962, Powell met the poet-diplomat Vinicius de Moraes and began a collaboration that yielded classics of 1960s Brazilian music. Although bossa nova was the prevailing sound at the time, Baden and Vinicius wanted to combine samba with Afro-Brazilian forms such as candomblé, umbanda, and capoeira. In 1966 they released Os Afro-Sambas de Baden e Vinicius.

Powell studied advanced harmony with Moacir Santos and released recordings on the Brazilian labels Elenco Records and Forma, as well as in the French label Barclay and the German label MPS/Saba (notably, his 1966 Tristeza on Guitar). He was the house guitarist for Elenco, and of the singer Elis Regina's TV show O Fino da Bossa.

In 1968, Powell joined with poet Paulo César Pinheiro and produced another series of Afro-Brazilian-inspired music, released in 1970 as Os Cantores da Lapinha.

Powell visited and toured Europe frequently in the 1960s, relocating permanently to France in 1968.

In the 1970s, he released recordings with labels in Europe and Brazil. In 1981, during four weeks, he was on the stage of Palais des glaces in Paris as guitarist and singer.[3]However, he had health problems and spent the 1980s in semi-retirement in France and Germany. In the 1990s he and his family moved back to Brazil, where he continued to record and perform. Public recognition of his work came around that time in Brazil.

By the end of the 1990s he converted to the Evangelical faith, to which he credits overcoming his long addictions to alcohol and tobacco. He fell terminally ill in 2000 and died of pneumonia triggered by diabetes on 26 September 2000, in Rio de Janeiro.

He is the father of pianist Philippe Baden Powell de Aquino and guitarist Louis Marcel Powell de Aquino.

Playing style

Baden Powell decided at age 19 to stop playing the electric guitar, preferring to concentrate on the classical guitar for the rest of his career. He did record a series of albums with a borrowed steel-string acoustic, but that is as far as he strayed from his main instrument in his adulthood.

An analysis of his repertoire reveals a wide range of interests. It spanned all the idioms of Brazilian popular music of the 20th century: samba, bossa nova, Afro-bahian ritual music, frevo, choro, North Eastern Sertão music, even European and Japanese lullabies. Like most musicians growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he was deeply influenced by jazz, especially bebop and swing. He covered Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" on two recordings, and Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are" on three occasions (including his first solo album).

This upbringing is reflected in his playing style, which shows a fusion of jazz harmonies and classical guitar technique, with a very Brazilian right hand (the one carrying the rhythm on the guitar). In solo classical music, he was proficient in the works of Tárrega and Bach. When playing in a group, he was able to accompany singers with quiet mastery, or let loose and play street samba in sloppy "party" style as if the guitar was another percussion instrument. Like Monk, he was fond of the minor second interval as a way to "bend" the tonality. However, because of his jazz background, he would rarely physically bend the string, preferring instead to play the minor second using an adjacent open string. Students of his style should note this preference for chord voicings that feature extensions on the open strings as a way of punctuating passages. Other idioms to watch for are the endless variations in rhythm played by the right hand, always within the proper 2/4 samba meter, as well as his tendency to put his "signature" in a fast descending scale with a (slower) ascending arpeggio in the relative key. He also used vocalise and scat singing, often in unison with the melody line (especially when the melody was sung on the bass strings of the guitar).

His influences were his first teacher "Meira" (Jayme Florence, 1909–1982), Dilermando Reis (1916–1977), and Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha, 1915–1955). He also commented about being influenced by the work of Les Paul (1915–2009), Django Reinhardt (1910–1953), and Jacques Loussier (1934–).


Baden Powell first appeared as accompanist on a few big band and samba recordings from the 1950s. He recorded his first solo album in 1959, but it was released in 1961. His first and second albums contain jazz standards, Brazilian popular music of the time, and original compositions. In 1962, he recorded with flautist Herbie Mann and drummer Jimmy Pratt. In 1963 he led small ensembles in Brazil and France. The French labels Barclay and Festival released many of his recordings. In Germany, MPS/Saba released his work with producer Joachim Berendt. In Brazil, he recorded for Elenco Records, Forma, and the Brazilian subsidiary of Philips Records. After a few new releases in the 1980s, Powell returned to recording studios in Brazil for his final years. His later recordings consist of solo guitar or voice and guitar.


Title Release Label
Monteiro de Souza e Sua Orquestra Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão 1961 Philips
Um Violão Na Madrugada 1961 Philips
A Vontade 1963 Elenco
Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt 1963 Elenco
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, Vol. 1 1964 Barclay
Billy Nencioli + Baden Powell 1965 Barclay/Polygram
Tristeza on Guitar 1966 MPS/Saba
Ao Vivo No Teatro Santa Rosa [live] 1966 Elenco
Os Afro Sambas de Baden e Vinicius 1966 Forma
Tempo Feliz 1966 Forma/Polygram
Poema on Guitar 1968 MPS/Saba
Fresh Winds 1969 United Artists
27 Horas de Estudio 1969 Elenco
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, Vol. 2 1969 Barclay
Canto on Guitar 1970 MPS/Saba
Os Cantores Da Lapinha [As Musicas De Baden Powell E Paulo Cesar Pinheiro] 1970 Elenco
Solitude on Guitar 1971 Columbia
Baden Powell Quartet, Vols. 1-3 [3-LP boxed set] 1970 Barclay
Baden Powell - Live In Japan '70 1971 Barclay
E de Lei 1972 Philips
Images on Guitar [live] 1973 MPS/Canyon Records/BASF Systems
Estudos 1974 MPS/Saba
Apaixonado 1975 MPS/Saba
The Frankfurt Opera Concert 1975 [live] 1975 Tropical Music
Baden Powell canta Vinicius de Moraes e Paolo Cesar Pinheiro 1977 Festival
Nosso Baden 1980 WEA
Simplesmente 1980 WEA
Melancolie 1985 Accord
Seresta Brasileira 1988 Milestone
Bossa Nova Guitarra Jubileu 1993 Saludos Amigos
Three Originals 1993 MPS/Polygram
Baden Powell 1993 MPS
Rio Das Valsas [1994] 1994 Alex
Guitar Pieces 1994 Etcetera
Live in Hamburg 1995 Acoustic Music
Guitar Music 1995 Etcetera/Qualiton
Live in Rio 1996 Iris
Os Afro Sambas 1996 Iris
Felicidade 1996 Adda
Rio Das Valsas [1996] 1996 Iris
Mestres Da MPB 1996 WEA Latina
Baden Powell a Paris 1996 Rge
Baden Powell 1997 Musidisc
A Vontade 1997 Polygram Brazil
Guitar Artistry of Baden Powell 1998 Dom
Baden Powell de Aquino 2001 Iris
Lembrancas 2001 Trama
De Rio à Paris 2003 Body & Soul
Fremeaux and Associates Recordings 1994-1996 2003 Fremeaux & Associes
O Universo Musical de Baden Powell 2003 Sunnyside
Rio das Valsas [2003] 2003 Iris
Live in Montreux 2004 Fremeaux & Associes
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell 2005 Universal
At the Rio Jazz Club [live] 2005 Iris
Baden Live a Bruxelles 2005 Sunnyside
Musica 2005 WEA International

With Herbie Mann

  • Do the Bossa Nova with Herbie Mann (Atlantic, 1962)
  • Latin Fever (Atlantic, 1964)


  1. ^ McGowan, Chris; Pessanha, Ricardo (1998). The Brazilian sound: samba, bossa nova, and the popular music of Brazil. Temple University. p. 64. ISBN 1-56639-545-3. 
  2. ^ Ed Lincoln: The interview...
  3. ^ « Variétés : Baden a surpassé Powell », Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Le Quotidien de Paris, 3 June 1981.


  • De Stefano, Gildo, Il popolo del samba, La vicenda e i protagonisti della storia della musica popolare brasiliana, Preface by Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Introduction by Gianni Minà, RAI-ERI, Rome 2005, ISBN 8839713484
  • De Stefano, Gildo, Saudade Bossa Nova: musiche, contaminazioni e ritmi del Brasile, Preface by Chico Buarque, Introduction by Gianni Minà, Logisma Editore, Firenze 2017, ISBN 978-88-97530-88-6

External links

  • Baden Powell
This page was last modified 13.03.2018 15:50:17

This article uses material from the article Baden Powell de Aquino from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.