My critic’s choice for the Thursday, April 5 performances at HotHouse by the brilliant Brazilian pianist João Donato covered the basics of his lengthy, peripatetic career, but a good article in the new issue of Wax Poetics covers a lot more ground. The piece seems to be several years old—part of it is based on an interview with Donato from 2000, when he was celebrating his 70th birthday—but since it focuses on his career up to 1975, when he made Lugar Comum, his last recording for another decade, it’s not much of a problem. I would’ve loved to read more about what Donato’s been doing over the last 15 years, but considering Wax Poetics is a crate-diggers mag, it’s probably of less interest to most readers.
I’ve mentioned Wax Poetics before, and if they keep producing such an excellent publication it won’t be the last time I bring it up. The new issue also includes decent interviews with Steve Reid, Ornette Coleman, Pharoahe Monch, and funk-freak Betty Davis. There’s also some Chicago connections, including a piece on the Birmingham soul scene chronicled on last year’s Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. 1 (issued by the local Rabbit Factory label) and an extensive feature on Atlanta soul guitarist Freddie Terrell coauthored by Andy Hopkins (aka Mr. Rudy Day). It also happens to be one of the best-looking music zines around.