Ronaldo Folegatti’s Sounds of Watercolors

This Brazilian jazz album from the early ’90s is still a fan favorite with our listeners.

Ronaldo Folegatti’s Sounds of Watercolors will become a favcorite of yours, too.

Originally published by Connect Brazil, May 11, 1997

Every once in a while, we’ll get an e-mail from Ronaldo Folegatti, who often listens to our webcasts half a world away from his home in Brazil.

The guitarist took a giant leap of faith by moving to Germany in his early twenties but he’s no stranger to fans of The Sounds of Brazil: His song ‘The Color of The Watercolor’ has remained a much-requested favorite ever since we began to play it regularly in 1992.

At that point, Folegatti’s debut CD Sounds of Watercolor was already two years old, but the quality of his musicianship on this recoding points to the timeless marriage of Brazilian music and jazz.

From the opening moments of the sax-driven jazz samba of ‘White Samba’, its clear that each of these 11 all-original songs (with the exception Ronaldo’s solo guitar on the traditional German tune ‘Muss I Denn’) are thoughtfully arranged and that the subtly of Folegatti’s music is not lost on the players.

This top notch ensemble of Brazilian and German musicians touches on a variety of styles and moods – Frank Lϋdecke’s sax work is right on target, and he shares the melodic spotlight frequently. But its Folegatti’s guitar play that commands our attention throughout.

According to Germany’s Back Bird Music, “When Ronaldo Folegatti’s debut album “Sounds of Watercolors” was released in the U.S. in 1991, it conquered five different U.S. charts almost overnight. It was played on 180 radio stations and landed at # 1 on the sales charts.”

Its the slower tempo songs where his flowing lines and sensitivity really shine. Both ‘Watercolor’ and ‘Bolero For My Friends’ are perfect showcases for his ability to move in and out of the musical frame within the context of the group’s overall sound. 

Another favorite is ‘Monica And Cigar’ (prescient song title notwithstanding), which finds Folegatti in a duet with guest harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens for this bluesy Bossa.

‘Topology’ is a flirty little Choro which finds Meurkens sharing the melody’s unison lines with the guitarist, and it points yet again to the tremendous strength of this recording – Ronaldo Folegatti’s leadership and arranging skills.

Someone once said that the difference between leadership and being a leader is a matter of trust and confidence.

That someone could have been trumpeter Miles Davis, who had those qualities in abundance. So does Pat Metheny. And so does this highly underrated guitarist, Ronaldo Folegatti, who had to move to Germany from his native Brazil to make himself be heard.

01.   White Samba
02.   The Color Of The Watercolor
03.   Rooms In Blue
04.   Zanzam
05.   Bolero For My Friends
06.   Monica And Cigar
07.   Autumn Feelings
08.   Topology
09.   A Winter Market
10.   Dancing Ebi
11.   Muss I Denn

Personnel: Ronaldo Folegatti (guitars, guitar synth, keyboards, vocals), Frank Lϋedecke (saxophones, flute), Darci Seixas (trombone, percussion), Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica), Andreas Hommelsheim  (keyboards), Lito Tabora (piano), Guilherme Castro (bass), Lutz Halfter, Zito Ferreira, Armando Chuh (drums), Romario Quintiliano, Dudu Tucci, Topo Gioia (percussion), Reinaldo Arroyo (percussion, cavaquinho)

Recorded in Berlin, December 1989 and January 1990

Total Time: 47:50

Ronaldo Folegatti’s Sounds of Watercolors

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