It does not take a great effort to come to admire Edu Lobo. All instrumentalists, particularly those closely related to choro and jazz, cannot resist the appeal of his music. In this aspect it is worth remembering Jacob do Bandolim, a ruthless traditionalist, but that no matter how much he abhorred composers that emerged during the period of bossa nova and song festivals, he would instantly change his bad humor for admiration the moment he listened to Canto Triste: “It is one of the most important works in the Brazilian music”. More important than just express admiration through words is to declare it through actions, works, and music, as do Mauro Senise and his friends in this Casa Forte – Mauro Senise toca Edu Lobo (released through Biscoito Fino). This record is expected to become one of best of this year of 2006, so prodigal in terms of instrumental music. Being so conversant with jazz and choro, Mauro has always perceived in Edu’s themes (nearly all of them transformed into songs by our best lyricists) infinite instrumental possibilities. His melodies and harmonies are so rich, so packed with suggestions, that not to resist them is not enough. One must play them. The conception of this project was born out of that urge. The first step was to present that idea to Edu. Not only did he like it as he offered to collaborate with unedited themes as well (out of the six themes sent to Mauro Senise, four were pieces for large orchestras, so Mauro picked just the two that seemed more adequate for small ensembles, “Arpoador”, and “Valsa carioca”). The second step, as important as the first one, was to summon another great musician, arranger, composer, pianist, old partner, also related to jazz and choro, and with a similar sensibility to discover new paths in other people’s themes: Gilson Peranzzetta. Thus, Mauro with the saxes and flutes, Paulo Russo with the bass, Ivan “Mamão” Conti in the battery, Gilson with the piano and the arrangements, plus the back-up of illustrious guests such as Jota Moraes at the vibraphone, David Chew with the cello, Pascoal Perrotta leading a suit of strings, and with Edu singing in this album’s only song, – this group gathered together during two weeks at the Biscoito Fino studio in order to come out with the 70 minutes of music contained in the 13 tracks of this record. However, as Mauro Senise explains, the whole process took much longer. It took about four months of work, including choosing the repertory, outlining its conception, preparing the arrangements, and, as a result of all that, selecting the musicians. Mauro admits also that he does not feel as comfortable in a studio as he does on the stage. (“Playing live, provides us with that exchange of feelings, that magic, that emotion of knowing instantly the public’s reaction…”), and informs that the repertory was picked considering those themes which would transmit the same emotion whether through records or in recitals. He followed that criterion instead of sticking to the best known compositions only. (“Otherwise, we would have turned out a record containing exclusively ballads”). That was the reason why, in addition to the ineludible ballads (Pra dizer adeus, Beatriz, Canto triste, Canção do amanhecer), in which Edu is really a master, the repertory counts also with tailor-made themes for instrumentalists like Mauro and his friends, no matter how important might the lyrics that transform them into songs be. This album turned out to be a tribute to Edu Lobo and, at the same time, a homage rendered by the musicians to themselves. Listening to this record at their side is a unique experience. Their empathy, enthusiasm, involvement, integration and professionalism demonstrated by them in the production of this record were absolutely impressive. Furthermore, they show their pride in their work and are conscientious of its value. “This is the record that reflects their maturity; all playing together, freely, not disturbing one another”, says Gilson. Paulo Russo and “Mamão agree with that. Having played with Mauro for many years, they never had any doubts that in addition to following the score, they could also venture themselves into improvisations of their own. Mauro has an explanation for that: “we mutually admire one another and mutual admiration in music produces results much beyond those achieved by individualistic and jealous geniuses”. As to Edu, he has all the motives to say amen!