Cainã Cavalcante and Michael Pipoquinha: Rei Arthur

Four years ago, we posted a video of a 13-year old Brazilian bassist named Pipoquinha performing his original song, “Rei Arthur.” His playing blew everyone away, to say the least.

We’re once again featuring Michael Pipoquinha, who is now 17, performing the same song but this time accompanied by guitarist Cainã Cavalcante. It’s incredible to see the growth in technique and ideas in this remarkable bassist.

Hold on to your hats for this one.

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  1. This is sooo bad. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good.

  2. Excellent playing, the years of practice are obvious. His tone is amazing as well! Both are excellent players, and Michael is clearly one to keep an eye on, he will achieve big things.

  3. Bbnatural

    Amazing Pipoquinha!! Blowing off all the Janeks of the world with real playing, excellent time and great ideas. (Yes, I said it)

    • jake

      Man, Janek is an incredible bassist. This guy is insanely good but he hasn’t reached Janek’s level yet.

      • Janek is only interested in selling his shit like a tv preacher, he even bashes John Mc Laughlin for that purpose. When his carrier will be the quarter of JML’s, then he’ll own the right to be that pedantic.

        • Derek Smalls

          I’m nowhere near Janek’s level, but I’m going to be pedantic about your message. First, it’s John McLaughlin (no space between the Mc and the L); second, I hope you meant, “When his career…” instead of “his carrier”; third, when you are “the quarter” as talented as Janek, you’ll probably realize that selling stuff that is related to what you’ve spent a lifetime mastering helps to achieve financial success. Let’s leave the poor TV preachers out of this.

    • Both Michael and Janek are world class players. No need for the comparison or belittling of either.

    • I mean, Janek is more tonally adventurous than these two and a better improviser rhythmically in that regard. I think people get the wrong idea about improvisation and it becomes about how fast you can play over the changes without introducing any new harmony or approaches to the preexisting harmony. But that’s looking back to bebop, which is part of Janek’s vocabulary, as well as dudes like Matthew Garrison.

      That’s one thing with child prodigies we see often is how awesome their technique is, but we rarely get to see them do something new with improvisation itself. It’s like, ‘WOW, this kid is 17!’ Not to downplay it, but the whole tune is pretty inside, pretty standard of a particular style of music. If you work on that style of music every day, bump up the click, post one video of yourself playing one song and then do it again several years later, thus… well, yeah, we’re here. I’m not trying to sound cynical, but what’s going to be this guy’s “John and Mary?” What is he going to compose and put out that is going to make him memorable for more than his technique? Who is going to be his Weather Report? (Since obviously he’s trying to sound like Jaco… this is another frustrating issue with the whole chops thing… everyone has the same tone and no one fights to raise their action or play on a different part of the instrument… the electric bass is extremely versatile.)

      If you go to New York, you’re going to find probably 200 guys who can do the same kind of stuff at the same level, but they also have a background elsewhere and are probably a bit older. The are probably playing music with some more advanced elements too. And that gets overlooked really easily. I’m not saying this guy isn’t talented or gifted. Just give him some space to grow rather than excessive praise. At least Janek is trying to do different things. Look at his stuff with Tim Miller or Jojo Mayer… Sveti. There’s a ton of projects Janek is involved in that are groundbreaking. And he rarely plays a solo in those projects. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain what I feel when I see these videos.

      Maybe it boils down to how different people hear music. I guess I lose interest when it is two guys improvising at a fast speed… since I’ve heard it before (being the point). If I heard a recording of this and didn’t know the player was 17… well, I might just think, “That’s impressive.” But it’s not really what I’m overall looking for in listening to music. And I think this is why most people hear jazz and go, “What is this crap?” Haha, because it’s like, you don’t have to pull out all the stops the first time we hear you play. We get that you practice. Everyone who is a musician has to practice. What about the music? And if I am going to listen to another song, what is it going to sound like? Why would I bother?

  4. Mike Matthews

    Oh my goodness… just incredible, bad-ass, amazing, inspiring, and just plain AWESOMENESS!

  5. Mike

    Excellent tone and listening from both. Clever ideas! Loved it!

  6. Rob Kassabian

    This is the duck’s guts !!!

  7. This is totally BadAss!

  8. Se divierten al mismo tiempo que gozamos de su musica con estupendas improvisaciones.

  9. Such beauty in his music soothed my beast made me want to tap my toes woot woot

  10. Wow!!! Sooooo great!! Does anybody have some transcription of this theme?

  11. This is just astonishing!
    I mean I’ve seen loads young kids beast some crazy covers of Mark King and Jaco choons, but he wrote this…at 13!!!
    Holy Balls is all I can say.
    Outstanding commitment to such writing complex material at such a young age, and what melodies!!! :O
    Get in the shed Sam…and lock yourself there…no sunlight or internet for you…

  12. Haha, cats always like to sit on gig bags. I love this video! Fantastic and great vibe

  13. Hot dayum! Lovely playing by both. 17… smh. reminds me of Patitucci with Joao Bosco (but more amped up). (Not to take anything away from Pipoquinha by comparing him to anybody). Pipo is sure to become quite a force on the scene. I look forward to hearing more and more from him

  14. Anyone know what brand of Bass that is? Looks like a 6 string… but what make?

  15. Mónica

    Dios mio! Es espectacular por donde se vea es genial , increible ! Excelente

  16. I wonder if those last few notes at 7:40 on the bass are Michael’s homage to ‘Valsa Sem Nome’ by Baden Powell? My friend Goliath Flores introduced me to that heartfelt song years ago in his version, and I hear it in those notes…