I first met David Wiatrolik a little over a week ago at the Bruce Adolphe improvisation workshop that was part of the Off The Hook Chamber Music Festival that Jephta Bernstein put on here in Fort Collins.
The workshop itself was quite an experience. During one part of it, Bruce asked for volunteers. I volunteered along with David and Steve Eulberg, and Bruce said, I want you to play in 11, and I want the pattern for 11 to be 4,3,4 or Ta-Ka-Di-Mi Ta-Ki-Ta Ta-Ka-Di-Mi. (Try reading that fast repeatedly without any rhythmic break in between saying it.) And, I want you to play in the Dorian Mode. Go!
Needless to say, this was a stretching experience for me. By the end of the piece I could almost feel the timing of 11, and I had Ta-Ka-Di-Mi Ta-Ki-Ta Ta-Ka-Di-Mi stuck in my head for the next few hours (off and on for days).
Since meeting David, we played a gig at the Rock Inn together last weekend, and he is going to be joining me for Tico Tico as todays Fiddle Tune.
I have known the first part of Tico Tico for a long time, and I didn’t realize it had more parts until (believe it or not) I drew it as a tune in Jana Jae’s Gambler’s Draw Contest. Jana played the extra parts for me once, but I didn’t really internalize them until this year at Weiser, where I learned the parts properly from Evan, Elise, and Elia.
Tico Tico according to Wikipedia
Tico-Tico no Fubá is the title of a renowned Brazilian choro music piece composed by Zequinha de Abreu in 1917. Its original title was Tico-Tico no Farelo, but since Brazilian guitarist Américo Jacomino Canhoto (1889–1928) had a work with the same title, Abreu’s work was given its present name in 1931.
The first recording of the work was made by Orquestra Colbaz (Columbia 22029, 1931).Choro (literally translated meaning lament) is also popularly known as chorinho in the affectionate diminutive form of Brazilian Portuguese. “Fubá” is a type of maize flour, and “tico-tico” is the name of a bird, the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis). Hence, “tico-tico no fubá” means “tico-tico on the cornmeal”.
Tico-Tico no Fubá was recorded and made popular internationally by Carmen Miranda (who performed it onscreen in Copacabana (1947)) and Ray Conniff. Another well known recording was made by first lady of the organ, Miss Ethel Smith on the Hammond organ.
A biographical movie by the same title was produced in 1952 by the Brazilian film studio Companhia Cinematográfica Vera Cruz with Anselmo Duarte playing the main role.
The song was also featured in the “Aquarela do Brasil” segment of the Walt Disney film Saludos Amigos (1942) and in Woody Allen’s Radio Days (1987). It was also featured in the MGM film Bathing Beauty (1943).
The expression also features in the lyrics to the song O Pato made famous by João Gilberto.
Tico Tico Lyrics
This was often performed by the Grateful Dead during their tuning jams which often happened in between songs.
This song was also played as an instrumental by James Booker with the Jerry Garcia Band.
In Quebec the song has been used for several decades in commercials for Sico paint.
The song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters in 1944.
The flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía also performed this song in 1967.