Emílio Santiago – Emílio Santiago (1975) {João Donato, Azimuth, Wilson das Neves..)


Emilio Santiago (1975)
1975, CID (8008)
CD Reissue, CID (0074102)1 Bananeira
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
2 Quero alegria
(Guilherme de Brito, Nelson Cavaquinho)
3 Porque somos iguais
(Pedro Camargo, Durval Ferreira)
4 Batendo a porta
(Paulo César Pinheiro, João Nogueira)
5 Depois
(Otávio Daher, Ivan Lins)
6 Brother
(Jorge Ben)
7 La mulata
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Nega Dina
(Zé Keti)
9 Doa a quem doer
(Ivan Lins)
10 Sessão das dez
(Édson Lobo, Tita, Renato Rocha)

 

Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of Emilio Santiago. In fact all I have is this album, ‘Comigo é assim’ and `Feito Pra Ouvir` which might be his most famous from the 70s. But his early stuff is worth checking out, especially this debut album. This one is, in fact, pretty bad-ass. Emilio was sort of a protege, or at least a `discovery` of Roberto Menescal, who wrote the liner notes for this album and produced `Feito Pra Ouvir` a few years later.

In truth this album may be most interested for the insane lineup of musicians who contributed to it. João Donato’s contribution on the electric Rhodes is the most obvious — as is the song he co-wrote with Gilberto Gil, “Bananeira”, as solid a piece of Brazil funk as you could find. Donato also gives the track “La mulata” (penned by the brothers Valle) a salsa-style arrangement that stands out quite nicely. The funk-fusion band Azimuth provides backing on one track only, Jorge Ben’s “Brother.” Now, ‘Brother’ is from what many regard as Ben’s best album ever — A Tábua de Esmeralda — but for me that song has always been the weakest link in the great chain of that record. Here, I dare say that Emilio may surpass the original, and with big credit due to Azimuth, who make the song hit much harder than Ben’s laid-back style.

You can see the rest of the big names who helped out on this record on the CD tray like Wilson das Neves, Copinha, Ivan Lins, Dori Caymmi… Keeping in mind that the lineup of the musical backing changes on every track, sometimes entirely, the album is remarkably consistent in its sound. Emilio’s interpretations of sambas from the likes of Nelson Cavaquinho and João Nogueira are still growing on me, and perhaps they never will… His voice veers towards the schmaltzy style that would make him famous in the 80s and 90s. He is definitely not alone in giving classic samba that kind of slick treatment, but I will always prefer ‘samba do morro’ to ‘samba de calçada’ I guess..

By the way, his name is Emilio Santiago, in case you can’t read it clearly on the front cover of the album.  Bio in Portuguese

Carioca, começou a cantar em festivais universitários nos anos 70, quando freqüentava a faculdade de Direito. Participou também de programas de calouros na televisão, chegando às finais de um concurso no programa Flávio Cavalcanti, na TV Tupi. Foi crooner da orquestra de Ed Lincoln, e cantou em boates e casas noturnas. Seu primeiro compacto foi lançado em 1973 com “Transa de Amor” (S. Tapajós/ M. Amaral) e “Saravá Nega” (Odibar), o que abriu portas para participações em programas de rádio e televisão. Dois anos depois a CID grava o primeiro LP, “Emílio Santiago”, com músicas de Jorge Ben (“Brother”), João Donato (“Bananeira”) e outros. No ano seguinte assinou contrato com a Polygram, que lançou os dez discos seguintes. Foi eleito o melhor intérprete do Festival da TV Globo de 1985 com a música “Elis Elis” (E. Natolo Jr./ M. Simões). Em 1988 mudou para a gravadora Som Livre, onde iniciou o projeto “Aquarelas Brasileiras”, dedicado exclusivamente ao repertório de música brasileira. Lançou sete discos pelo projeto, alcançando a marca de 4 milhões de cópias vendidas. No final da década de 90 lançou discos fora do Aquarela Brasileira, inclusive um em homenagem ao cantor Dick Farney.

 

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(edit/update, March 20, 2013 – Emílio passed away today, only in his 60s too..  So I fixed the links here and reposted, but without any other changes.  Maybe in the coming weeks I’ll try to get another of his records up here..)

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