Jorge Ben – Solta o Pavão (1975)

jorge ben
jorge ben

Jorge Ben
SOLTA O PAVÃO
Released 1975
Phonogram / Philips (6349 162)

This reissue, Salve, Jorge! Boxset

1 Zagueiro
2 Assim falou Santo Tomaz de Aquino
3 Velhos, flores, criancinhas e cachorros
4 Dorothy
5 Cuidado com o bulldog
6 Para ouvir no rádio (Luciana)
7 O rei chegou, viva o rei
8 Jorge de Capadócia
9 Se segura malandro
10 Dumingaz
11 Luz polarizada
12 Jesualda

I was lucky enough to find a vinyl copy of this album years ago for the price of a sandwich or maybe just a bag of chips. It was a near-perfect copy marred only by a single skip on one track. But a combination of wanting to preserve this relic, and as much as I love vinyl I must admit this: the convenience of CDs, led me to rather ignore this album in favor of its predecessor, the famed “A Tábua de Esmeralda”, which has been available in various pressings much more so than this title.. I also thought A Tábua was a better album, the best he ever made. Well now I am not so sure. Since getting this new boxset I have been playing the hell out of this CD more than the others. The songs may not reach out and pinch you like “A Tábua” does I think the album is for the most part the equal of its “twin”. The album even has a similar weak spot — the slightly-annoying “Cuidado com o bulldog” is the equivalent of A Tábua’s “Brother”, i.e. a song that you often just want to skip over. Except that “bulldog” is structurally more interesting and band rocks the fuck out of it. (I keep locking horns with people over the song “Brother”.. Okay, it’s not *that* bad.)

Musically there is a frenetic energy and tension to some of the songs that differs from A Tábua, in a way leading into the funk overdrive of his next album, Àfrica Brasil. The production from Sr. Tabajos is once again brilliant. Woodwind arrangement on ‘Dorothy’. Enough said. The drums on that tune and some others suffer a little bit from the mastering, which sounds like it was sent through a Manley tube compressor running warm enough to reheat my soup. “Assim falou Santo Tomas de Aquinas” is a thing of beauty infused with inner light. The track Jorge de Capadócia is a sonic orgasm bringing timbales, analog synths, and an odd coda with repeating plucked guitar string heavily phased and tremolo’d in a way that reminds me of “Future Days”-era Can..(I have no idea why everything has been reminding me of Can lately, seeing as I have not listened to them in quite some time. Maybe its a sign to dig those records out..). Jorge’s occasionally odd mix of profundity and levity is just irresistible to me. He wants to save the senior citizens, the flowers, the children, and the dogs. All in the same song. How can I argue with that? The album kind of peters out at the end, the final tracks sort of lose your attention, but it never wears out its carpet and I’ve found myself wanting to play it over again when it ends. And I never do that.

The beguiling subject matter is very much an extension of “A Tábua”, diving further into the mystical, the arcane, the heraldric symbolism and imagery of alchemy, and influenced by the writings of St.Thomas of Aquinas. The sparse liner-notes on the back cover treat this somewhat lightly, noting (correctly) Jorge’s own alchemy at combining these interests with the cotidian life of Rio de Janeiro and his love of futebol and so on. But it’s also a very serious thing. What I wouldn’t give to have seen this boxset released with a real, comprehensive BOOKLET: where are the rare photos? the interviews? The narratives and stories behind each of these records? I want to know his favorite movies and books and invite him as my Facebook friend.. Wait a minute, that´s not actually true. But the stars know I paid enough for the box, and the least they could do is give us a few photos of Ben looking cool.

Perhaps Jorge himself is reluctant to talk about these ideas that were bubbling in the cauldron of his mind and spirit while creating the most interesting albums of his career. I don’t know if there are any interviews where he talks about them, or if any journalists or biographers have shed any decent insights on these albums ( África Brasil is part of the ‘trilogy’ of esoteric masterpieces, thought not always considered as such). If anyone happens to know of anything like this, let me know!

There are full musician credits on this one, for a change. You can read them yourself in the artwork. In the tradition of the Ohio Players, all the musicians have their astrological sign listed. There are just too many musicians to list, but I will pay homage to the rhythm section of Dadi Aroul Flabi (bass) and Gusta Von (drums) who are just massive all throughout.

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O REI CHEGOU, VIVA O REI!!!

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18 Comments

  1. password / senha: vibes

  2. Didn't know much of this one at all. love the arrangements! particularly 'Para Ouvir No Radio' . Thanks a lot!

  3. "Brother" is one of my favorite songs from "A Tábua…" but I think his first album is also his best.

  4. Man, please repost the cd BEN (1972), the rs link is not working!

  5. Mr Anonymous the II… Try this link and tell me if it is the proper album

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=L9K5ZY9C

    I am currently living in a place where (if I am lucky), I can get about 10kbs upload speed.. That, and a recent computer crash, have cramped my style lately. I *think* this is the 1972 album but honestly my shit isn't together enough right now for me to swear on it.

  6. I wish I could share your excitement for this LP, but I've never really clicked with this album. I kinda fall asleep every time I listen to this one. I think Jorge peaked out on his two previous sets & is running on fumes on this one. He bounces back slightly on "A Banda Do Ze Pretinho", but his best days are behind him at this point.

  7. After reading "The Story Of Bossa Nova" I think I understand the plight of the Samba movement being upstaged by Bossa Nova & then the Tropicalia movement. It's interesting to note the curve of the Samba revival by the mid-70's. Many composers who had paid there dues were rightly dropping their masterpieces by the early to mid 70's. Cartola, Batatinha, Nelson Cavaquinho & Adoniran Barbosa are dropping long overdue masterworks while artist like Mr. Ben would continue to get the lions share of the glory that is MPB. There are so many talented artists over in Brasil that it's more polite to give a few other artists their rightful credit too.

  8. beautiful music, thanks my friend!

  9. One of the best!!! Thanks Flabber!! and great sound, never been heard before!
    All killer No filler
    Zagueiro and Luciana, the tracks of my life when I hear my LP
    Salve Jorge!!!

  10. Oh HELL yes, Luz Polarizada is one of those all time Jorge cuts… thanks for this!

  11. tres bonne

  12. Hello, just discovered your blog this weekend. Thanks very much!

  13. Thanks for tuning me further into Jorge, an inspiration!

  14. After reading and slowly digesting this Jorge Ben spree around here the question evolves:

    Has there ever been another artist (maybe besides The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Radiohead) with so many essential records?

  15. Sem link

  16. Link Inválido!!

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