O BIDU – SILÊNCIO NO BROOKLIN
1967 on United Artists (LP 70.006)
This pressing, Atoll Music, France
1 Amor de carnaval
2 Nascimento de um príncipe africano
3 Jovem samba
4 Rosa mais que nada
5 Canção de uma fã
6 Menina gata Augusta (Jorge Ben, Erasmo Carlos)
7 Toda colorida
9 Quanto mais te vejo (Jorge Ben, Yara Rossi)
10 Vou andando
11 Sou da pesada
12 Si manda
All songs by Jorge Ben unless otherwise noted.
This post is dedicated to the guy in Madison, Wisconsin, who requested but then found it elsewhere before I got around to making this post. He’s a cool guy and regular visitor to Flabbergasted Vibes, so he deserves a shout-out, especially because he doesn’t live in New York. You see, hoje em dia, there is a large population of hipsters living in Brooklyn, raising rents (if not quite raising hell) by running around in their skinny jeans and messenger bags and generally thinking they are the center of the universe. Well unfortunately this record is one more feather in their ironic caps. I would like to take pleasure from telling these people that this Jorge Ben album is NOT named after their new occupied territory. But the truth is actually somewhat worse – it is named after an entire neighborhood in São Paulo that was named after their hip occupied territory. The neighborhood was christened thus by the Canadian-owned São Paulo Tramway, Light and Power Company, which also – in an interesting reflection on Canada’s bizarre tendency towards self-effacement – named handfuls of streets after famous cities in the United States.
The only record Jorge Ben ever made for United Artists, this was left out of the recent Salve, Jorge! box set. Like many rarities by major artists, its reputation probably exceeds its actual quality. It’s not a bad album, but it’s also not a great one. Some of the tracks are trying a bit too hard for jovem guarda caché for my tastes. This isn’t a slag against jovem guarda, it’s just that I think Jorge Ben was in a transitional phase trying to figure out where he wanted to go next, and this record just kind of proves that he hadn’t found it yet. Or, possibly, that it was recorded in a hurry while trying to renegotiate his expired contract with Philips.
It most certainly has some gems on it – the first two tracks open up the record with plenty of energy, and I’m particularly fond of the celeste (although it could be a vibraphone, I prefer to believe its a celeste) on the “Nascimento de um principe africano”. The track “Toda colorida” belongs among the ranks of any of Ben’s best stuff from this period, as does “Frases”, which was reworked by Caetano Veloso and renamed “Olha o menino” on his 1977 ‘Bicho’ album. But aside from these tracks, there isn’t too much that stands out. “Rosa mais que nada” is, unsurprisingly, a rehash of ‘Mais que nada’, and while the final track ‘Si Manda’ may be an upbeat number to close out the album, it is also just a rehash of the first track “Amor de carnaval.” Still, any Jorge Ben from this period is essential, at least to us Jorge Ben fans, and others may of course feel differently about this record than I do.
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