Jackson do Pandeiro – Forró do Jackson (1958)

Jackson do Pandeiro
“Forró do Jackson”
Released 1958 on Copacabana Records (CLP 3068 / CLP 11086 )
This CD pressing, Copacabana (99301)
Pressed by Sonopress Brasil, probably 1995

Above are two of my personal favorites, tracks penned by the Rosil Cavalcanti, also a Paraíban who found a second home in Recife just like Jackson, and who aside from contributing some of the most memorable moments of Brazilian music, also played football and worked at the Ministry of Agriculture.

01. Falso Toureiro
(Heleno Clemente – José Gomes)

02. Rosa
(Ruy de Moraes e Silva)

03. Ele Disse
(Edgar Ferreira)

04. Forró em Limoeiro
(Edgar Ferreira)

05. Cumpadre João
(Rosil Cavalcanti – Jackson do Pandeiro)

06. Meu Enchoval
(Gordurinha)

07. Moxotó
(José Gomes – Rosil Cavalcanti)

08. 17 na Corrente
(Manoel Firmino Alves – Edgar Ferreira)

09. Coco do Norte
(Rosil Cavalcanti)

10. Êta Baião
(Marçal Araujo)

11. Cajueiro
(Raimundo Baima – Jackson do Pandeiro)

The sweet smell of São João bonfires is already wafting through my windows. Unfortunately in some strange postmodern (or is it post-ironic?) twist, I have been without running water in my house for five days now, I’ve been sick with alcohol poisoning from someone serving “moonshine” in a single mixed-drink I had over the weekend, and the big musical attraction for São João here has nothing whatsoever to do with “cultura Nordestina”, except for the fact that they are very popular here, numerically speaking probably more popular than the home-grown sounds of pé-de-serra, ciranda, or samba de coco. Indeed, the big attraction today is romantic sertaneja duo BRUNO E MARRONE!! Now, if you happen to have heard any of the GOOD sertaneja from the earlier decades of the twentieth century and mostly made in the south and center-west of Brazil… this has nothing to do with that whatsoever. Think of Lefty Frizzell or Hank Williams Sr. versus Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson, and you get the idea. This stuff is totally corporate, totally mass-marketed, so much so that I am having trouble finding an un-protected YouTube clib to subject you for my masochistic gratification. For tonight’s debacle, the city has erected a stage in the central plaza that is two or three times the size of what we had here for Carnaval. No doubt built according to the duo’s megalomaniac specs, the funny thing is that its a small plaza and I have no idea where the audience is going to fit. The other problem is that some of my friends here genuinely like this crap, so I have to respectfully keep my mouth shut. Although I drew a line when it came to the stage – I was remarking on its absurd size and one of them said, “well they have huge band,” to which I responded..”Um, bullshit. There were a LOT more people crammed onto the stage during carnaval and nobody was seriously inconvenienced by it. It’s just the ego of these famous guys..” Here is a clip, probably filmed on a cell phone, of the duo playing in what seems to be a smallish place in comparison

Another funny thing is that comparatively speaking, there is MUCH worse out there than these guys. At least they seem to avoid the tendency towards over-sized ten-gallon hats and women in trashy outfits on stage who pole dance on and around the musicians and singers. But its still crap, and crap from Goiás, which is far away from the Nordeste. I wish I had that second-hand car I’ve been thinking of buying, so I could kidnap Ariana Suassuna and bring him here to brow-beat these two with his crypto-fascist regionalist puritisms, bludgeoning them into submission with his ancient croaking voice until they beg for mercy and play some damn pé de serra.
——————————————–

All of which brings me to the point of today’s post, Jackson do Pandeiro. It’s been my intention to post something every day during the regional mayhem that is Festa Junina and São João. I am getting rather tired of all of it, frankly. Between the World Cup and this daily party, I can’t get a lot of my work done, at least not the parts that depend on the participation of other people. But then I get revived when I randomly happen across a stage of *decent* pé de serra, or when I put a record like this one — a classic Jackson do Pandeiro from 1958, with a classic cover of him in repose in the lap of the gorgeous Almira.

Jackson (who also went by “Jack” and also “Jaques” in earlier phases of his career) is LONG overdue for a proper box-set treatment of his discography that surpasses the weak ‘retrospective’ type CDs like the “Millenium” collection, one of the only ‘best-of’ packages I think is still currently in print. The guy was a larger-than-life figure, charismatic and innovative, and to my ears he is as important as Luiz Gonzaga, although I understand all the social and historical reasons why Gonzaga’s legacy is more prominent in Brazil as a whole. This record, like just about he everything he did, has no bad songs on it. The tracks “17 na corrente” and “Coco do Norte” were both hits but any of these songs will get a dance floor moving and most of them will be recognizable to the discerning ear of many a fan of Brazilian music. Unfortunately “Forró em Limoeiro”, a song that did a lot for his career and earned him enough money to go and schmooze with music journalists and `ipmortant` industry people in Rio de Janeiro`, sounds like it was sourced from a 78-rotations record rather than a master tape, but the music still shines. Here is a clip of him performing it a good fifteen years later, along with some commentary from various people about his tremendous contributions, principally in the area of syncopated rhythm —

With any luck this MPB Especial which see a DVD release someday if TV Cultura can liberate the tapes. And HOLY CRAP what do we have here?? “O Canto da Ema” performed Jackson and João do Vale (who has a writing credit on this song) performing inside what seems like a train car or a small diner…

Too bad its only a minute long, because its a riveting minute. I should have more incisive critique about this album but I am simply enjoying far too much coming across these great clips of Jackson. He managed to appear in 10 different films during his lifetime (I don’t have any ready statistics on this but I believe his colleague Gonzagão has him beat in terms of film appearances..). This montage shows him in full cangaçeiro regalia, in proper São João spirit:

More sources on Jackson do Pandeiro

An interesting-looking book that I hope to read someday soon, by Fernando Mouro and Antonio Vicente

A rather simple website that does not have a ton of information, but DOES have a fairly thorough collection of song lyrics in an easily accessible format, plus some choice quotes (under ‘depoimentos’) from famous artists about the importance of Sir Jaques. Check it out here at directly in your browser as http://jacksondopandeiro.digi.com.br/

And another website, a bit more professional design than the last but is a bit more clunky to navigate. It does have a fairly detailed discography although I have reasons to doubt that all the dates are correct, it is still a useful resource: http://jacksondopandeiro.com.br/

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5 Comments

  1. I like the Jackson do Pandeiro but I'm loco for Almira.

  2. Wow! That clip of Canto da Ema is amazing. I'd only ever heard the Gilberto Gil version before, and this one is just as good!

    I'm writing for a web site at the moment (Sounds and Colours) and will definitely have to have a quick look at this blog when it comes to writing some articles on Jackson, as well as Jorge Ben and some of the other you've written about.

    Cheers!

  3. can you give some additonal info about (CLP 3068 / CLP 11086 )?
    is CLP 3068 thr mono issue?

    thanks for this gem 🙂

  4. Link invalido

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