Clara Nunes – Clara Nunes (1971)

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CLARA NUNES Released 1971 Odeon/EMI (SMOFB 3667)

01 – Aruandê Aruandá (Zé da Bahia)
02 – Participação (Didier Ferraz / Jorge Belizário)
03 – Meu Lema (João Nogueira / Gisa Nogueira)
04 – Ê Baiana (Fabrício da Silva / Baianinho / Ênio Santos Ribeiro / Miguel Pancrácio)
05 – Puxada da Rede do Xaréu – 1ª Parte (Maria Rosita Salgado Goes)
06 – Novamente (Luis Bandeira)07 – Misticismo da África ao Brasil (Mário Pereira / Wilmar Costa / João Galvão)
08 – Sabiá (Luis Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)09 – Rosa 25 (Geovana)
10 – A Favorita (Francisco Leonardo)
11 – Puxada da Rede do Xaréu – 2ª Parte (Maria Rosita Salgado Goes)
12 – Feitio de Oração (Vadico / Noel Rosa)
13 – Canseira (Paulo Diniz / Odibar) 14 – Morrendo Verso Em Verso (João Nogueira)

This is a vinyl rip from a nice heavy slab of Odeon vinyl. I daresay that this is probably the best-sounding digitized version you are likely to find. I DARE you to find one better, that’s right – I *DARE* YOU! Recently there was an entire boxset of Clara Nunes’ complete recordings released. I have no heard it yet, but if the last reissues I heard were any indication (`Claridade` and `Forças de Natureza’ being the culprits), I do not have terribly high hopes regarding their sound quality. Those two titles literally hurt my ears to listen to on CD — none of the depth and dynamic range of the original recordings are there, with everything sounding as equally loud as everything else, very harsh and painful to the ears.

Oh, the previous owner of this LP wrote their name on the front cover no less than 4 times. I removed it using the magic of Photoshop for this post, but I included the original inside the package, just in case YOU are that person and wish to tell me a story about some memorable experience with this album. They also wrote their name 4 times on the back cover, of which I could only remove 3 using digital trickery.

TRANSCRIPTION DETAILS:
Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musica direction – Lindolpho Gaya
Production assistant – Adelzon Alvez
Recording engineer – Jorge E. Nivaldo

Arrangements by Maestros Orlando Silveira, Lindolpho Gaya, Nelsinho, and José Roberto (see back cover for details)

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This is Clara Nunes before she was the reigning Queen of Samba during the 1970s. Her earliest albums recorded in the 60s were a combination of MPB, bossa nova, música romántica, and the occasional samba. On this 1971 outing she sounds much more confident than those records; it is as if we are listening to her finding her footing as a mature artist. Fans who know only her samba records, for which she is quite justly more renowned, might be taken aback on first hearing this one, where she incorporates the former elements mentioned above along with frevo, forró, and some jovem quarda and tropicália derivatives. I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to hear her ethereal voice in these other contexts. My badly-written description here most likely makes the album sound like a cluttered mess. But as eclectic as it might be stylistically, and featuring arrangements by no less than four maestros (one of them the ubiquitous Gaya), it all hangs together by virtue of one overwhelming unifying factor — Clara Nunes. The baião from Zé Dantas and Luis Gonzaga, ‘Sabiá’, is particularly great, and Clara would make something of a tradition of including at least one tune from the forró genre on all her records throughout the decade. Luis Bandeira’s “Novamente,” is a frevo that, like 90% of the songs in that genre, celebrate the virtues of the ‘Venice of South America,’ Recife, and praises composers Nelson Ferreira and Capiba. Clara does the song justice.

This record is historically important for at least two main reasons. One is that it is the first of her albums to prominently feature sounds and imagery from the Afro-Brazilian traditions to which Clara would become more and more involved with throughout the decade. Compared to her later musical explorations in this area, these efforts are a bit clumsy. One awkward clunker on the album is “Misticismo da África ao Brasil” whose lyrics play like they were written for a tourist agency trying to attract people interested in Afro-Brazilian roots and heritage. The original liner notes of the LP mention how the album includes material highlighting “Clara’s new audiovisual image” incorporating these “folkloric” elements or some such drivel. But, to give producer Adelzon Alvez (who wrote the notes) a fair break, these were significant valorizations of the cultural values associated with African religious practices like those of candomblé and the more eclectic (and less Afrocentric) umbanda by a public figure and pop star. Alongside the awkward ‘Misticismo’, there is also a moody, theatrical inclusion of a 2-part piece written by Maria Rosita Salgado Goes (about whom I have no information other than she was Bahian and I believe taught music or poetry at UFBA), titled “Puxada da Rede do Xaréu” and divided with one part on each side of the LP… It’s very very much in the style of Dorival Caymmi’s songs about fisherman and fishing and Iemanjá. I don’t particularly like it much and would much rather hear Clara singing a Caymmi composition.

The second historically important thing about this record is the inclusion of two songs by João Nogueira (one co-written with his sister Giselle), who was then an up-and-coming “discovery” and would release his first album the following year.

The record also features a totally groovy interpretation of a Paulo Diniz tune, whose Englishness of approach in the strummy acoustic guitar, raggedy drum beat, and sustained organ chords must have made her fellow Mineiros in the Clube da Esquina collective wet their pants with excitement.

Samba purists will not find this album essential at all, but fans of Clara Nunes as an *artist* should not miss this entry in her discography.

p.s. This is for Andrew.

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11 Comments

  1. password:

    vibes

  2. Blogger seems to be having some problems, as I am having no success making edits to this post.

    Which would include agitating the proper link here

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3CZWAXR2

  3. Oh man… THANKS!!!
    I was waiting for Clara's vinyl rip for a long time, due to the bad remasters, especially this and the following, "Clara Clarice Clara". If you have it…

  4. Glad to hear this excited you Gustavo. Clara really deserves a kinder treatment in remastering – it would be nice if they sent her stuff off to Peter Mayhew at Abbey Road like was done with Paulinho da Viola's catalog, but alas…

    I do in fact have `Clara Clarice Clara` and have been planning to do a vinyl rip of it as well. Stay tuned!

  5. Bad news Gustavo… I dug out my copy of "Clara Clarice Clara" and it has a few skips on it. At least one of them doesn't seem likely to be "fixable" (manipulated through tone arm weight or heavy cleaning or whatnot).. But you've inspired me to look for an upgrade copy worth doing a vinyl rip from. In the meantime I will work on a couple other titles from her.

  6. This is really great. Clara was an angel, and her repertoire is strong and beautiful.

    Thanks.

  7. Great find, thanks! I had only a measly rip before. Best wishes

  8. SOUL VICIADO EM SOUL. SERTO DIA NO MEU TRABALHO EM UMA VIDRAÇARIA. VI UMAS CRINAÇAS BRINCO COM UNS DISCO… EU JA FIQUEI LOUCO PARA PEDI PRA PAI DO MOLEQUE. NEN FOI PRESISO A MÃE DELE CHEGO COM UM PILHA DE VINIL NOS BRAÇOS E ME DEU O PAI DO MOLEQUE AINDA DISSE: MARCELO PODE PEGA PARA FAZER O RAP DELE! RESUMINDO VEIO NADA MENOS QUE CLARA NUNES TITULO DO DISCO:= CLARA ESPERANÇA. ESSE VINIL ME FEZ VIAJA NO TEMPO ATE VEIO TAMBEM UM COLETANIA MOTOWN SOUL.. ADORO AQUELA FRASE DO VINIL DISCO É CULTURA ESSA FRASE JA PREVIA ALGO… QUE A MELHOR MUSICA É A OLD SCHOOL

  9. Any chance of a repost of this, pretty please?

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