Elis Regina – Em Pleno Verão (1970)

Photobucket

Elis Regina
“Em pleno verão”
Released 1970 Philips (R 765.112 L)
Reissue 2005 (811 467-2)

1 Vou deitar e rolar (Quaquaraquaquá)
(Baden Powell, Paulo César Pinheiro)
2 Bicho do mato
(Jorge Ben)
3 Verão vermelho
(Nonato Buzar)
4 Até aí morreu Neves
(Jorge Ben)
5 Frevo
(Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)
6 As curvas da estrada de Santos
(Erasmo Carlos, Roberto Carlos)
7 Fechado pra balanço
(Gilberto Gil)
8 Não tenha medo
(Caetano Veloso)
9 These are the songs
(Tim Maia)
10 Comunicação
(Édson Alencar, Hélio Matheus)
11 Copacabana velha de guerra
(Sergio Flaksman, Joyce)

This is a fun album that sees Elis taking herself a bit less seriously than would be the case in years to come. Beginning with the beautiful photo on the album cover, it’s sunshine all the way through. Recorded and released in 1970, it sits on a precipice of musical history sort of like the proverbial time capsule left for the extra-terrestrials to tell them about contemporary MPB. With consistently interesting and flawless arrangements from Erlon Chaves, Elis rips through a repertoire of songs that couldn’t get much better spanning Bossa Nova, Jovem Guarda, Brazilian Soul and Tropicália and spinning them into a weirdly unified whole. A delirious take on “Vou deitar e rolar (Quaquaraquaquá)” from Baden Powell and Paulo César Pinheiro has Elis unable to restrain herself from laughing through most of it, which is a cue to the listener to lighten up a bit. Two fantastic tunes from Jorge Ben nestle nicely with tunes from Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil – “Fechado pra balanço” stands out in particular and is a testament to the stylistic strengths of both composer and interpreter here, as their different personalities are completely intermingled and simultaneously distinct, a talent that was an uncanny ability of Elis. She also continues her tradition of lifting up new talented writers by concluding with a song by a young Joyce (“Copacabana velha de guerra”) and especially the inclusion of Tim Maia’s “These Are The Songs” on which she brought him into the studio to sing. This was the same year that Tim’s debut album would come out, and his inclusion on an album by the reigning queen of MPB helped him to explode on the scene.  But for all the great material on here, currently my favorite cut is “As Curvas da Estrada de Santos” in which she is able to out-swagger Roberto Carlos, with big help from her backing band who really work it out. (Wilson das Neves on drums?? I don’t have musician credits for this one..) Although this album doesn’t seem to have any of the titles that would come to be Elis’ “signature songs” associated with her during the remainder of her short life, it’s a nice solid slab of great music in her discography.

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