Marcos Valle – A viola enluarda (1968)

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VIOLA ENLUARADA

Marcos Valle

1967 on Odeon (MOFB 3531)

Reissue 2011 on Boxset `Marcos Valle Tudo`

1 Viola enluarada

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

2 Próton elétron nêutron

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

3 Maria da favela

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

4 Bloco do eu sozinho

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle)

5 Homem do meu mundo

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

6 Viagem

(Marcos Valle, Ronaldo Bastos)

7 Terra de ninguém

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

8 Tião Braço Forte

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

9 O amor é chama

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

10 Réquiem

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle, Milton Nascimento, Ronaldo Bastos)

11 Pelas ruas do Recife

(Novelli, Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

12 Eu

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

Bonus Tracks

13. Terra de ninguém (instrumental)

14. Tião braço forte (instrumental)

15. O amor é chama (instrumental)

16. Ultimatum (single, festival song)

Marcos Valle – vocals and acoustic guitar

Eumir Deodato – piano, organ, arrangements on trakcs 9, 15, and 16

Dori Caymmi – arrangements on 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14

Antônio Adolfo – arrangements on 2, 4, 7, 11 and 13

Oscar Castro Neves – arrangements on 12

Sérgio Barroso – bass

Juquinha – drums

Ugo Marotta – vibraphone

Roberto Menescal and Geraldo Miranda – acoustic guitar

Marçal – percussion

Copinha – flute

Hamilton – trumpet

Maurílio Santos and Edson Maciel – trombone

Jorginho – alto sax

J.T. Meirelles and Cipó – tenor sax

Alberto Gonçalves – baritone sax

Milton Nascimento – vocals on “Viola enluarada” and “Réquiem”

The Golden Boys – vocals on “Terra de ninguém”

Ana Maria Valle – vocal on “Próton, eléctron, nêutron”

Produced by by Milton Miranda

It almost seems unfair to have music this good all coming from the same pair of brothers. The Brothers Valle. After their return from the US, they came back sounding `more Brazilian than ever` with this unbelievably gorgeous release. One look at the credits and one is immediately impressed. If talent was measured in kilos or human tunnage and reflected in the price of an album, I could never ever afford this one. Aside from Deodato, who treats us again with organ and piano alongside his arranging skills, we also get more young arrangers like Dori Caymmi and Antônio Adolfo on this disc, along with one tune from Oscar Castro Neves. I highly recommend having your ears upholstered in velvet before putting on this album, as it is the best way to receive the soft, shimmering, eternal late summer evening of these songs. The title track leading off the album has all the soaring exhubrance of a ‘festival’ song, the famous events where composers would enter their songs into competition with each other. “A viola enluarda” is literally something of an anthem of the times, a prime example of the best of ‘música engajada’ (engaged, politicized music) and MPB. The song is also crowned with a climax of Milton Nascimento’s unmistakable voice joining the fray in the second half. I am also fairly sure I hear The Golden Boys on this song, but oddly they only receive credit on the album for another tune “Terra de Ninguém”. This song won a bunch of prizes at the musical festivals of the day, was rerecorded by several artists afterward. Milton lends his angelic crystal voice to the song “Requiem” later on, pregnant with the characteristic joyful melancholy he brings to nearly everything he sings. Neither Marcos in his 2011 notes nor Paulo mention this, but Beth Carvalho would sing “A viola enluarda” at a mini-festival organized across four consecutive Fridays at Teatro Sana Rosa in Nietrói, and recorded on an album “Musicanossa – O Som e O Tempo.”

The B-side of the single of this was the song “Pelas Ruas de Recife,” by the brothers Valle with Novelli, which is a pleasant frevo-inflected homage to the city of frevo, Recife, but not particularly my favorite of the genre of how-great-Recife-is-during-Carnaval-songs. This is just a personal quibble, because I have never been crazy about frevo and have had the good fortune to live in its epicenter for a brief period. And in the same way that MPB records frequently seemed compelled to include a baião in the 1970s, during the 60s the trend was including a frevo.

The second tune is a trippy piece sunsplashed in groovy day-glo that reinforces the sense that this album is moving away from the more straight-up jazz bossa of Marcos’s last domestic release. The propulsive “Próton elétron nêutron”, a vocal duet with sister Anamaria, and lyrics of atomic-age malaise and alienation from brother Paulo Sérgio where “total chaos is the grand finale”. Another rhythmically energetic tune with a jazzista, rather funky groove is “Tião braço forte”, which by the title I had hoped would be a critique of US intervention in Latin America but, well, just isn’t. It’s a great song though.

In the original liner notes by Paulo Sérgio Valle — which are microscopically reproduced in the artwork but thanks to a scan at 600 dpi are actually readable – he speaks of having come back from the US a few months before his brother, and getting a package in the mail containing new compositions that Marcos was too excited about to wait to deliver.

“Marcos musical fertility couldn’t fit into the baggage compartment of a Boeing and he sent me only days before his return a reel of tape, a sample of his new songs. In that moment I felt a profound change in his way of composing: a refinement, without triggering the excesses of perfectionism, and a more profound ‘brazilianness’, with falling into the naive exploitation of ‘folkclore’.”

He goes on, rather poetically of how they attempted to capture a certain transcendent snapshot of a difficult historical moment in this 1968 album. When he mentions the album credits he includes Victor Manga, who is for some reason left off the reissue information but was a frequent partner of Antonio Adolfo and is also included on the credits given here.

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Single of ‘Viola enluarda’ b/w Pelas ruas de Recife, from my collection

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Cover of another ‘compato’ with four tracks, photo included in boxset

Another highlight is “Bloco de eu sozinho”, a wonderfully melancholic song for carnaval written with Ruy Guerra, “Viagem” written with Ronaldo Bastos. It’s also a favorite of my friend Celia in Portugal, who otherwise “isn’t crazy about Marcos Valle.” But I don’t believe she has heard this album in its entirety and I am hoping it changes her opinion of the man.

Three instrumental mixes make up the bonus songs alongside one single, a tune entered into a Festival on TV Excelsior that took second place to a song by Tiaguara called Modinha. A bit of sloppiness on the 2011 reissue — the female vocalist on this tune is not credited here, so I am going to guess and say its Marcos’ sister Ana Maria.

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