Luiz Gonzaga – Quadrilhas e marchinhas juninas (1965)

Luiz Gonzaga
1965 RCA
This vinyl rip from a 1973 RCA Dynaflex repress

1 Pot-pourri Instrumental:
Fim de festa (Zito Borborema)
Polca fogueteira (Luiz Gonzaga)
Lascando o cano (Luiz Gonzaga – Zé Dantas)
Pagode russo (Luiz Gonzaga)
Fogueira de São João (Luiz Gonzaga – Carmelina Albuquerque)

2 Olha pro céu (Instrumental)
(José Fernandes, Luiz Gonzaga)
3 São João na roça (Instrumental)
(Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas)
4 Fogo sem fuzil
(José Marcolino, Luiz Gonzaga)
5 Quero chá
(José Marcolino, Luiz Gonzaga)
6 Matuto de opinião
(Gonzaguinha, Luiz Gonzaga)
7 Boi bumbá
(Gonzaguinha, Luiz Gonzaga)
8 O maior tocador
(Luiz Guimarães)
9 Piriri
(Ary Rangel, João Silva)

Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – resampled (and dithered for 16-bit) using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag&Rename.


Well I had hoped to get this post done yesterday but it just didn’t happen. Yesterday was the official day of São Pedro but since today is the very last day of June, I am barely saved from being a day late and a dollar short. There are still festas juninas going on the northeast, and if you are at one you obviously don’t need this LP, but for everyone else you can entertain yourself with Luiz Gonzaga. Gonzagão must have made a dozen São João-themed LPs in his lifetime (including a “volume two” to compliment this particular record a decade later, which I’ve never seen). The first side of the LP is entirely instrumental, including a medley that rips through tunes both familiar and arcane from his catalog. Gonzaga’s playing never fails to stun but if instrumental forró is not your thing, you might find yourself checking your watch as you wait for the second half. Side Two features six short and sweet vocal tracks. Although none of these probably make it on a ‘best of’ collection (I’m not sure about the CD boxset, which one of these days I will invest in), but I had heard at least a couple of them somewhere before picking up this album. Boi Bumbá and Piriri are Gonzaga at his finest, the latter being a fantastic São João song with a chorus that will stick in your head for hours.

The former track, Boi Bumbá, has a great extended verse/bridge section where the singers divide up cow and deliberate on which parts go to whom. This is actually a vocal duet, trading off with another singer, whose identity is unknown to me. I could try to find this out by reading a biography on Gonzaga, but I am basically lazy and do not know how to read. So I will appeal to any blog followers here for information – does anybody know? It is a double mystery in that the song also has a writing credit (along with preceding track `Matuto de opinão’) given to a Luiz Gonzaga Junior. My first reaction to seeing this was — this CAN’T be Gonzaguinha, the adopted son of Gonzagão who had his own brilliant recording career in the 70s. Well, checking on his birth date, I discovered that he actually would have been twenty years old by 1965, so technically it is possible. But Gonzaguinha’s own work would totally eschew the kind of rustic regionalisms that form the backbone of his father’s repertoire in favor of jagged social commentary and political engagement, having over 50 of his compositions censored by the military government. Even though his recording career had yet to begin in 65, as far as I know he was involved with the student movement of the time and I just can’t imagine him having anything to do with these two tracks. So, it must be a coincidence, right? Or maybe not. Anyone with clues please leave them in the comments here.

I felt so badly about the mediocre O Cavaquinho no Forró album earlier this week having been the only ‘celebration’ for São João or the festas juninas on the blog this year, that I thought I would make it up to you by getting this post up just under the wire. Please accept my peace offering.

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Pra onde vai a barrigueira?
Vai pra Miguel Pereira
E a vassoura do rabo?
Vai pro Zé Nabo
De que é o osso da pá?
De Joãozinho da Fornemá
E a carne que tem na nuca?
É de seu Manuca
De quem é o quarto trazeiro?
De seu Joaquim marceneiro
E o osso alicate?
De Maria Badulate
Pra quem dou a tripa fina?
Dê para a Sabina
Pra quem mando este bofe?
Pro Doutor Orlofe
E a capado filé?
Mande para o Zezé
Pra quem vou mandar o pé?
Para o Mário Tiburé
Pra quem dou o filé miõn?
Para o doutor Calmon
E o osso da suã?
Dê para o doutor Borjan
Não é belo nem doutor
Mas é bom trabalhador
Mas é véio macho, sim sinhor
É véio macho, sim sinhor
É bom pra trabaiá
Rói suã até suar
Ê boi, ê boi
Ê boi do mangangá..

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Joe Turner Meets Jimmy Witherspoon – Patcha, Patcha All Night Long (1985)


Joe Turner Meets Jimmy WItherspoon
“Patcha, Patcha, All Night Long”
1985 Pablo Records 2310-913
A1 Patcha, Patcha 7:30
A2 Blues Lament 12:07
B1 You Got Me Runnin’ 3:33
 B2 Kansas City On My Mind 7:56
B3 J.T.’s Blues 5:38
 B4 I Want A Little Girl 5:46

Bass – Rudy Brown,
Drums – Al Duncan,
Guitar – Gary Bell,
Keyboards – Bobby Blevins, 
Saxophone – Lee Allen
, Saxophone [Alto] – Red Holloway,
Saxophone [Baritone] – Jerry Jummonville,
Trumpet – Ike Williams

Producer – Norman Granz


Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – resampled (and dithered for 16-bit) using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

There’s really no particular reason why I’m posting this particular album other than that I was going through my crates of records, stumbled on this one, and realized I couldn’t remember what it sounded like. So I took it out, put it on the turntable, and now here it is.

This could be called a ‘jump blues’ album but it’s basically jam session and, like the Kansas City tradition where Joe Turner hails from, what you call it isn’t really all that important. It’s the groove and the swing and all these guys got plenty of it. Nat Hentoff provides nice liner notes, although he doesn’t praise Red Holloway nearly enough, and doesn’t even mention stalwart blues drummer Al Duncan. He also skirts around the fact that he had nothing to do with the session, wasn’t there, and doesn’t seem to have anything to say about the particular day in the studio when these two luminaries were brought together. Label head Norman Granz (of Jazz At The Philharmonic and Verve Records) apparently had Big Joe doing all kinds of ‘duet’ albums like this during his stint with Pablo, but this is the only one I have. In reality, they only sing *together* on the first side, where they trade off verses. The second is split evenly between the two of them.

 Hentoff, oddly enough, mentions being surprised by a rather disturbing line that Witherspoon sings in the impromptu “Blues Lament”, but only because he hadn’t heard it before, not because it was, well, really, REALLY not cool: “I’m going to take you to the dentist tomorrow morning, because I’m knockin’ out all your teeth tonight.” Dude… just not cool at all.

 Spoon sounds really at ease doing Jimmy Reed’s “You Got Me Runnin’.” Although both these guys were in the twilights of their careers at this point, I have to say that Witherspoon sounds in better form. He nails this, and the chestnut standard “I Want A Little Girl,” which has become an unofficial anthem for pedophiles the world over. Big Joe is a lot of fun though. Kansas City On My Mind is a great slow-burner, but the kicker for me is “J.T.’s Blues”. I’ll also give $20 to anyone who can transcribe the lyrics to the first verse. I actually find myself cracking up laughing trying to figure out what the hell he’s saying.

 Just for the hell if it, I’ve included a partial list of all the people who’ve recorded “I Want A Little Girl.”
(Billy Moll / Murray Mancher)

McKinney’s Cotton Pickers (vocal: George Thomas) – 1930

Count Basie & His Orch. – 1956
Big Joe Turner – 1956
Ray Charles – 1958
Benny Goodman’s Big Band – 1958
Billy Eckstine (with Count Basie & His Orch.) – 1959
Vic Damone – 1962
Oscar Peterson Trio Plus One – 1964
Jimmy Rushing – 1971
Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson – 1981
Roy Eldridge – 1986
Joe Williams – 1987
Jimmy Witherspoon – 1988
Bert Firman & his Rhythmic Eight – 1930
Louis Armstrong – 1946
Kay Starr (“Boy”) – 1955
Sammy Price – 1957
Nat “King” Cole w Count Basie’s Orch (but not CB!) ’58

Also recorded by:
Pee Wee Russell; Jimmy Smith; Ike Quebec; Ben Webster;
Jack McDuff; Lou Donaldson; T-Bone Walker; Earl Hines;
Clark Terry…….and others.

 Not an essential piece of either of their discographies, but still a fun record to have around.


in 320

 in FLAC 16/44.1 khz

 in FLAC 24-bit / 96 khz

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Gilberto Gil – Refazenda (1975)


PARABÉNS ao Gil, 70 anos!

Gilberto Gil
1975 Phonogram 6349 152
This release 2000 WEA
Same master as 1994 first issue

1 Ela
(Gilberto Gil)
2 Tenho sede
(Dominguinhos, Anastácia)
3 Refazenda
(Gilberto Gil)
4 Pai e mãe
(Gilberto Gil)
5 Jeca total
(Gilberto Gil)
6 Essa é pra tocar no rádio
(Gilberto Gil)
7 Ê, povo, ê
(Gilberto Gil)
8 Retiros espirituais
(Gilberto Gil)
9 O rouxinol
(Gilberto Gil, Jorge Mautner)
10 Lamento sertanejo
(Dominguinhos, Gilberto Gil)
11 Meditação

Produced and mixed by Mazola
Musical coordinator and orchestral arrangements by Perinho Albuquerque
Basic arrangements – Gilberto Gil
Recording technicians – Luigi, João Moreira, Luiz Cláudio
Assistents – Paulo Sérgio, José Guilherme
Photos by João Castrioto
Cover design by Aldo Luiz
Refazenda ‘logo’ by Rogério Duarte

Acoustic guitar and “phase guitar” – Gilberto Gil
Accordion – Dominguinhos
Bass – Moacyr Albuquerque
Drums – Chiquinho Azevedo
Acoustic guitar on the track “O Rouxinol” – Frederiko
Percussion – Hermes, Ariovaldo
Cordas – Phonogram (???)
Flautas – Jorginho, Celso, & Geraldo
Trombones – Maciel & Bogado
Trumpets – Formiga, Barreto * Niltinho
Euphonium on “Jeca Total” – Luiz Paulo

on the track “Essa é pra tocar no rádio”
Drums – Tuti Moreno
Piano and ____ – Aloísio Milanes
Bass – Rubão Sabino
Percussion – Chiquinho Azevedo
Accordion – Dominguinhos

on the track “Pai e Mãe”
Cavaquinho – Canhoto
7-string guitar – Dino de 7 Cordas
Flute – ALtamiro Carrilho

 It’s difficult to pick a favorite Gilberto Gil album, but for a long time I think this one has been on the top of my list. A fan could break down their favorites into qualities, Grammy-style: Gil at his most adventurous and experimental (1969 self-titled), his funkiest (1977’s Refavela). But for an overall listening experience with nary a weak tune anywhere to be found, for it always comes back to Expresso 2222, Refazenda, and Refavela. The latter two are supposed to have been parts of a trilogy which culminated in Realce, which easily qualifies for Gil’s worst album of the 1970s but probably his biggest seller thanks largely to the godawful rewrite of Bob Marley’s “No Woman Don’t Cry” as “Não Chore Mais.”


But all that was years away from the tranquility of this record. Since today (June 26) is Gil’s 70th birthday I decided to dust this one off. My original vinyl has been cued up and waiting for a 24-bit treatment, but this early CD pressing sounds nice, much more neutral than the ear-fatiguing remasters from a few years ago an light years beyond what a certain American label has been doing to his back catalog stateside. (If you come across these questionable reissues on a certain indie reissue label, *avoid at all costs!*)

Refazenda is as laid-back and relaxed an album as Gil would ever make. All the songs are built around his acoustic guitar, which at this time he was compulsively processing through a flange effect of greater or lesser intensity. The contribution of accordionist Dominguinhos to the record cannot be overstated. His sensitive playing adds all the right textures to these tunes, and the pieces featuring his writing – “Tenho Sede”, written by Dominguinhos and writing partner Anastácia, and “Lamento Sertanejo” with Gil – are the highlights of the album. I used to harbor mixed feelings about the string arrangements from Perinho Albuquerque on some of the songs. On some, like Tenho Sede, they are majesterial without being overbearing. On others, like the title cut, they seem to get in the way a little, and on “Retiros espirituais” they seem appropriate enough but just kind of … there. I’ve made my peace with them as part of this classic record. Gil himself is responsible for the overall band arrangements and brings the same sensibility (and some of the same musicians) to this material that he did to Gal Costa’s “India.” He invited some heavy company into the studio for the gorgeous chorinho “Pai e mãe”, which has Dino de 7 Cordas on seven-string guitar, Canhoto on cavaquinho, and Altamiro Carrilho on flute. Joining him for “Essa é pra tocar no rádio” is the not-to-stumped drummer Tuti Moreno who was quite likely the only person in a hundred-mile radius capable of playing it. The irony of the title (This is to be played on the radio) is that it’s the most rhythmically angular, strange, frantic, and noncommercial song on the album. It was also featured on Gil’s album with Jorge Ben recorded the same year (Ogum Xangô) where it’s looser and more stream-of-consciousness.

Gil’s northeastern roots show strongly through this whole effort, and it never occured to me until today that he was born between the feasts of São João (St.John) and São Pedro (St.Peter), making him cosmically predisposed to the astral influences of Luiz Gonzaga, Jackson do Pandeiro, and Dorival Caymmi. You can hear Gonzagão in his singing in his choice of intervals and in the unique almost-falsetto scat-yodel that Gil is sometimes prone to break into; Jackson is phrasing and rhythm, whether in its more overt form like the frantic “Esse pra tocar no rádio” or in more subdued wordplay like “Jeca Total,” and Dorival haunts some of the more pensive and plaintive of Gil’s writing. But Jackson do Pandeiro is probably the main current, linha, ou corrente astral on Gil – you can hear his rhythmic innovations in Gil’s unique guitar playing, and he has said (somewhere..) what a transformative effect Jackson’s music had on him, that NOTHING was ever the same rhythmically after Jackson.  Why didn’t they ever make an album together??

The opener “Ela” and “É, povo, é” are both grooving, free-spirited pop. In fact this album is free-spirited enough that this sweetly beautiful album was apparently considered a threat to the nation’s moral fiber in some way, as the album was brought up in some fashion as being lyrically degenerate and inciting the youth to bohemian grooviness when Gil was brought up on pot charges around this time. (I can’t remember it too well but there is a scene in the film Doces Bárbados where Gil is sitting in a government office looking faintly amused but mostly exacerbated as a variety of bizarre charges are being read out loud by a military regime bureaucrat. I had forgotten all about that seen until sitting down to write this — now I am going to have to dig that film up!).

The only weak spot on this record can be blamed on Jorge Mautner, who should really just stick to writing poetry. His albums are mediocre at best, and at their worst, unlistenable. Unfortunately he has friends and connections who keep encouraging him into thinking he ought to record music a few times an era, and it’s all utterly missable. Including here – the tune “Rouxinol” serves no higher purpose than to jar you from your sensory bliss and aural revery. Mautner is a decent poet, and his lyrics read well on paper, but when recorded they always just sound trite to me. But who the hell am I? Just some opinionated guy with a blog.

I’ve spent so long scribbling this that it is no longer Gil’s birthday now. Hopefully somebody out there is still celebrating.

Did I mention “Lamento Sertanejo” is easily one of the best compositions of Gil’s career and one which is still a part of his live repertoire? In fact it is probably the best remembered song on here. If you’re feeling these tunes you should really check out Dominguinho’s performance-interview on the MPB Especial program. I believe it is posted at this blog with the initials FV

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Pedrinho e Seu Conjunto – Um Cavaquinho no Forró (Esqeuma PLP-2004)


Pedrinho e Seu Conjunto
Um Cavaquinho no Forró
Label: Esquema (PLP-2004)

Release year unknown, probably mid-70s as it was reissued in the early 1980s on a different label (Brasildisc)

 01. Um cavaquinho no forró
02. Forró em Paripiranga
03. Catadinho
04. Macaco na cinza
05. Dance comigo
06. Genioso
07. Sergipano
08. Quatro cordas e cinco dedos
09. Passeio alegre
10. Baião do amor
11. Forró no Ipê
12. Forró em Lagedo Grande

 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 at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 > Mono fold down and one additional declicking using Click Repair.  Dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag andRename.

Vive São João!  cadê o milho e fogueira?

Well, the holiday of São João was yesterday and usually signals a winding down of Festa Junina festivities, but falling as it did on a Sunday, a lot of people have off work today. It’s often the case that you’ll find people stretching out the “festas juninas” until the end of the month, after the feast of São Pedro, but things never have the same momentum as they do in the days and weeks leading up to July 24 in my opinion.

So perhaps it is appropriately anticlimactic that I bring you this album today. It’s an interesting idea – an instrumental record of forró with the cavaquinho as the lead instrument instead of a sanfona or eight-button accordion. Luiz Gonzaga was the first artist to incorporate the cavaquinho into his band playing forró pé de serra, xote, and baião in the 1950s, but it rarely stepped out from playing rhythmic accompaniment and counterpoint.  On this record, it’s front and center.  And sometimes you wish it weren’t.  Pedrinho is, in fact, not a particularly engaging cavaquinho player.  I could cut the guy — about whom I know squat, as this record gives us squat to go on – a little slack, since the album was probably recorded in an afternoon in a session of single takes, but I’ve heard so many better cavaquinho players in Brazil both on record and in random live performances, it’s hard to be impressed overmuch with Pedrinho beyond the novelty.  Flubbed notes, lack of dynamics, and the choice to stick to an entirely “original” repertoire (músicas autoriais, in Portuguese) burdened by almost excruciating repetition make this a 37-minute album best listening to in ten-minute chunks.  Nearly every song begins with the same arppregiated chord introduction and most of the tempos are taken at the same loping clip.  And, perhaps most importantly, when you strip away the accompaniment of zabumba, triangle, and accordion, what you have here more often than not is a collection of choros.  So, choro played as músical regional nordestino, which is a concept that in and of itself can’t sustain a whole album, in my humble opinion of course.  It might have helped to allow the accordion to play some solos somewhere, perhaps trading licks with the cavaquinho, rather approaching each song in exactly the same way.

All that being said, this can still be fun.  Pick a couple of the better tunes off of it for your next forró party or DJ set and surprise (if not necessarily impress)  a few of the avid forró fans.   Here are a couple, probably the most technically “authentic” forró on the album —

This year marks the centenary of Nordeste icon, cultural ambassador and artistic master Luiz Gonzaga, born 1912 in Exu, Pernambuco.  Naturally he’s received a ton a tributes all year but especially this month.  So it would have made sense to present one of his many albums here, even a mediocre one.  But since time has been short lately, I was relieved when I stumbled through one of my hard drives and remembered that I had this record half-prepared for a post.  I probably started working on it LAST June, and then abandoned it for all the reasons listed above…  Anyway, the LP is pretty beat up so I only did a rudimentary restoration and editing because, as the phrase goes, you can’t polish a turd (I’m talking about sound quality now in this case, not the music…).  Feel free to rip your own mint-condition copy and post it here…

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Banda de Pifanos de Caruaru (1979) Discos Marcus Pereira (MPL 9394)

This is a repost of an old post that mysteriously disappeared. It’s only a few days before the feast of São João but the bonfires have been kindling in Northeast Brazil for the entire month of June, so this is a late start. With any luck I might have a new post with actual new content before the 24th.

Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru
Released 1979 on Marcus Pereira (MPL 9394)

1 Vira-folha
(J. Biano, Sebastião Biano)
2 Pipoquinha
(Sebastião Biano)
3 A briga do cachorro com a onça
(Sebastião Biano)
4 Marcha dos bacamarteiros
(J. Biano, Sebastião Biano)
5 Xamego dos “pife”
(Sebastião Biano, Gilberto Biano)
6 Feira do troca-troca
(J. Biano, M. Alves)
7 As espadas
(Sebastião Biano, Amaro Biano)
8 Pipoca moderna
(Sebastião Biano, Caetano Veloso)
9 Os Tupinambás
(O. Almeida)
10 Cavalinho, cavalão
(O. Almeida)
11 Valsa da pastora
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)
12 Alvorada
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)
13 Novena
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)

Vinyl original pressing -> 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, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.


I am not so conceited that I can’t admit that the first time I ever heard these guys was in the opening to Gilberto Gil’s “Expresso 2222” album. It blew me away then and still ranks among one of the best album openers of all time for me. I had never heard anything quite like it. So when Gil receives a shout-out in the liner notes from Marcus Vinícius, it’s a deserving one (although he is careful to point out that Gil didn’t “discover” them). The band was founded in the 1920s, and allegedly was made to play for Lampião and his band of merry murderers / folk-heroes during the days of cangaço, and was always a ‘family venture.’ The early seventies were a particularly busy time for the group, as they got picked up by one of the large music festivals, courtesy of the enigmatic Sidney Miller (who had more or less withdrawn from writing and performing at this point), and also being included in the early volumes of the vaguely-ethnomusicological series of albums put out by Marcus Perreira that began with four volumes dedicated to “Música Popular do Nordeste.” At this point they began recording their own long-players for a handful of labels, and by 1979 had arrived at this one, their fourth LP, and this time for Marcus Perreira once again. The rest of the album does not disappoint, even if the inclusion of ‘Pipoca Moderna’ here seems like gratuitous (albiet appreciated). The final tune is a novena, bringing the ensemble back to some of its roots when it played at such religious festivities in their native city of Caruaru and its environs. I’ve split the track up into two parts from the original single-banded version on the LP, with the second half beginning during the ‘auction’ section of people taking up a collection for São Sebastião.

These tunes are surprisingly varied and fresh coming from an ensemble based on such a relatively simple sound. When you pay attention you realize just how damn TIGHT these guys are and the levels of improvisation that are worked into the compositions. The real show-stealer here, the one that will make you “a believer”, is “A briga do cachorro com a onça”, whose seven intense minutes also make it the longest track on the record. The dynamics at work are pretty unbelievable. And the title (The fight between the dog and the jaguar) is hinted at musically without my having glanced back at the album jacket — I was sure I was listening to a sound track of a ‘fight scene’ involving at least ONE animal.

Not an ‘audiophile’ vinyl transfer here, folks – this is a well-played copy. But I hope you enjoy it.

on to the comments…

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Jose Roberto e Seu Conjunto – Organ Sound, Um Novo Estilo (1970)


  José Roberto e Seu Conjunto
Organ Sound, Um Nôvo Estilo
Released 1970 Polydor
Japanese reissue 2008

01 – Aventura
02 – Smile a Little Smile for Me.
03 – Airport Love Theme
04 – Toboga
05 – Jingle, Jangle
06 – Viagem
07 – Samanta
08 – No Time
09 – Diamante cor de Rosa
10 – The Rapper
11 – Mon Ami
12 – Always Something There to Remind Me

This is pre-Azymuth José Roberto Bertrami.  He was working as a studio musician at the time and was probably on a hundred records you have in your collection, many without being credited.  Before this he was in the band A Turma da Pilantragem.

This is nice organ combo pop-jazz with an occasional bossa flair and spasms of funkiness.  Aside from the tracks “Aventura” and “Mon Ami”, which are his own, everything else here is comprised of other composer’s work.   Kind of easy-listening and loung-y but with just enough instrumental prowess and creative arrangements to keep it interesting.  His playing may not be nearly as inventive as what he would produce with Azymuth only a few years later, but Bertrami still coaxes enough otherworldly sounds out of his keyboards to prove why he was an in-demand session player.  In particular he has a penchant for using a horn patch on his analog synth that doubles the part played by actual brass instruments, which adds a loopy and campy touch.

The majority of the repertoire is taken straight from the Hit Parade of 1969-70 and represent a pretty interesting cross section of psychedelic rock, pop, and even an ‘easy listening’ soundtrack hit.  I’ve taken the trouble to notate the cover songs’ origins:

Smile a Little Smile for Me – The Flying Machine
Airport Love Theme – Vincent Bell, from the soundtrack to the film “Airport”, 1970
Jingle, Jangle – The Archies
No Time -The Guess Who
Diamante cor de Rosa – Roberto Carlos
The Rapper – The Jaggerz
Always Something There to Remind Me  (Bacharach/David tune recorded by Dionne Warwick, Sandie Shaw, and R.B.Greaves at Muscle Shoals.  Hard to say which version Bertrami had in mind but Greaves’ version was the most recent.)

Amusingly enough, the most exciting of these cover tunes is “Jingle Jangle” from the virtual cartoon band The Archies, which is replete with fuzz guitar.

The tune “Mon Ami” was featured as a theme to the Globo telenovela “Assim na terra como no céu” in 1970 in a version produced by Paulinho Tapajós.  As I’ve stated before on this blog, the study of telenovela soundtrack music — and it is a subject that deserves series study – is not one I’ve undertaken.  Not yet, anyway.  But I have a hunch that a lot of these Top 40 international hits were associated with contemporary telenovelas that would have made them instantly recognizable to a Brazilian audience even if their originals unknown.  Did ‘The Archies’ air on Brazilian TV?  I have no idea.  For that matter the Roberto Carlos hit was also part of a feature film vehicle for him with the same title.  The two songs credited to ‘Celinho’ are a mystery to me.  There was a Celinho from the state of Ceará who played the accordion and recorded a bunch of tunes in the era of 78s, but I’m fairly certain these aren’t his songs.  Anyone who knows, drop me a line.

This Japanese reissue has typically lovely, round sound.  It’s too bad I can’t read the notes in Japanese though.  It would be nice to know if the musicians are credited.  I suspect Victor Manga is on the drums but I have no confirmation, but he did play in the Turma de Pilantragem.

{edit} As per a comment left below by a reader, I’m updating the post with the following info on the lineup: Jonas Damasceno (Joninhas), Ivan Conti (Mamão), Luiz Carlos Siqueira –
all from “The Youngsters” band – plus the late Gegê on drums and Sergio
Barroso on bass.

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