A Voz do Samba, Volume 2
2002 Warner Brasil (092745933-2)
2. Nervos de aço
3. Ela disse-me assim
7. Meu natal
8. Torre de babel
9. Meu barraco
11. Cadeira vazia
12. Esses moços (Pobres moços)
13. Quem há de dizer
All songs composed by Lupicínio Rodrigues, with the following tracks featuring co-authors: “Meu Barraco” with Leduvy de Pina; “Cadeira Vazia” and “Quam Há De Dizer” with Alcides Gonçalves.
Original recordings spanning from 1959 to 1987.
In my last post on Jamelão, Volume 1 of this anthology, I was pretty emphatic in my disinterest for hearing an entire hour of samba-enredos back to back, as well as my belief that the record didn’t really do justice to Jamelão. The man himself would probably have disagreed with me; at least regarding the first part of this complaint, because he was in fact exalted as a master of the form of samba enredo. But I’ll continue to stand by the second half of my gripe: the “Jamelão I know and love” is right here on THIS disc, which begins in the 1950s and is comprised entirely of compositions from his friend Lupicínio Rodrigues. The 50s were an auspicious time for Jamelão: he moved from the Sintér label to Discos Continental and began working with the wonderful Orchestra Tabajara, with whom he criss-crossed Brazil and made it as far as France on tour. It was while touring with Tabajara that he crossed paths with Lupicínio in Porto Alegre, and soon after the two began a partnership that would make their names practically synonymous with each other. A great many artists have recorded memorable versions of Lupicínios work, some preceding Jamelão like Orlando Silva and Francisco Alves, and many who followed him – two tracks on this collection, “Nervos de aço” and “Volta” both received impressive renditions by Paulinho da Viola and Gal Costa, respectively, which I happened to be listening to recently because I have become fixated on the magical year of 1973 for some reason. The list of other renditions of these tunes would doubtless be quite large, but it was the voice of Jamelão that made Lupicínio Rodrigues a household name and etched him in the collective consciousness. Orchestra Tabajara, who had relocated from Paraiba to Rio right about the time Jamelão approached them with songs to record, pull off some swinging performances with inventive arrangements. Pianist and bandleader Severino Araújo, could give the ubiquitous Maestro Gaya a run for his money. The brass charts are all delicious, and check out the jazzy interplay on “Vingança” or “Meu barraco.”
This collection is so good that I even like the tracks recorded in the 1980s, so often a decade of embarrassment for artists whose careers began elsewhere in time. As is sadly typical of Brazilian reissues, this collection is sparse on detailed notes, apart from a brief text written by the stalwart Tarik de Souza. Seems like typical record label suits skimping on the artistic patrimony of a giant like Jamelão who deserves better. The dodgy mastering job is credited to a generic “Oficína de Áudio e Video”, and some of the cuts from the 60s sound like they had reverb added to them. This was probably done to give more continuity to the collection – indeed, it is hard to distinguish what decade each song was recorded in without peeking at the credits – but this is also due as much to the infallible integrity of Jamelão and Orchestra Tabajara, without the “help” of any digital enhancement.
Sometime this year I will post some of the Continental LPs I have Jamelão. I posted about the first disc in this series here. And you can find more of his stuff at Orfãos do Loronix.