Luiz Gonzaga – São João na Roça (1962)
São João na Roça
01. São João na Roça (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
02. Fogueira de São João (Luiz Gonzaga / Carmelina Albuquerque)
03. Festa No Céu (Edgar Nunes / Zeca do Pandeiro)
04. Olha Pro Céu (Luiz Gonzaga / José Fernandes)
05. Noites Brasileiras (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
06. São João Antigo (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
07. São João no Arraiá (Zé Dantas)
08. O Passo da Rancheira (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
09. Dança da Moda (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
10. Lenda de São João (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
11. Mané e Zabé (Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas)
12. São João do Carneirinho (Guio de Morais / Luiz Gonzaga)
Well the festas juninas have been in swing in the Nordeste for a few weeks now, and the midsummer holiday of São João (June 24) is rapidly approaching. This is, in essence, a holiday album. I believe it is the first long-player of what would turn out to be many LPs that Gonzagão released to commemorate / cash-in on this prototypically Northeastern holiday. I am not a fan of “holiday albums” of any stripe, to be honest. If I had to rank them, the list would probably mirror pretty closely how I feel about the holiday in question. Hence Halloween, Carnival, solstices and equinoxes near the top, Christmas would be at the bottom near Talk Like A Pirate Day, and São João would be somewhere in the middle with New Years Eve and Groundhog Day. It’s a lovely holiday, stretched in typically Brazilian fashion to encompass all of June and into the first week of June. But as readers of this blog know, I am by nature cantankerous and curmudgeonly, and maintaining cheeriness for such a prolonged period of time is very exhausting. Also, I’ve never been interested in marriage and I can only eat so many things made from corn.
This is the type of record that you pick a few tunes for your party playlist but don’t typically listen to from start to finish. And I think that’s fine, especially since it is actually a collection of 78s recorded and released between 1950 and 1960. In fact this appeared twice as an LP with this title: once in the late 50s and then again in 1962 with a few added tracks. LOTS of Zé Dantas here, who was Gonzaga’s most important songwriting partner aside from Humberto Teixeira. Highlights for me include Dança da moda and the wistfully melodic Noites brasileiras. I may gravitate to the latter because it is the only thing approaching a mid-tempo song here. Why do Pernambucans all have to play music so damn fast? They talk fast too. Can’t they slow down once in a while? Get off my lawn!