Djavan – A Voz, O Violão, A Música de Djavan (1976) (aka Flor De Lis)

 

Djavan
A Voz, O Violão, A Música de Djavan
1976 Som Livre 403.6092
2004 Bomba Records BOM1103 (Japan)

Also reissued under the title “Flor de lis” with several variations on the cover art

1 Flor De Lis
2 Na Boca Do Beco
3 Maçà Do Rosto
4 Pára-raio
5 E Que Deus Ajude
6 Quantas Voltas Dá O Meu Mundo
7 Maria Das Mercedes
8 Muito Obrigado
9 Embola A Bola (Cateretê)
10 Fato Consumado
11 Magia
12 Ventos Do Norte

All songs by Djavan
Arrangements by Edson Frederico

Acoustic guitar and vocal – Djava
Bass – Luizão
Drums – Paulinho
Flute, Piccolo Flute – Altamiro Carrilho
Electric guitar- Helinho
Keyboards – Edson
Percussion – Marçal, Luna, Hermes

Director of production – Guto Graça Mello
Exectuvie prducation – ALoysio de Oliveira
Recording engineer- Victor and Andy
Mixing engineer – Victor
Stio – Level
Layout – Cezar G. Villela
Graphic design – Joel Cocchiararo
Photo – Francisco Pereira


I’m posting this as a public service although it may be too late for some: a certain European label is reissuing this record for Record Store Day today, and I can pretty much guarantee it is just a 16bit 44.1 khz CD pressed onto petroleum. I know this because I bought one last year and that’s what they do (you can find it here if you look around).   If you really need to hear this album with analog warmth, save yourself $30 and play these digital files through a tube preamp.  Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with this CD pressing, although if you listen with headphones the reverb on Djavan’s voice, which I suspect is not as present on the original LP, is a bit much.  This 2014 Japanese pressing from Bomba Records seems to be using the same master as the 1991 RGE/Som Livre re-release titled Flor De Lis (pictured above).  I’m skipping this year’s RSD because I’ve blown my budget on travel expenses for now and I’d rather save my money for original pressings that actually sound good.

/audio rant

So, this is Djavan’s debut album, and my favorite.  It’s immediately obvious there is a new powerful force to be reckoned with in MPB, and a guy who could write some heavy post-bossa nova sambas that would become part of the canon too.  It all sounds fresh, with a band that locks into a tight groove but without the slick overproduction of later efforts.  Textures and timbres galore to tickle your cochlear nerves. It’s a delight for the ears, feet, and mind.  Sure, there are places where he is blatantly channeling Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, and even a little Milton Nascimento but, hey, those are all top shelf people to take  your cues from.  Last week I heard this band that sound exactly like Led Zeppelin.. I mean, exactly like Zeppelin to the point that you just start laughing.  I used to get truly annoyed by these things not so long ago when my priorities were a bit screwy and unbalanced.  Observing that someone sounded a bit like Gil or Milton in 1976 would be like pointing out any commonplace similarity to Lennon or McCartney around the same time – anyone hearing you would be justified in responding with a disdainful “yes, and your point is…?”.    Just listen to the song samples above and you can imagine how this new kid on the block was a breath of fresh air in 1976.  “Flor De Lis” is a total classic by now that nearly every Brazilian above a certain age can sing to you by now, but there’s a ton of great tunes here, not a single cracked egg in the carton.  I’d just like to point out these funny lyrics that always make me smile in Maria das Mercedes.  The protagonist gets a letter from an old flame and wants to write her back at her old address, but shamefully can’t remember her last name.  “It could be Pereira, Moreira, Fereira.  I only know it ends with “eira,” like that banana tree (bananeira).” You were a cool dude, young Djavan.


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