Antonio Adolfo e A Brazuca – s/t (No.1) – 1969

Antonio Adolfo & A Brazuca
Antonio Adolfo & A Brazuca (No. 1)
1969 Odeon MOFB-3618 (Original issue)
2014 Reissue EMI: UICY 76458 Odeon: TOCP-66055
Brasil 1000 Best Collection

Japan reissue, released 23 Jul 2014

1 Juliana 3:18
2 Futilirama 2:47
3 Moça 2:51
4 Dois Tempos 2:43
5 Vôo Da Apolo 4:28
6 Porque Hoje É Domingo 3:09
7 Maria Aparecida 2:06
8 Psiu 1:56
9 A Cidade E Eu 3:16
10 Pelas Ruas Do Meu Bairro 4:05
11 Teletema 2:44
Bonus Tracks: Odeon 7BD-1203 EP (1970)
12 Gloria, Glorinha 3:07
13 O Baile Do Clube 2:07
14 Ao Redor 2:11
15 M.G.8-80-88 2:19
.

Record Company – USM Japan

——————–
Producer – Milton Miranda

Assistant Co-producer – Tibério Gaspar
Conductor – Laércio De Freitas
Cover – Victor Fernando
Musical director – Lyrio Panicali
Technical Director and engineer – Z. J. Merky
Orchestrated By – Antonio Adolfo
Photography By – Carlos Ribeiro, Franklin Corrêa, Victor Fernando

Recording engineers – Jorge, Nivaldo
Technician – Reny R. Lippi


 

“This is great summer smoothness.” – blog reader Verge

Listening to this breezy offering of carefree carioca tunes, I get the impression that – had he been inclined to move to the United States and and start recording anglophone versions of Brazilian hits – Antônio Adolfo could have beat Sérgio Mendes at his own game.  But Adolfo was a busy guy in the 1960s, playing in various jazz-bossa and bossa-jazz combos and even backing up Elis Regina and Milton Nascimento for a short while.  The first of two records with his short-lived group Brazuca, this one is immediately accessible and charming, if a bit less adventurous than their second album.  The back cover features blurbs from celebs, a bit like book endorsements, from the likes of Carlos Imperial and Roberto Carlos, who likens them to an old tradition with a new sound.   Adolfo and his writing partner Tibério Gaspar were frequent contenders in the televised song competitions of the day – they won 2nd place with “Julianna”, featured above.  The whole album is very much of its time, its mini-skirt and Vespa vibe has a certain innocence to it where you would hardly know there is a dictatorship going on in the country where this was recorded.  Lyricist Gasper, who passed away to little fanfare last February, says as much in “Hoje é domingo,” where the listener is encouraged to leave their troubles behind and enjoy the nearly-universal day of peace and quiet.    Insisting on carrying on with a smile is its own kind of resistance, I guess.  Adolfo and Gasper were responsible for quite a few songs in Brazil when that became huge hits for other artists.  “Teletema”, which closes this album (it is followed by bonus tracks on the CD) is one of those.  It was featured in a telenovela in a cloying version by “Regininha” later in the year, but I prefer the original

They also wrote the funky BR-3 for Toni Tornado, but probably their best-known hit was ” Sá Marina” as recorded by Wilson Simonal.   You can go google that one up yourself but I feel obliged to share this cool clip of Stevie Wonder singing an anglicized version of it on Brazilian TV, renamed “Pretty World,” when Simonal’s version was still fresh in the collective memory. It starts out  a little shaky but quickly picks up.  I like his cute “obrigado” when he finishes.  For those interested, you can find the whole hour-long TV special on YouTube as well.  YouTube has kind of made blogs like mine a bit obsolete, hasn’t it?  I mean you can find anything there, what do you need me for?  Anyway, I still soldier on.

If the album is guilty of anything, it may be excessive cuteness.  Dois Tempos is a kind of musical pun, a composition combining two time signatures with lyrics sketching a portrait of a person who seems to inhabit both a vanished past and contemporary space tinged with uncertainty, a sepia-toned photograph come to life, a sort of decadently picturesque anachronism.   It’s a bit precious, and while some listeners may be charmed by that very quality, it’s one the group largely shed on the second album.  Even the obligatory song dealing with space flight (because its 1969), Vôo da Apolo, starts like its going to blast off into some sort of exciting space bossa-funk number, but then kind of settles into something more pedestrian.   On the second album, Adolfo and company would  push the envelope a little further with songs like Transamazônica, named after the pharaonic project of constructing a massive highway connecting parts of the Amazon region with the rest of the country.  The lyrics there are nothing special really, but musically the group is bolder and taking more chances.  But don’t let me sour anybody on this very fine album, because it’s  solid.  It just happens to be one of those cases where I was introduced to what I consider their superior effort first, so I can’t help making the comparisons between the two.  And idiosyncratic, impressionistic descriptions of long-player albums is what has made this blog tick for nine year so don’t expect me to change things too much now!  Anyway, enjoy this groovy debut from Antônio Adolfo e A Brazuca.

 


password: vibes

Trio Nordestino – E O Homem De Saia (1979)

Trio Nordestino E O Homem De Saia
1979 Copacabana COELP41150

01. Fartura de beijo (Durval Vieira – Jorge Paulo)
02. Não sou culpado (Jacinto José – Lindolfo Barbosa)
03. Homem de saia (Enéas de Castro – Gatinho)
04. Chamego proibido (Jorge de Altinho – Lindolfo Barbosa)
05. O fazendeiro (Geraldo Barbosa – Xavier)
06. Linda sinfonia (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
07. Torrado de moça nova (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
08. Amor demais (Jorge de Altinho – Francisco Costa)
09. Bem obrigado (Jair do Pandeiro – Severino Ramos)
10. Tá com raiva de mim? (Onildo Almeida)
11. Amor misterioso (Midiam Alves – Lindolfo Barbosa)
12. O xouxinho (João Silva)

Transfer info:  Copacabana vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.


Well I had this post nearly ready to share for Saturday but other things got in the way.  Although the festas juninas were officially over, there were still pockets of activity and parties going on in the Northeast through the weekend.  Oh well, pé de serra has no expiration date, it’s good all year round.

The album title “Trio Nordestino and The Man In The Dress”  might initially have caused me some trepidation.  Northeast Brazil, for all its charms, is also a deeply troubled place and has been since the days of colonization and slavery.  It bears the dubious distinction of leading the country in homicides and in violence against women.   Add to those statistics a horrifying rate of violence against transgender individuals, and one could almost forgive the ham-fisted public health “discourse analysis” article I unfortunately stumbled across recently, which sought to link the lyrical representations of masculinity (and related themes of violence, homophobia, etc) to this hard data.  There are, of course, all kinds of valid arguments one could make by looking at cultural production this way, but these authors chose to cherry pick the worst examples they could find (using a broad quantitative sampling technique whose criteria are known only to them), as well as some very obscure songs that had no broad social impact and were probably not heard beyond a few hundred people, and decontextualized them rather thoroughly to hammer home a very unsophisticated, knee-jerk argument that did a disservice to the very real problem of gender-based violence.

So,  you can imagine my relief when the lyrics of “Homem de saia” turn out to be not just relatively harmless, but practically progressive, to use the current parlance.  It’s simply about a man trying to crash an all-female social event, a party where everyone from the person working the door to the members of the band were all women, by disguising himself in a dress. He is found out, and bounced from the party. Hilarity ensues?  Anyway, one could argue that Trio Nordestino e o Homem de Saia is about the role of exclusively female spaces and their necessity in a culture tainted by patriarchy, which encompasses contentious debates between women with a uterus and transwomen.  Who knew Trio Nordestino would be so prescient?

And for my next trick, I’m going to make this glass of whisky disappear.

Musically speaking, this album once again shows the group in fine form and with lots of memorable tunes, even if it lacks contributions from Dominguinhos and Anastacia like the last one I posted.   Não sou culpado is a catchy invocation blending proud regionalism with an assertion of the Nordestino’s brasilidade or national belonging.  Linda sinfonia brings us a frevo in a forró style.   Bem obrigado sounds like it was written for Jackson do Pandeiro and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him covering it in the 1980’s, it has his syncopation and cadence imitated perfectly.  But what may be most striking is that the Trio has “modernized” with electric bass and a full drum kit here.  Even I tend to hear the new, electric forró bands – most of which are not my cup of tea – as having little to do with traditional pé de serra.  But as always, these things are more of a continuum than a sharp break.  If you listen to the slightly-funky bass riffs on this album and the way the drummer plays loud, booming fills on the tom-tom drums at the end of the choruses of the album’s title track,  the stuff ain’t that different than Mastruz Com Leite, arrangement-wise.

I realize that I’ve fallen into the trap of only posting about this type of music around São João season, which is a pity.  I promise to do better in the future and keep them coming throughout the year.

 

password: vibes

Quinteto Violado – Folguedo (1975)

Quinteto Violado
Folguedo
1975 Philips 6349 143 Série De Luxo

A1 Roda De Ciranda No. 2 (Luciano Pimentel, Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 2:31
A2 Rumo Norte (Toinho) 3:00
A3 Chegada De Inverno (Fernando Filizola, Zé Dantas) 2:52
A4 A Volta Da Asa Branca (Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas) 2:52
A5 Olé Menina (Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 3:05
A6 Coisas Novas (Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 2:42
A7 Mundão (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 1:48
B1 Sete Meninas (Dominguinhos, Toinho) 2:24
B2 Brincando De Boi (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 3:07
B3 Prece Ao Vento (Fernando Luiz Camara, Alcyr Pires Vermelho, Gilvan Chaves) 3:13
B4 Crendice (Roberto Santana, Toinho Alves) 2:50
B5 Buruçu Em Garanhuns (Sando, Toinho) 2:54
B6 Canindé (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 2:30
B7 Folguedo (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 1:52

Arranged By – Quinteto Violado
Artwork – Jorge Vianna
Design – Lobianco, Aldo luiz
Mastered By – Joaquim Figueira
Photography By – Rodolpho Machado
Producer – Paulinho Tapajós
Studio technicians – Paulo Sergio, Zé Guilherme

Produced & Distributed by CBD Phonogram
Matrix / Runout: 200 6349143 A1
Matrix / Runout: 200 6349143 B1

Vinyl transfer info:  Original Philips vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; AUdioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

Today (June 24) is the feast day of St. John the Baptist, otherwise known as São João holiday in Brazil, which of course is a really huge deal in Brazil.   Earlier this week we had an offering from Trio Nordestino.  Now let’s have something for the universitário set with this mid-70’s record from Quinteto Violado.  This record seemed a bit more fun to prepare for the blog than the other record of theirs  that I posted a whole FOUR YEARS ago, over here.  There you can read all about my misgivings about this kind of conservatory-trained appropriation of roots music.  I’m not sure if I’ve loosened up, or if they have on this record – the group sounds a little less “studied” and more flowing here.  Even if Berra-boi might be the “better” record, it sounds like they are having fun here.  The blazing instrumental acrobatics of Rumo Norte and its wonderful, almost Beatle-esque vocal harmonies make me hopeful they won’t be hamstrung by any traditionalist puritanism. Or maybe the sense of fun  is  really just the “well-oiled machine” effect of groups that have been playing together for a while as a unit.  It’s hard not to be impressed by their virtuosity here, but it still lacks something in the way of passionate conviction.  Their deconstruction of the Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas classic, A Volta da Asa Brança, is certainly fun to hear.  It’s artful (or maybe just ‘artsy’), clever and playful and non-confrontational (unlike Caetano Veloso’s rendition that pushes into edgy performance art territory, as seen in the Phono 73 film).  It’s cool, and their drummer is on fire in the bridge, but it’s coolness is also kind of emotionally flat, isn’t it?  Quinteto Violado often sounds like they just need a vocalist with some soul to make their case more convincing.  But then again, awkward or uninspiring vocalists seem to be a thing in music linked to Pernambuco, so maybe its just something I’m still not ‘getting’ after all this time.  Like much about ‘roots music’ itself, sometimes you just have to be from there, so just ignore everything I’m saying.  Just listen to the drummer, he’s incredible.  What the hell is he doing on Mundão, besides blowing my mind?

They hit all the Northeastern folkloric touchstones here, with motifs from at least a dozen different genres of music or ‘dramatic dances’ that you will find only in the Nordeste, with particular emphasis on their native Pernambuco.  Obviously there is the presence of forró and even a guest appearance by the late, great Dominguinhos, who co-authored “Sete Meninas,” which opens up the second side.  He even sings a little on it.   You’ll also hear  a simulated glimpse of a sacred jurema ceremony and a devotional homage to the caboclo spirits that animate them on Canindé.   Ciranda, chegança, boi bumba, caboclinhos,  cavalo marinho, and pifanos, pifanos, pifanos!  If those words alone excite you then you will at least enjoy spinning this a few times.  If you don’t know them, well don’t expect me to be all didactic about it, after all I’m not writing a book here.  If I were writing a book, my life would probably be in a lot better shape than it is right now.  At the very least I wouldn’t be spending the night of São João, Midsummer’s Eve in my hemisphere, alone in front of a computer screen.

So sit beside the breakfast table,
think about your troubles,
pour yourself some pinga,
and think about the bubbles.
And celebrate the bonfires
And things made out of corn
because he not busy dying
is busy being born.

password: vibes