“In the early hours of this Wednesday (8th of February), singer and composer Orlandivo passed away at 79 years old. Family members made the announcement, but did not communicate any further details, such as cause of death or the locations where the wake and burial of the artist would occur. Author of more than 200 songs, for enthusiasts of his work Orlandivo had interpreters of such caliber as Jorge Ben Jor, Dóris Monteiro, Wilson Simonal, Claudette Soares, João Donato, Elza Soares, and Ângela Maria. Among these several hundred songs, full of swing and irreverence, are classics like Tamanco no Samba, Bolinha de Sabão, Samba Toff, Onde Anda o Meu Amor, Vô Batê Pá Tu, and Palladium. In spite of such a strong resumé of hits, and for being considered by the bohemian carioca crowd as the King of Sambalanço – a highly successfully musical sub-genre of the 1960s with roots in bossa nova, jazz, and Latin rhythms – Orlandivo remained practically unknown by the great majority of the country. A Catarinense native of Itajaí, after a brief period in São Paulo, he went to live with family in Rio de Janeiro at 9 years of age. At 6, he had contact with this first musical instrument, a harmonica given to him by his father, who traveled the country and Europe on ships in the Merchant Marines – according to him, his uncommon name must have come from this, probably a corruption of Orlandini, seen when his father would make frequent voyages to Italy. A great inspiration as a vocalist for Jorge Ben Jor at the beginning of his career, Orlandivo made it big in the period 1961/62, a time when he reigned absolute as the crooner of the group led by organist Ed Lincoln. In 1962, he released his first LP, A Chave do Sucesso, on the Musicdisc label, a title that made an allusion to one of the composer’s characteristics, the use of a key-ring as a percussive instrument. In 2013, the cult-favorite self-titled album released by Orlandivo in 1977, with arrangements and collaborations with João Donato, was one of the 50 albums highlighted in the column Quintessência.
ORIGINAL ALBUM LINER NOTES:
After a few years only producing albums, Orlandivo changed his path. After all, who else in the country could make the “sound of Divo.” He is back at it again, younger than when he was mere lad, more experienced, knowing much more about things, with that certain sauce and that swing that helped to create his style. Orlandivo sings simply and easily, so simple that it seems easy to sing, so easy that it motivates us to also try. But woe to whoever tries to imitate him. No, my brother! Orlandivo is Orlandivo , personal, particular, non-transferable, alive, malandro, sly, so in tune he’s uncool, rascal doing his own thing. I don’t know if the locksmith is still in business, but I guarantee that the one in his hand is the key to success. That’s it! It was good luck for those people who, during this time, lived depending on his songs. Now, I don’t know! He’s making them himself, singing them himself. Better for you, getting you back fresh as a daisy, this really cool guy who sings as well as we think we sing when we’re in the shower. Thank you, Divo, for coming back with your good vibes. We were needing you.
20.11.76 Chico Anísio
A lot had happened in Brazilian music between the last time Orlandivo fronted a group back with Ed Lincoln, and this tremendous collaboration with João Donato, who blessed it with his Midas touch that was on quite a golden streak at the time. All the musical movements between those years seem to be celebrated here with an easy joy, sounding contemporary (both then and now), but with no real concern with genres or trends, searching – as he might put it – for the Brazilian sound anywhere he finds it. The overwhelming theme here, at least for me, seems to be texture – and that is no small measure the work of João Donato. Donato coaxes smooth and amicable aural shapes out of components that tend to have rough edges. The keyboards are softer, the Farfisa tone on Tamanco No Samba sounds like a few resistors were removed to make the sustain sputter out a little early. Sometimes when listening to this, my memories go back to the times I had to eat steak with a spork in the sanitarium, because we were not allowed to have any knives for safety concerns. It was awkward at first, but ultimately some of the best steak I’d ever eaten. From shout-outs to Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil (the ‘Bengil’ of the second track) to the groovy accordion of Sivuca on Gueri Gueri, everything here has a very digestible flow to it. Another chance to point out Donato’s arranging genius is his instinct to resist the obvious – he uses Sivuca on the aforementioned Gueri Gueri, but not on the actual forró song here, Juazeiro, where you might expect him to be trotted out. The album injects some of his classic hits in between new material, with many great contributions from his main writing partner Durval Ferreira. Yes, Orlandivo does sort of sing “like nobody’s listening”, like we all do in the shower, or like when I am trying to impersonate João Gilberto and failing. The record ends on an appropriately dreamy reading of the classic bossa nova anthem Felicidade. I remember thinking to myself, “Why?”, the first time I heard it. But the answer is more than a simple “why not?”. It’s an appropriately subtle conclusion to what is an understated capstone in the discography of one of first great musical masters to leave us in 2017.
Tamba Trio Tamba Trio 1962 Philips – P 632.129 L Mono pressing / Jazz, Latin, Bossa nova
Tamba (Luiz Eça) 2:38 Batida Diferente (Durval Ferreira, Mauricio) 2:00 Influência Do Jazz (Carlos Lyra) 2:25 Samba De Uma Nota Só (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Newton Mendonça) 1:36 Alegria De Viver (Luiz Eça) 1:58 O Barquinho (Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Boscoli) 2:24 Minha Saudade (João Donato) 1:47 Nós E O Mar (Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Boscoli) 2:18 Samba Nôvo (Durval Ferriera) 2:47 O Amor Que Acabou (Chico Feitosa, Luiz F. Freire) Mania De “Snobismo” (Durval Ferreira, Newton Chaves) 2:43 Batucada (Murilo A. Pessoa) 1:54 Ai, Se Eu Pudesse (Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Boscoli) 1:54 Quem Quizer Encontrar O Amor (Carlos Lyra, Geraldo Vandré) 2:56 Continue reading
Dolores Duran – Canta Para Você Dançar…
1957 Copacabana CLP 11011
2010 reissue EMI 967873-2
(F. Albano, P. Vento)
2 Por causa de você
(Dolores Duran, Tom Jobim)
(Kurt Feltz, Heinz Gletz)
4 Quem foi?
(Jorge Tavares, Nestor de Holanda)
5 Feiura não é nada
6 Que murmuren
(Ruben Fuentes, Rafael Cardenas)
7 Coisas de mulher
(Dunga, Jair Amorim)
10 Se papai fôsse eleito
11 Mi último fracaso
13 Only you
(A. Rand, B.Ram)
14 Estatuto de boite
Remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla
Dolores Duran (1930-1959), not only had an unforgettable voice but also composed a lot of her best material. A central figure in the early bossa nova scene, she succumbed to the occupational hazards of the bohemian lifestyle, dying in her sleep from a heart attack at 29 years old after an evening of music, drinking, and barbiturates. Her lamentably short career left an solid recorded legacy but, having left this world so young, she is less celebrated outside Brazil than some of her bossa nova contemporaries who lived long enough to benefit from the global infatuation with the genre. Here is a recording of her singing a song she co-wrote with Tom Jobim, released in 1957 on the LP featured in this post.
But Duran’s professional career reached back before the dawn of bossa to when a nightclub singer had to be able to sing a little of everything and have a broad repertoire. That is reflected in choice of songs included here, which span foxtrots, boleros, rumbas, and of course samba. Stylistic variation blurs into cosmopolitan sophistication too, as you realize that she sings in no less than six languages here. In addition to her native Portuguese, she sings in Italian, Spanish, French, English, and Scat. I don’t speak all these languages and am in no place to judge her
elocution, but as far as music is the language of love I deem Dolores to
have been more than fluent. One fantastic track among these, which I highly recommend for your next dance party, is the French rumba number (how can you go wrong?) “Viens.” The only English song is a rendition of The Platters “Only You.” Here’s some side-by-side listening for you:
Oh and why the hell not, one more for good measure (sorry Ringo!):
I think Dolores’ version carries its weight quite well, and her English is lovely (although a Portuguese rewrite would have made it stand out more, and of course automatically make it more romantic, because it’s a Latin language, yo). Apparently Duran had none other than Ella Fitzgerald in the audience at one of her performances, who complimented her version of “My Funny Valentine.” Man what heady days to have been hanging around the nightclubs of Rio.
The notes assert that the selection is culled from the most popular numbers in her repertoire, tried and tested in clubs, on the radio, at festivals, in films, and wherever else she could perform. I believe it. Everything here is sung with an easy confidence and charm of someone who knows her audience. Her charm is so infectious, and her talent so seemingly effortless. In addition to the collaboration with Jobim above, she also interprets first-rate sambas by the Titulares do Ritmo (“Coisas de Mulher”), and Dunga with Jair Amorim (“Conceição, originally recorded by Gaúcho vocal group Conjunto Farroupilha but immortalized by Cauby Peixoto a year before Dolores’ made her version). There are two tunes penned by Billy Blanco here. The first is “Feiura não é nada” (or “Ugliness ain’t no thang”), a satirical take on vanity, the transformative powers of the cosmetic industry, and its noble fight to eradicate world ugliness. As far as I know the song was written specifically for Dolores to sing, which is the only way it comes off as humorous. Blanco is brilliant but the humor in this song bugs me a little as a write this, but perhaps I am a bit tender on the topic of chauvinist, machista humor lately. Have you seen the guy in the 50’s? Here, have a look at Billy:
It may be just because there is a currently a hedgehog with a hair-weave running as a
candidate for Leader Of The Free World right now, and I’m burned out on
casual sexism, but I don’t think Billy was in any position of aesthetic or sartorial superiority.
There is very little footage of her performing live aside from some scenes in musical chanchada films, but I can imagine her commanding a room with her presence. I also wonder about the impact of her passing on the other rising divas of the day. As young as Dolores was, she was actually five years older than contemporaries like Maysa and Alaíde Costa and, as we know, in young person time that made her, like, way old, dude. Was she a figure that these other singers looked up to, or were they rivals? I suppose I will have to read Rodrigo Faour’s biography to find that out.
Like many successful Long Player collections of the day, this one had a “part two” which I just may share with you in good time. Meanwhile, one last comparison. Here is Cauby Peixoto, before he became the inspiration for Austin Powers, singing “Conceição”, followed by Dolores’ version.
Baden Powell Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão 1961 Philips 630 415 L 2003 Remaster
1 Stella by starlight (Victor Young) 2 Amor sincopado (Marino Pinto, Chico Feitosa) 3 Estrellita (Manuel Ponce) 4 Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Ary Barroso) 5 Lover (R.Rodgers, L.Hart) 6 Maria (Ary Barroso) 7 My funny valentine (L.Hart, R.Rodgers) 8 Love letters (Victor Young, Edward Heyman) 9 Samba triste (Baden Powell, Billy Blanco) 10 Aquellos ojos verdes (N.Menendez) 11 Carinhoso (Pixinguinha) 12 All the things you are (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein) =========================================
A small post just to remind you I’m still here. Although Baden Powell was no neophyte by the time this was recorded in 1959, this was the first record released under his own name. And to be honest, it’s utterly forgettable. The fact that Philips waited two years to release it indicates that there’s probably a good story there, perhaps one involving artistic direction or marketing, but not one that I happen to know. Baden Powell experts are welcome to explain it. Or just make something up if you like, I’ll let you. The fact is that this is as close to “light” music as Baden would ever get, playing against a backdrop of pop string arrangements, without any of the urgency and intensity we associate with him. There’s still some great guitar playing here, of course, and a surprising amount of blues and bop flourishes sprinkled throughout. But there is no fire and no smoke.
Hey there are LOTS of tunes associated with the golden age of Hollywood on this record, with forays into the Rogers and Hart, Kern and Hammerstein songbooks. I’ve put together a little list of films and plays where some of these songs first became well known –
1 – The Uninvited (1944)
5 – Love Me Tonight (1932)
8 – Love Letters (1945)
12 – Broadway Rhythm (1944), A Letter For Evie (1945), written for Very Warm For May (Broadway production, 1939)
There is only one original composition on this record, Samba triste co-written with Billy Blanco and sung by an alternating male and female chorus dressed in coat-tails and Capri pants. Yet another unnecessary version of “Carinhoso” also graces the record in an arrangement suited for a Les Baxter or Martin Denny album.
It should be noted that in spite of the title, the red-haired, blue-eyed beauty on the cover of the album is not Baden Powell.