Jackson do Pandeiro – São João Autêntico (1980)

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 Jackson do Pandeiro
São João Autêntico
1980 Sinter 2493-
009
01 – O navio tá bom na marcha (Antonio Barros)
02 – Canoeiro novo (João Silva – Raimundo Evangelista)
03 – Sanfoneiro de vocês (Carlos Diniz – J. Nilo)
04 – Dá eu pra ela (Venâncio – Corumba)
05 – Três pedidos (Jackson do Pandeiro – Maruim)
06 – Vamos chegar pra lá (Almira Castilho)
07 – Na base da chinela (Jackson do Pandeiro – Rosil Cavalcanti)
08 – São João na roça (Antonio Barros – Jackson do Pandeiro)
09 – Acenderam a fogueira (Maruim – Jackson do Pandeiro)
10 – São João no brejo (Zé Catraca)
11 – Véspera e dia de São João (Jackson do Pandeiro – Maruim)
12 – Viva São João (Jackson do Pandeiro – Buco do Pandeiro)

 

Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Audio Technica AT440MLa cartridge), Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

Like the last post, this is also  a compilation of São João material, this time by the great Jackson do Pandeiro.  As a collection, I find this to be a better listen than the Gonzaga record, something that you can put on from start to finish, in part because of the great variety here.

I think I am going to curate my own São João-themed compilation and put it out as a limited edition CD and vinyl release.  I will call it “More Songs About Marriage and Corn”, and the cover art will feature 100 Polaroid close-up photos of a Festa Junina bonfire arranged in a mosaic.  Production starts tomorrow.

There is no information whatsoever on the jacket of this “econo-series” budget LP by the Polygram-family Sinter label.  Jackson, like Gonzaga, recorded and released hundreds of songs, released on dozens of LPs and CDs (although Jackson’s catalog is poorly represented on compact discs).  The tracks on this seem to be drawn from the 1960s and 70s.  I mentioned the variety earlier, which applies to the different sub-genres of festive Northeastern dance music played here, but also the instrumentation found in the arrangements.   There’s saxophone, clarinet, even a tin whistle found in these groves.  There is also the talented Almira Castilho on two songs.  This may not be an essential record – in fact, I forgot I owned it until stumbling on it last week, and this post is officially the quickest vinyl-to-blog-rip in the history of this blog as I am normally notoriously slow and unhurried about these sorts of things.  But there is still another week left of Festas Juninas during which this cute little collection is still relevant, so I moved a little quicker for you, dear readers.

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Luiz Gonzaga – São João na Roça (1962)

 

Luiz Gonzaga
São João na Roça
1962 RCA-Victor
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!
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Marinês e Sua Gente – Nordeste Valente (1976)

Marinês e Sua Gente
Nordeste Valente
1976 CBS 104333

 01. Nordeste valente (João Silva – J. B. de Aquino)
02. Casa de marimbondo (Djalma Leonardo – Antonio Barros)
03. Carimbó de vovó sinhá (Naldo Aguiar)
04. Flor de croatá (João Silva – Raymundo Evangelista)
05. Sou o estopim (Antonio Barros)
06. Grilo na moringa (G. de San – José Gomes Filho)
07. No laço do carimbô (Naldo Aguiar)
08. Você me machucou (Kim de Oly – André Araujo)
09. Mestre mundo (Julinho – Luiz Bandeira)
10. Nosso amor está morrendo (Antonio Barros)
11. Maracá de menino (Assizão)
12. Como vai passando (Cecéu – Ademar Caetano)

———————

Here’s a thoroughly pleasant album by forró singer Marinês, the Queen of Xaxado, because I’ve been remiss in commemorating the Festas Juninas this year.  It probably won’t knock your socks off or anything, but the arrangements and playing are very tight and a make for fun listening.  There are also no less than three tracks of carimbó here, a style that is northern rather than northeastern, proving again that Nordestinos embrace good dance music no matter where it’s from.  And also that the carimbó was getting super popular in the second half of the 70s.

What keeps this record from rising above merely average is the sparsity of stand-out compositions on it, a failing of a lot of records in this genre from the time.  I mean, the first song is kind of an earworm.  I’ve always liked that word, “earworm.”  For me it always seemed like an earworm ought to be a sinister psychic phenomenon from the world of Dune.  You are stranded somewhere on Arrakis with a song you can’t get out of your head.  You start tapping your foot involuntarily, and within seconds a gigantic spice-crazed sandworm has appeared from the ground and swallowed you. My point is that earworms can kill you.  As further evidence I present “Sou o estopim” – I am the fuse – which is clearly intended to manipulate the listener, Manchurian Candidate-style, into blowing up a government building with homemade explosives.

Actually the latter song was written by Antônio Barros, composer of a ton of forró and a performer in his own right along with partner Cecéu, who also has a credit on the final song of this record.  Look, I don’t want to compare all songwriters of forró or baião to Zé Dantas or Humberto Teixeira, because that would be like comparing every English pop band to The Beatles.  It’s not fair.  I also don’t know nearly enough about Antônio Barros to make bold claims, but there is something formulaic in his writing that just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s sort of the “hook school of songwriting” that pushes all the buttons you are supposed to push to make a catchy memorable song, but still ends up producing something that is essentially forgettable as soon as the next catchy song comes around and pushes it out of your ear canal.  He’s got song credits all over the place, including Jackson do Pandeiro’s albums from the 1970s that nobody remembers.

I feel the opposite way about the track featured here from João Silva (and Ronaldo Evangelista), “Flor de Croatá.”  It has a beautiful melody, one that works at different tempos with equal effect.  Check out these two very different versions, the one from this album and another from Jacinto Silva

 

Good, innit?

Well, enjoy the Festas Juninas if you have one in your area.  If not, and don’t have any trendy Euro-American faux forró bands playing in a gentrified neighborhood near you, at least you can put on this record.  It’s fun for a least a spin or two.

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Luiz Gonzaga – Volta Pra Curtir (2001)

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Luiz Gonzaga – Volta pra curtir (ao vivo)
BMG / RCA 2001

Recorded live at the Teatro Tereza Rachel
March, 1972

Luiz Gonzaga – vocals, accordion, triangle
Dominguinhos – accordion
Maria Helena – vocals, triangle, cabaça
Toinho – Triangle
Renato Piau – guitar
Porfírio Costa – bass
Raimundinho – reco-reco / guiro
Ivanildo Leite – surdo drum / sabumba, percussion

01 Boiadeiro (Klecius Caldas – Armando Cavalcante)
Cigarro de paia (Armando cavalcante, Klecius Caldas)

02 Moda da mula preta (Raul Torres)
Lorota boa (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

03 Siri jogando bola (Luiz Gonzaga – Zé Dantas)
Macapá (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

04 Qui nem giló (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira)
Oiá eu aqui de novo (Antonio Barros)

05 Asa branca (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira)
A volta da asa branca (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

06 Assum preto (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira)
Ana Rosa (Humberto Teixeira)

07 Hora do adeus (Luiz Queiroga – Onildo Ameida)

08 Estrada de Canindé (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira)
Respeita Januário (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

09 Numa sala de reboco (José Marcolino – Luiz Gonzaga)
O cheiro da Carolina (Amorim Roxo, Zé Gonzaga)
O xote das meninas (Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas)

10 Adeus, Rio (Luiz Gonzaga – Zé Dantas)
Aquilo bom (Garotas do Leblon) (Luiz Gonzaga, Severino Ramos)

11 No meu pé de serra (Luiz Gonzaga – Humberto Teixeira)
Baião (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

12 Pau de arara (Guio de Moraes – Luiz Gonzaga)
Juazeiro (Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)

13 Derramaro o gai (Luiz Gonzaga – Zé Dantas)
Imbalança (Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas)

14 A feira de Caruaru (Onildo Ameida)

15 Olha a pisada (Luiz Gonzaga – Zé Dantas)
Boiadeiro (Armando Cavalcante, Klecius Caldas)

VIVA SÄO JOÄO!

Leap through a bonfire, dance a quadrilha, have a mock marriage, eat lots of food made out of corn and enjoy the kids dressed up in cute little ‘matuto’ costumes of country
people in peasant blouses and rustic clothes. Little girls with freckles painted on and boys with fake mustaches.

I think it is safe to say that there is no symbol more iconic or more strongly associated with São João than the King of Baião, Luiz Gonzaga!
Every one of his records had some reference to it, and he made quite a few LPs entirely devoted to Festas Juninas or São João, and literally
everywhere you go in the month of June in the Nordeste you will hear his compositions being played by all kinds of bands of varying competence, and in all kinds of
styles.  Last year was his centenary so celebrations were even more Gonzaga-centric.  But I expect this guy’s legacy will last for another hundred years, easily.

Gonzaga recorded a ton of hugely-popular 78s in the 1940s and 50s, and while he never stopped recording or performing, his popularity dipped
for a while in the 60s as bossa nova, jovem guarda, and Tropicália saturated the music market.  But he got a boost from the recognition of
the Tropicalístas who recorded a number of his compositions and soon he was back on top.  This live record, released after his death, is pretty
cool.  The notes from Sérgio Cabral claim this was the first time Gonzaga played in the Zona Sul in his entire life; I find this highly doubtful given his earlier fame.  It would probably be more accurate and plausible to say that he had not played in Rio’s south zone for a decade or so.   Notable for having protege Dominguinhos in the band as well as an
electric guitar (a rarity for Gonzaga), they run through a whole bunch of highlights in his oeuvre.  But the concert was a month-long run at a
posh Copacabana theatre, after his “rediscovery,”  and the music lacks some of the urgency and energy you might expect from a live recording.
Granted that Gonzaga was already a bit older than in his heyday, but I can’t help thinking some of it is about the fact that he’s playing for a
seated audience of polite middle-class people.  Without the dancing and drinking and convivial revelry that has always been part of forró pé de
serra
, it loses a little something.  So I usually reach for earlier recordings when I want to crank up the Rei de Baião, but this show is
kind of a good greatest-hits retrospective, with Gonzaga telling stories during the songs, and the arrangements are cool.  This must have been
recorded for television but I don’t know for certain.  It’s a good document and a fun listen even if it’s not on my top-shelf choices of the great Seu Luiz.

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Jackson do Pandeiro – Os Grandes Sucessos de Jackson do Pandeiro (1975) 24-96khz vinyl


Jackson do Pandeiro
“Os Grandes Successos de Jackson do Pandeiro”
Released 1975 on Tropicana / CBS Records (01320)
[which was also Columbia – Epic – Sony in Brazil…]

1. Morena Bela
(Juarez Santiago / Onildo Almeida)
2. Tum Tum Tum
(Ari Monteiro / Cristóvão de Alencar)
3. Casaca de Couro
(Rui de Morais / Silva)
4. Lamento Cego
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Nivaldo da Silva Lima)
5. Forró De Surubim
(Antônio Barros Silva / José Batista)
6. Mané Gardino
(Ari Monteiro / Elias Soares)
7. Cantiga Do Sapo
(Buco do Pandeiro / Jackson do Pandeiro)
8. Tem Mulher, Tô Lá
(J. Luna / Zé Catraca)
9. Penerou Gavião
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Odilon Vargas)
10. Sina De Cigarra
(Delmiro Ramos / Jackson do Pandeiro)
11. Chu Chu Beleza
(João Silva / Raimundo Evangelista)
12. Forró Em Campina
(Jackson do Pandeiro)

Tracks 1, 10, 11, and 12 are in stereo
Track 2 through 9 are in mono

This is a rather generic compilation of Jackson’s material released on the CBS subsidiary Tropicana in the mid-70s, without any indication of the provinence of any of the material included on it. It has all the tell-tales of a contractural obligation album, which in the case of Jackson is much less of a straight-forward thing than the phrase suggests. I know much less about his life than I would like (and am still waiting to find myself a copy of his biograpy, O Rei do Ritmo), but one bit of wisdom I’ve collected over the years is that Jackson had a nasty habit of entering into business deals with a record label while still under contract to another.

Thus, around the mid-70s we see Jackson leave CBS/Sony and begin recording for smaller or independent labels like Chantecler/Alvorada or Continental – however, CBS continued to release anthology after anthology of his material, leading me to the impression that he still owed them some albums…

My guess is that, with this particular release called “Os Grandes Sucessos” (The Greatest Hits..) which in fact lacks pretty much all of his biggest hits, they were trying to promote some of his newer material included here by capitalizing on some of his earlier, albiet lesser-remembered hits (many of them released as 78 RPM`s on another US-owned label, which were collected and shared HERE although the links were taken down so quickly I have been too spooked to put up new links). Jackson’s discography is so confusing, and the plethora of labels he recorded for so baffling in number, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the executives Tropicana (and their conglomarate corporate overlords) were counting on this chaos in order not to have to pay out on royalties — there are composer credits here, but absolutely nothing on the publishing rights. A little fishy. And though any single-LP collection of Jackson do Pandeiro is going to lack some favorites, there are obvious glaring omissions here of ANY of the recordings that were synonomous with him as a `household name.` So what we get is a mixture of his lesser-known hits and some songs that I don’t think were ever hits at all — namely, material from recent CBS releases like the LP`s “Sina de Cigarra” and “Tem Mulher, Tô Lá.” All of Jackson’s discography on vinyl is frustratingly rare — and even more frustrating, badly represented on compact disc for someone who represents such a huge part of Brazil’s musical patrimony – that I want to make it clear I am not making a critique of those early 70s albums from Jackson. Because in fact I still have yet to hear them! In that sense, I would have been happier if this had been strictly a collection culled from those early 70s discs, rather than a haphazard, somewhat random stroll through his career.

All that being said, this is still Jackson do Pandeiro and ipso facto a truly enjoyable listen. It includes some of my favorites from him like “Tum-tum-tum,” “Cantigo do sapo” (the best song ever about improvising frogs), and “Lamento cego.” And the newer material is also high-caliber stuff.

Some technical notes of interest for those who care… The chaotic nature of this weird collection presents some challenges for somebody wanting to do a decent digitalization of it. The album mixes songs recorded and mixed in MONO (the majority here) with song in stereo, all of them mastered at different maximum volumes, and seemingly all thrown together without much attention to detail. My solution involved a change from my usual workflow for vinyl digitalization. The first part, the actual vinyl transfer, is identical to the usual; it’s in the editing and post-processing that things get weird:

Vinyl original pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition ->

-> For tracks 2 THROUGH 9, a second pass in Click Repair solely to use its Stereo->Mono fold-down feature
-> Checking for aditional blemishes in Audition again, and comparing to “false stereo” source for differences

-> Normalizing the amplitude of each track, individually, to 0 decibels.

I’ve been skipping the step of normalizing on a lot of my recent vinyl rips, because I believe one of the great things about vinyl/analog is how much you can turn up the volume on a system before you start to hear distortions, and normalizing everything to 0db kind of defeats this pleasure to my ears. However, the tracks on this compilation are so all-over-the place in terms of their overall levels, I think I’ve actually made an improvement over the original vinyl mastering (or should I say, lack therein).

dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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Ary Lobo – Ary Lobo (1962)

Ary Lobo
“Ary Lobo”
Released 1962 on RCA-Victor (BBL – 1172)
Reissued 2004, “Essential Classics” series (82876641002)

1. Moça de hoje
2. Minha promessa
3. Eu vou pra lua
4. Movimento do Cidade
5. Se o passado voltasse
6. Zé Negreiro
7. Mulher de saia justa
8. Planeta plutão
9. Baião do Acre
10. Pedida a São Jorge
11. É Cosme e Damião
12. Garganta de cera

—————————-

This is a particularly strong album from Pará native Ary Lobo (Gabriel Eusébio dos Santos Lobo). With experience as a radio presenter while serving in the army, Lobo relocated to Rio where he also worked in radio and began making records in 1958 interpreting other composer’s material. By the time this album was released in 1962 he had five LPs and had become a songwriter in his own right, and a top-notch one at that. His style was heavily influenced by Jackson do Pandeiro and even though he adds his own twists and personal “toque”, Pandeiro’s masterful shadow looms over just about everything here. His repertoire had come to mostly feature the regional styles of the Northeast, singing about the quotidian challenges of life in Recife (Movimento da cidade), or of the northeastern migrants to the southeastern cities of Rio or São Paulo in “Minha Promessa.” In this latter song the Cearense protagonist tells how he made a promise to Padre Cícero, swearing that if luck should come his way in Rio he would return to his home in Juazeiro do Norte. Everything turns out well for the narrator in the song, which was rarely the case for the migrants looking to trade their hard luck for a better life in the cities of the industrialized southeast, giving the song a tone of either tongue-in-cheek irony or a hopeful prayer, depending on your interpretation.

This record contains the first song Ary Lobo ever wrote, “Eu vou pra lua”, which was written and first recorded in 1960. (I am not sure if that recording was used for this Long Player or if it was rerecorded for this release..). Brilliant, clever, and catchy as hell, the Jackson do Pandeiro influence is very heavy here in both the arrangement and his vocal phrasing — in fact the first time I heard it, I thought it *was* Jackson do Pandeiro – but the song is still all Lobo’s. The lyrics use the romanticism of Sputnik-era dreams of colonizing space as a solution to earthly social problems as a way to fit in some biting social satire in under three minutes (2:56 to be exact..). I wish I had time to translate the lyrics to English for the anglophiles in Flabberland but, alas, I do not. But as a basic summary I can say that our singer is sick of hunger, crime, inflation and “uneven development” (sorry, that’s my inability to resist social-science jargon… the phrase is “O progresso daqui a carestia” or “Here, progress is expensive…”), and resigning himself to disinterested apathy (“It’s no longer worth it to even criticize / Nobody believes in politics / Where the people live in agony”). He then goes on to imagine a utopian life on the moon free of bureaucracy where there is no lack of water, electricity, hospitals or schools. Oh yes, and where a woman gets sentenced to ten years in jail for cheating on her husband but her ‘back door man’ doesn’t suffer (a bit of light male chauvinist humor tacked onto the end of the tune). Of course now we know none of these things could ever happen since even The Muppets couldn’t colonize space, or even make a good film about it.

 

Eu Vou Prá Lua
Eu vou morar lá
Sair do meu Sputnik
Do Campo do Jiquiá…

Já estou enjoado aqui da terra
Onde o povo a pulso faz regime
A indústria, roubo, a fome, o crime
Onde os preços aumentam todo dia
O progresso daqui a carestia
Não adianta mais se fazer crítica
Ninguém acredita na política
Onde o povo só vive em agonia

Na lua não tem
Nome abreviado
[a bunch of acronyms*]
Nem contrabando
De mercadoria
Lá não falta água
Não falta energia
Não falta hospital
Não falta escola
É fuzilado lá
Quem come bola
E morre na rua
Quem faz anarquia

Lá não tem juventude transviada
Os rapazes de lá não têm malícia
Quando há casamento é na polícia
A moça é quem é sentenciada
Porventura se a mulher for casada
E enganar o marido a coisa é feia
Ela pega dez anos de cadeia
E o conquistador não sofre nada

* Lobo cleverly mocks Brazil’s acronym fetish by rhyming a bunch of them in rapid succession here. The lyrics posted in numerous places online are erroneous in this part of the song, having apparently been taken from a cover version from Zé Ramalho which changed them, no doubt in an effort to make the song more ‘up to date.’ Which is fair enough, I suppose: the acronyms on the original recording seem mostly taken from institutions and bureaucratic agencies from the Vargas and Kubitschek era like COHAB and IPSEP (which was both an agency and a neighborhood, still very much existing, in Recife). He rattles them off too quickly for me to figure out, especially since I suspect a few of them no longer exist… perhaps someone out there can help set the record straight?

The album also features other notable hits like “Moça de hoje” and “É Cosme é Damião”, along with others I am quite fond of like “Zé Negreiro” and “Pedida a São Jorge”. Most of the songs were written by various pairings of Luiz Boquinho, Ary Monteiro, and Ary Lobo himself, which makes for a cohesive experience of a recording on which there are no bad or uninteresting tracks.

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