Jorge Ben – Jorge Ben (1969) [Salve, Jorge! Boxset]


JORGE BEN
1969
Philips (R 765.100 L)

This reissue, Salve Jorge! Boxset, 2009
The Dusty Groove America pressing of this album from only a few years ago is on the blog HERE for your comparison. I have the original Philips pressing but without artwork (copy from a friend made a few years ago) if anybody is dying to compare all three pressings…

One of Jorge Ben’s best albums. The liner notes on the new reissue refer to it as a ‘comeback album’ — what they don’t tell you is that its also a ‘coming back to the Philips label’ album.. Ben had recorded one album for the United Artists label in 1967, O BIDU – SILÊNCIO NO BROOKLIN, that is not featured in this boxset for that very reason — which is really unfortunate since this boxset would otherwise be a complete document of his output up to 1976… I believe that Jorge Ben was in some kind of contractual dispute (such as disagreement on the terms of a new recording contract) that caused him to record for UA, but I’m not actually sure.

Regardless, ‘comeback’ notwithstanding, this is an amazing album, proving again that — just like his debut album — Jorge Ben was at his best when recording his own songs. EVERY track on this is his own. It is also remarkable and noteworthy that while other albums made by those more closely associated with Tropicália (e.g. any of the records made by Gilberto Gil, Caetano, or Gal in 68 or 69) contain little material that those artists would continue to perform (with some major exceptions scattered about…”Baby”, or “Aquele Abraço” for example), this album is packed with songs that continue to form staples of Jorge Ben’s repertoire.

This highlights one of the things I admire most about Jorge Ben — throughout the classic phase of his career, he could change elements of his stylistic approach while always retaining the ‘essence’ that was unmistakably Jorge Ben. Albums that are as different as they could be in terms of execution, approach, production — compare “Samba Esquema Novo”, this album, “A Tábua de Esmeralda”, and “África Brasil”, for example — never actually represent dramatic departures in Jorge Ben’s style of composition or playing. And I think this is a wonderful and remarkable thing. The notes on the boxset (sparse as they are, unfortunately) get things right when they demonstrate that in a very important way, Jorge Ben was always on the fringes of what was accepted as ‘serious’ music by the critics of his day — too much rock and jovem guarda for the bossa nova crowd, too much swing in his samba, too much funk in his feijoada. And in spite of critics he continued to be popular and to influence the music made by those artists more celebrated as ‘serious’, like the Tropicalístas, for whom (like Nara Leão) he was sort of an honorary member, a fellow-traveler whose career preceded the efflorescence of that movement and stood a bit further away from its center.

1 Crioula
2 Domingas
3 Cadê Teresa
4 Barbarella
5 País tropical
6 Take it easy my brother Charles
7 Descobri que eu sou um anjo
8 Bebete vãobora
9 Quem foi que roubou a sopeira de porcelana chinesa que a vovó ganhou da baronesa?
10 Que pena
11 Charles, Anjo 45

with Trio Mocotó and Os Originais do Samba

Arrangementes – José Briamonte, Rogerio Duprat (on “Descobri que eu sou um anjo” and “Barbarella”
Recorded at Scatena (São Paulo) and C.B.D. / Philips (Rio) studios
Recording technicians: Ary Carvalhaes, Célio Martins, Didi, Stélio Carlini, and João Kibelestis
Cover: Albery
Photo: Johnny Sálles
Layout: Lincoln
Violão: Jorge Ben
Produced by Manoel Barenbein

2009 Reissue mastered by Luigi Hoffer at DMS Mastering Solutions
Texts by Ana Maria Bahiana

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Jorge Ben – Big Ben (1965) (Salve, Jorge! Box)


Jorge Ben
“Big Ben”
1965
Philips
P 632 768 L
Reissued with Salve Jorge! Boxset, 2009

1 Na Bahia tem
(Nestor Nascimento)
2 Patapatapatá
(Jorge Ben)
3 Bom mesmo é amar
(Jorge Ben)
4 Deixa o menino brincar
(Babu)
5 Lalari – olalá
(Gaya)
6 Jorge Well
(Jorge Ben)
7 O homem, que matou o homem, que matou o homem ma
(Jorge Ben)
8 Quase colorida (Veruschka)
(Jorge Ben)
9 Maria Conga
(Nélio da Silva)
10 Acendo o fogo
(Ivo Elias)
11 Telefone de brotinho
(Maurício Scherman, Max Nunes, João Roberto Kelly)
12 Agora ninguém chora mais
(Jorge Ben)

Produced by Armando Pittligliani
Sound Engineer: Sylvio Rbaello
Sound Technicians: Célio Martins
Layout: Rodgrigo Octavio
Foto: Armando Amaral

2009 Remastering by Luigi Hoffner at DMS Mastering Solutions

The sound on this disc seems harsher, brasher, and more compressed to me than some of the other CDs in the boxset. But since its almost impossible to find the original CD pressing, it will do for me! The albums rocks out more than his previous albums, at times approximating early Beatles and Beach Boys but with a over-stimulated jazz compo backing him up. “Agora ninguém chora mais” is a classic, “Na Bahia tem” is also great and vaguely similar to Dorival Caymmi’s famous “O que a Baiana tem?”. Lindolfo Gaya even has a song on here, the interesting “Lalali-olalá”.

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Jorge Ben – Ben (1972) {Salve Jorge! boxset}

A1 Morre O Burro Fica O Homem 2:09
A2 O Circo Chegou 2:46
A3 Paz E Arroz 2:48
A4 Moça 4:57
A5 Domingo 23 3:48
A6 Fio Maravilha 2:13

B1 Quem Cochicha O Rabo Espicha 3:25
B2 Caramba 2:21
B3 Que Nega E Essa 3:34
B4 As Rosas Eram Todas Amarelas 3:45
B5 Taj Mahal 5:30

For me, this has always been the Holy Grail of Jorge Ben albums. A sentiment fueled largely by its scarcity since the time I got into the man’s music — This was one of the last of the classic Ben albums I managed to hear. I finally got my hands on it by way of an ex-girlfriend, and (not unlike the girl herself) it was damaged goods — the disc was scratched up and skipped, the cover artwork had long disappeared. But (not unlike the girl herself), it was better than nothing, and I made a personal copy of it anyway, skips and all. The vinyl for this baby has long been out of my price range (until I am lucky enough to find one at a random record stall), so this particular title is one of the main reasons I bought the Salve Jorge boxset.

A set of eleven songs, all written entirely by Jorge Ben, with unfortunately uncredited musicians after the departure of Trio Mocotó. Whoever it is playing the fretless bass on this album is just incredible. Crisp production and arrnangements by Paulinho Tabajós (with some help from Osmar Milito on a few tracks), this is probably the sparest, most stripped-down album of Ben’s discography. For all its wonderful glory, there are actually few ‘staples’ on this album that would continue to appear in Jorge’s live performances and various collections, with the major exceptions of Fio Maravilha (here presented in an extremely laid back, downbeat interpretation), Caramba!, and the earliest version of Taj Mahal which has an “Eastern-sounding” acoustic guitar solo in the middle of it.

Also, if you play the song Domingo 23 backwards, you will here references to the future death / murder of Michael Jackson, using imagery from the film BEN for which Jackson sang the theme song, also released in 1972.

Saravá Jorge, filho de Ogun!

Oh, and this is most likely my last blog post of 2009, so … HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Thanks to all the readers of this blog — especially those of you kind enough to take the time to leave comments! Lots of light and inspiration to you all in the new aeon.

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Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) {Salve, Jorge! Boxset}

01 – Rita Jeep
02 – Porque é Proibido Pisar Na Grama
03 – Cassius Marcelo Clay
04 – Cigana
05 – Zula
06 – Negro é Lindo
07 – Comanche
08 – Que Maravilha
09 – Maria Domingas
10 – Palomaris

Original release:
Produced by Paulinho Tapajós
Recording technicians: Toninho and Mazzola
Studio: C.B.D.P.
Arrangements by Arthur Verocai
Photo: Wilney Cover design: Aldo Luiz

2009 reissue credits
Supervision: Alice Soares
Project conceptualization: Carlos Savalla
Liner Notes: Ana Maria Bahiana
Coordination: Rodrigo Faour
Remastering: Luigi Hoffer at DMS Mastering Solutions
Restoration of original LP covers and adaptation for CD: Leandro Arraes at LAStudio
Editing: Luiz Augusto
Graphic design: Geysa Adnet

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Interestingly, the bilingual texts on the new CD jackets do not actually have the same information, both containing some tidbits of info that the other doesn’t have. In the interest of globalization I am going to do a quick free translation here (all errors are my own..):

Jorge Ben Jor’s trilogy of albums with Trio Mocotó closes with the powerful “Negro É Lindo” (Black is Beuatiful) in 1971, in a phase of the Brazilian culture industry where blacks began to be perceived as potential consumers. Negro é Lindo delivers an homage to Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) and also to João Parahyba, nicknamed Comanche. It has delcarations of love for his beloved wife Maria Tereza Domingas and, at the same time, proposes a pact of goodwill and unity to Rita Lee, responsible for his trips to and from the studio to his house in Brooklin (*southside neighborhood of São Paulo, not the one in New York…).

One difference in relation to the other LPs is the fact that this one was to be more centered on the acoustic guitar in its arrangements, possibly the fruit of his partnership with Paulinho Tapajós, who directed Ben’s recordings between 71 and 75. In the studio, Tapajós prefered to record Jorge one his own and on stop of a platform, under which were placed microphones that captured the time-keeping beats of the artists’ shoes and foot-tapping, and the scrape of his pick across the guitar strings. Beginning with this base, the arrangements were built around him. “With the pulse of the foot-taps, his, voice, and the guitar pick, Jorge transformed himself into a machine of rhythm. Afterward, I embellished this with the other instruments in arrangements (of scale and tone) that wouldn’t conflict with what he was doing. We recorded 30, 40 songs for one single album and I believe there must be a lot of unreleased material. It was the best way to work, because the coolest thing about Jorge is the freedom. He does not have discipline. Therefore, we had to follow along after him.” One could analyze this liberty and freedom as a certain kind of alienation between the techniques and artifices of the studio and the process of practicing as a group. There are classic moments calling for the bridge, or the end of a sing, same as LPs recorded live (“Em cima!”, “Miudinho!”). Add to this the fact that Ben, aside from composing the lyrics and music for the vast majority of the songs he created, did not do arrangements for other instruments: in this era, he played his guitar and sang, and the arranger (or Trio Mocotó) did their work on top of this.

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Side note from Flabbergast… Interesting that Arthur Verocai, who at this point in time is probably more famous outside Brazil than within it, does not get any mention in these liner notes even though he was responsible for the arrangements as much or more so than producer Tapajós…

The notes also sidestep Ben’s involvement with and importance to the movement(s) variously referred to as Black Rio, Black Power, Samba Soul, Movimento Negro, in the 1970s. An embracing of black identity in an allegedly colorblind ‘racial democracy’ where bring up something like “Black Pride” is likely to spark an argument. In fact doing so led to just such an argument for me TODAY — one has to remember this was even more polemical in the early 70s. It’s not the first foray into this territory in Ben’s music or lyrics, by any means, but probably the first where he is self-consciously integrating his work around Afrocentric ideas, making him part of a global phenomenon happening at the same time in the US, the Caribbean, in other parts of Latin America, and in Africa itself. The liner notes would almost imply that this was a marketing strategy (the black woman or man as potential consumer), an interpretation which I hope is just me being reactionary and radical and indignant as I sometimes tend to be… Because if that IS the implication, then its an insult to Jorge Ben and the massive accomplishments of his music during this period.

This pressing hails from the 12-CD boxset released just a week ago. There will be more of it to come…

With complete artwork, m3u playlist, and proper ID-tags

Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) in 320 kbs em pee three

Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Emílio Santiago – Emílio Santiago (1975) {João Donato, Azimuth, Wilson das Neves..)

Emilio Santiago (1975)
1975, CID (8008)
CD Reissue, CID (0074102)1 Bananeira
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
2 Quero alegria
(Guilherme de Brito, Nelson Cavaquinho)
3 Porque somos iguais
(Pedro Camargo, Durval Ferreira)
4 Batendo a porta
(Paulo César Pinheiro, João Nogueira)
5 Depois
(Otávio Daher, Ivan Lins)
6 Brother
(Jorge Ben)
7 La mulata
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Nega Dina
(Zé Keti)
9 Doa a quem doer
(Ivan Lins)
10 Sessão das dez
(Édson Lobo, Tita, Renato Rocha) 

Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of Emilio Santiago. In fact all I have is this album, ‘Comigo é assim’ and `Feito Pra Ouvir` which might be his most famous from the 70s. But his early stuff is worth checking out, especially this debut album. This one is, in fact, pretty bad-ass. Emilio was sort of a protege, or at least a `discovery` of Roberto Menescal, who wrote the liner notes for this album and produced `Feito Pra Ouvir` a few years later.

In truth this album may be most interested for the insane lineup of musicians who contributed to it. João Donato’s contribution on the electric Rhodes is the most obvious — as is the song he co-wrote with Gilberto Gil, “Bananeira”, as solid a piece of Brazil funk as you could find. Donato also gives the track “La mulata” (penned by the brothers Valle) a salsa-style arrangement that stands out quite nicely. The funk-fusion band Azimuth provides backing on one track only, Jorge Ben’s “Brother.” Now, ‘Brother’ is from what many regard as Ben’s best album ever — A Tábua de Esmeralda — but for me that song has always been the weakest link in the great chain of that record. Here, I dare say that Emilio may surpass the original, and with big credit due to Azimuth, who make the song hit much harder than Ben’s laid-back style.

You can see the rest of the big names who helped out on this record on the CD tray like Wilson das Neves, Copinha, Ivan Lins, Dori Caymmi… Keeping in mind that the lineup of the musical backing changes on every track, sometimes entirely, the album is remarkably consistent in its sound. Emilio’s interpretations of sambas from the likes of Nelson Cavaquinho and João Nogueira are still growing on me, and perhaps they never will… His voice veers towards the schmaltzy style that would make him famous in the 80s and 90s. He is definitely not alone in giving classic samba that kind of slick treatment, but I will always prefer ‘samba do morro’ to ‘samba de calçada’ I guess..

By the way, his name is Emilio Santiago, in case you can’t read it clearly on the front cover of the album.  Bio in Portuguese

Carioca, começou a cantar em festivais universitários nos anos 70, quando freqüentava a faculdade de Direito. Participou também de programas de calouros na televisão, chegando às finais de um concurso no programa Flávio Cavalcanti, na TV Tupi. Foi crooner da orquestra de Ed Lincoln, e cantou em boates e casas noturnas. Seu primeiro compacto foi lançado em 1973 com “Transa de Amor” (S. Tapajós/ M. Amaral) e “Saravá Nega” (Odibar), o que abriu portas para participações em programas de rádio e televisão. Dois anos depois a CID grava o primeiro LP, “Emílio Santiago”, com músicas de Jorge Ben (“Brother”), João Donato (“Bananeira”) e outros. No ano seguinte assinou contrato com a Polygram, que lançou os dez discos seguintes. Foi eleito o melhor intérprete do Festival da TV Globo de 1985 com a música “Elis Elis” (E. Natolo Jr./ M. Simões). Em 1988 mudou para a gravadora Som Livre, onde iniciou o projeto “Aquarelas Brasileiras”, dedicado exclusivamente ao repertório de música brasileira. Lançou sete discos pelo projeto, alcançando a marca de 4 milhões de cópias vendidas. No final da década de 90 lançou discos fora do Aquarela Brasileira, inclusive um em homenagem ao cantor Dick Farney.

 

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(edit/update, March 20, 2013 – Emílio passed away today, only in his 60s too..  So I fixed the links here and reposted, but without any other changes.  Maybe in the coming weeks I’ll try to get another of his records up here..)

Grupo Fundo de Quintal – Seja Sambista Também (1984)

I had been planning a different samba album for today, a vinyl rip of a somewhat-scarce album, but I just couldn’t manage to finish editing it before the weekend. So instead I am bringing you yet another title from Fundo de Quintal, their fourth LP, and the second on which Arlindo Cruz plays a huge roll (appropriate for a huge guy) as a player and songwriter. The band is really hitting its stride here. I had the honor of seeing him play a live show for free this year and I have never seen so many women going crazy over a large man. I swear I saw some panties thrown on stage although the night is kind of hazy in my memory. Among the great “in-house” songwriters in the group there is also a collaboration between Zeca Pagodinho and Cruz in the credits, as well as a closing number from Jorge Aragão who had left at this point.

Not a dull moment here, folks!
For more info — and for more great music — be sure to visit the page for “Samba é no Fundo de Quintal” (1980) also here at Flabbergasted Vibes

Grupo Fundo de Quintal – Seja Sambisa Também (1984) in 320kbs

Grupo Fundo de Quintal – Seja Sambisa Também (1984) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO