Abdias – E Seus Sambas do Sucesso (1971)

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Abdias – “E Seus Sambas de Sucesso”
Released 1971 on CBS/Entré (104194)

01. Pra não morrer de tristeza (João Silva – K. Boclinho)
02. Minha ex-mulher (Severino Ramos – José Pereira)
03. Prefiro a Bohemia (Osvaldo Oliveira – Ayrão Reis)
04. Mocidade que perdi (Laurentino Azevedo – Zito de Souza)
05. Ninguém gosta de ninguém (Antonio Barros)
06. Seu dia chegará (Geraldo Gomes – Anatalicio)
07. Pra não me matar de dor (Anatalicio)
08. Vou doar meu coração (Antonio Barros)
09. Fraguei (Osvaldo Oliveira – Dilson Doria)
10. Nunca mais hei de beber (Elias Soares)
11. Não posso lhe perdoar (Jacinto Silva – Sebastião Rodrigues)
12. Tarimba de bambú (Serafim Adriano – Zito de Souza)

Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; ClickRepair, adjusted manually; clicks and pops removed individually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp.  Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

 

The day of São João (June 23) is long gone and yesterday was technically the last day of the festas juninas cycle, but there will still be a few stray parties, which some people have taken to calling festas julinas .  I really dropped the ball on sharing any forró records this year and I apologize to all of you for it.  On the bright side, I did fix a bunch of old links that had been killed by Blogger.   I’m still feeling restless and edgy, man, like it’s all about breaking boundaries and stuff with me, you dig?  So this record only tangentially fits into the holiday cycle, because these are all sambas, but performed with instrumentation associated with forró and baião.    Abdias (full name, José Abdias de Farias) had quite a career in forró, producing records by Trio Nordestino and Jackson do Pandeiro, and played an important role in the career of Marinês, to whom he was married at one point.   He has some arranging and songwriting credits (including one number co-authored with João do Vale, “Balancero da Usina”), but on this disc his repertoire is entirely composed by others.  These are all mostly sambas lamenting broken hearts and doomed love, but (as samba often does) they manage to sound pretty upbeat throughout all the heartache.  A couple of these are credited to an Antonio Barros, who – if this is the same individual – was a colleague of Luiz Gonzaga, who played triangle in his band (yeah that’s right, the triangle, you wanna make something of it?) and wrote at least a couple dozen forró tunes.  One of my favorite tunes here is from Jacinto Silva and Sebastião Rodrigues, “Não posso lhe perdoar,” in fact I liked it so much that I included it on Flabbergasted Freeform No. 14.

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Carmélia Alves – Eu Sou o Baião (1943-1954)

 

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Carmélia Alves
Eu Sou O Baião
Revivendo RVD 213
Released 2004

Sabiá na Gaiola (1950) with Conjunto Continental
(Hervê Cordovil – Mario Vieira)
Deixei de Sofrer (1943) with Benedicto Lacerda e Seu Conjunto
(Horondino Silva – Popeye do Pandeiro)
Saia de Bico (1950) with Trio Melodia and Conjunto Continental
(Traditional, arranged by João de Barro)
Esta Noite Serenô (1951) from the film “Meu Destino é Pecar”
(Hervê Cordovil)
Eh! Boi (1951) with Orquestra Continental
(Hervê Cordovil)
Trépa no Coqueiro (1950) with Orquestra Copacabana
(Ari Kerner)
Adeus, Adeus Morena (1951) with Vero e Seu Conjunto
(Manézinho Araújo, Hervê Cordovil)
Maria Joana (1952) with Sivuca
(Luiz Bandeira)
Carreteiro (1953) with Orquestra Continental
Piratini, Caco Velho
Adeus, Maria Fulô  (1951) with Jimmy Lester
Humberto Teixeira, Sivuca
Cabeça Inchada  (1951) with Orquestra Cotinental from the film Uma aventura no Rio
Hervê Cordovil
Tic-Tac do Meu Relógio (1949)Carmélia Alves & Quarteto de Bronze with “Fats” Elpidio e Seu Ritmo
Dunga
O Baião em Paris (1951) with Vero e Seu Conjunto
Humberto Teixeira
Quem Dorme no Ponto é Chauffeur (1943) with Benedicto Lacerda e Seu Conjunto
Assis Valente
Eu Sou o Baião (1952) with Vero e Seu Conjunto
Humberto Teixeira
Diga Que Sim (1949) with “Fats” Elpidio e Seu Ritmo
Roberto Martins, Ari Monteiro
O Trem Chegou (1950) Carmélia Alves & Trio Melodia with Conjunto Continental
Hervê Cordovil
Tristezas do Jeca (1952) Carmélia Alves & Trio Melodia with Bittencourt e Seu Conjunto
Angelino de Oliveira
Baião da Garoa (1954) Carmélia Alves & Trio Melodia with Quinteto Continental
Hervê Cordovil, Luiz Gonzaga
Trem Ô-Lá-Lá (1950) with Orquestra Copacabana
Lauro Maia, Humberto Teixeira
Coração Magoado (1950) with Severinio Araújo e Sua Orquestra Tabajara
(Roberto Martins)

The first festa junina post of 2016 is arriving rather late to the blog, and has the audacity to feature a singer from Rio rather than the Nordeste.  Don’t worry though, Carmélia Alves has her bonafides, and was known as the Queen of Baião until her death in 2012. On this collection you’ll hear her performing with Sivuca and his band, whom she is credited with having “discovered,” and the repertoire is peppered with songs penned by Humberto Teixeira and even one from Gonzaga.  As you can hear above, though, she began her career as a samba singer in the mold of Carmen Miranda.   With a background as a singer on the radio, in nightclubs, and as a backing vocalist for others (principally Benedicto Lacerda), her first record in 1943 was actually self-financed, with the musicians donating their time.  It also featureed Elizeth Cardoso, Cyro Monteiro and Nélson Gonçalves singing backing in the coro before they were famous.   All of the songs recorded at that session were sambas, and two of them are featured here.  The lean years of the war meant that even major artists were not recording much, and Carmélia would not record again until 1949.  She spent that time traveling with her husband Jimmy Lester (his “crooner” name, as he performed American songs at the Copacabana Palace, where they met), and performing in various Brazilian cities.  When she moved back to Rio and began recording again, her repertoire included baião, rancheira, and toada numbers alongside samba, marcha, and choro.  If nothing else, this Revivendo collection highlights a point that historian Bryan McCann has pointed out: in the period before the dawn of bossa nova, the baião was a tremendously popular genre and maybe even a contender for a “national” music style, rather than being relegated to a kind of regionalist musical ghetto that always seems one step away from “folklore.”  Samba and MPB singers would continue to draw inspiration from baião and the other rhythms that comprise forró – Clara Nunes always made it a point to include a Northeastern number on nearly all her records from the 70s onward, for example.  But those are nods to a kind of spiritual-musical ‘roots’ periodically rediscovered in that storied region.  In the period on this CD, baião could still be performed by any of the popular bands or singers of the day right alongside the latest sambas, in fashionable ballrooms and adorned with pearls, without necessarily having to dress it up in the leather-hats-and-bandolier costumes of the arid northeastern backlands.

Of her sambas, there are only a few here, but they include Diga que sim from 1949, Coração magoado from 1950, and Deixa de sofrer  and Quem dorme no ponto é chauffer,  both from that first 1943 session. The latter was penned by Assis Valente and reportedly is the origin of the slang phrase derived from the title.  There is the choro composition Tic-tac do meu relógio.  There is the balanceio track Trépa no coqueiro, a huge hit which my friend Bertha insists is a classic but which I think could be included in a David Lynch film as a repeating theme meant to drive the audience slightly bonkers. All of these are nicely placed to add some variety to the baião and toada numbers that make up the bulk of the disc.  Of these, a great deal were written for her by Hervê Cordovil, a pianist and composer from Minas Gerais whose first success with Carmélia was when she was featured performing his Cabeça inchada in the film Uma aventura no Rio in 1949.  The song was quickly rerecorded by a host of other artistsand further Hervê and Carmélia pairings soon followed, including Sabiá na gaiola, which opens this set and is an homage to one of Brazil’s most colorful and iconic songbirds.  You might find that some of the earlier baião numbers here, played by radio orchestras, sound rather stiff and restrained if you are used to the more flowing and freewheeling small combos from the Northeast, as found on recordings by Gonzaga or Jackson do Pandeiro.  One gets the feeling that the musicians are sticking closely to their charts and playing in an idiom with which they might be somewhat unfamiliar.  That makes the tracks with Sivuca here all the more special.  Apparently Carmélia discovered him while performing for Rádio Jornal in Recife (a station which is still going, although it was mostly news and talk programs when I lived there), and convinced him to relocate to Rio and try his luck down there.   From the first appregio runs of Maria Joana, everything sounds more relaxed, the band fast and loose, and Sivuca contributing some harmonies and regional exclamations (ôxente!).  Clocking in at under 2 and 1/2 minutes, it smokes.  Have a listen here, where it is followed by another and more famous track featuring Sivuca, Adeus Maria Fulô:

Adeus, Maria Fulô has had quite an interesting life.  The version above is the original from 1951.  (Purist gadfly commentary: note the prominent use of the electric guitar in this recording. Isn’t it great?)  Carmélia and her husband spent a great deal of the 1950s and 60s performing all over the world – South and Central America, Russia, Europe, where she eventually lived for quite a long time.  At some point she befriended Miriam Makeba, who she says learned to speak perfect Portuguese and rerecorded the song in 1967, having a big hit with it in South Africa and Europe.  Let’s have a listen to her version:

The following year, the song also appeared as a stand-out cut on the breakthrough record by Tropicália firebrands Os Mutantes.  They’ve traded in the accordion for a marimba and xylophone and deconstructed it, as they were prone to do.  Here is their 1968 recording of it:

And, what the hell, one more for good measure.  To come full circle,  Gal Costa, once a Tropicalísta but now a respectable MPB artist, recorded a version with Sivuca for a record paying tribute to Humberto Teixeira in 2003.  Here’s their respectful rerecording which contains zero actual surprises apart from some nice jazz chord inversions on the piano

 

Teixeira also wrote O baião em Paris, taking the genre international in song several years before they would actually start touring extensively in Europe.  He also wrote the tune that ceded a title for this collection, Eu sou o baião, which is  lovely (as you can here in the first playlist up at the top of the page).

If I have a complaint about this collection, it’s that it doesn’t quite do justice to Carmélia Alves’ versatility.  It is understandable that Revivendo would want to focus on baião (she was the Queen, after all).  But the collection is only 58 minutes long , so there is definitely room here for some more music.  It would have been nice for them to include a few of Capiba’s frevos that she recorded in the early 50s, and she continued recording great samba even as she began to focus on (or be pigeonholed into) “regional music” of the Nordeste during the period covered here.  Just because you can stuff a CD with 74 or 80 minutes of audio doesn’t always mean you should, but in Carmélia’s case I wish they had.  Even so, this is a pretty solid collection spanning the first decade or so of her long career.   Highly recommended!

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Pinduca – No Embalo do Carimbó e Sirimbó – Vol. 9 (1980)

 

 

 

Pinduca
No Embalo Do Carimbó E Sirimbó – Vol. 9
1980 Copacabana COELP 41320
 


 
A1     O Rico e o Pobre (public domain, adapted by Pinduca)    2:53
A2     O Ricardão (Pinduca)    2:46
A3     Fuma Porque Pode (Pinduca – Maria Gonçalves)    2:24
A4     Festa de Umbanda (Pinda – Deuza)    2:35
A5     Marcha do Top Less (Pinduca – O. Roosevelth)    2:55
A6     Curichão da Saudade  (Pinduca)    2:44
B1     Sentando a Puã (Pinduca – Maria Izabel Pureza)    2:24
B2     Terra Boa É o Pará (Pinduca)    2:20
B3     Vou Dar Risada (Pinduca – Deuza)    2:55
B4     Joaninha, Meu Bem (Pinduca – João Antonio de Oliveira)    2:58
B5     Chorando À Beira Mar (Pinduca)     2:32
B6     Doce Menina (Pinduca)    2:31 
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 Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – resampled (and dithered for 16-bit) using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag&Rename.
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Episode 9, in which we discover that Pinduca was a police sergeant and also harbored a secret desire to be a male stripper.   Songs about how you can never trust a women. Songs about women who smoke, about umbanda parties, topless bars, and Tarzan – all this and more in the ninth installment of No Embalo do…..

Aw Christ who am I kidding, I don’t have anything to say about this record.  This is the very definition of “phoning it in.”  I’ve had a really crap week, or as I would be able to appropriately say if things had turned out better for me, “this week has been total shite.” Although if things had turned out better then I wouldn’t need to say my week was shit, rendering these last few sentences irrelevant.  Not redundant, because nothing has been repeated, but possibly I have become redundant in the British sense, in that I might be imminently replaceable.  If fact I encourage readers to write their own description of this album in the style of Flabbergasted Vibes.  Please post your writing sample in the comments section, along with a CV, three professional references, and a statement of your goals and theoretical contribution to the discipline.  Eligible candidates for the position will demonstrate a clear commitment to uncompensated writing and chronic anxiety about your future.

Enjoy the music, you bastards.

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Pinduca – No Embalo do Pinduca Vol. 10 (1981)

Pinduca
No Embalo Do Pinduca – Vol. 10
Beverly BLP 83070-A (1991 Reissue)
Original release 1981 Copacabana COELP-41561
 

 
 
A1     Lambada Da Birita (Aquino)    2:34
A2     Urubajara (Pedro Américo – O. Roosevelth)     2:40
A3     Mambo Rabo De Saia  (Pinduca – Mário Gonçalves)     2:56
A4     Rosa Em Botão (Pinduca)     3:14
A5     Esta Zinha Meu Amor (Pinduca)     2:06
A6     Poeta Do Mar (Pinduca – Vidinho)     2:48
B1     Siri Mole, Siri Duro (Pinduca – O. Roosevelth)    2:34
B2     Tabatinga (Pinduca – Deuza)    3:03
B3     Siriá Gostoso (Pinduca – Deuza)     2:32
B4     Vizinha Linguaruda (Pinduca – Maria Izabel Pureza)    2:49
B5     Santos De Casa (Pinduca – Tânia)     2:45
B6     Passa, Passa Do Viaduto Do Chá (Carimbó De São Paulo) (Adalberto Pires – Pinduca)  2:36
Artistic direction – Luiz Mocarzel
Executive producer – Pinduca, Talmo Scaranari
Arranged by Pinduca
Recording and mixing engineer – Zilmar Araújo
Mastering – Silvia R. Nascimento
Recorded at DO-RE-MI studios in São Paulo in 24 channels
Photo – Carlos A. Gordon
Layout and design – Jurandir G. Silveira
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 Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp.  Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

 

In this tenth album from master of the carimbó and siriá styles, Pinduca deepens his exploration of the themes he has developed throughout his oeuvre – the nuances of drinking, nosy gossiping neighbors, shellfish, and dancing.   Although it may be difficult to immerse yourself in the details if you’re jumping in at Volume 10, it’s not exactly Swann’s Way, so I think you will be alright.

In fact, one might legitimately ask why I am finally delving into my Pinduca collection at this particular disc. There is no particular reason other than I had taken this LP down off the shelf while I was collecting tracks for my most recent podcast.  I ended up not using anything from it, but I have wanted to share some whole records by this guy for a while, so I finally quit putting it off and did the quickest vinyl transfer I’ve ever done.  Plus it is a nice round number, 10.  I even considered doing a countdown all the way to number 1, but I am missing a few crucial integers that would make such an undertaking eminently frustrating.

The sound is fuller than on some of his earlier albums, since by this point Pinduca was recording in 24-track studios.  He also knows his audience well and plays to them: there are a couple of forró numbers here and even a track that is kind of brega, as if he is showing his gratitude to the working-class crowds that had made it possible for him to have a music career without any real push from the industry.  Carimbó music was actually somewhat in vogue during the latter half of the 1970s. MPB singer Eliana Pittman recorded a full album or two in the genre.  Fellow paraense*  and emergency flotation device Fafá de Belém would eventually score a huge hit with Pinduca’s “Sinha Pureza”, which remains his most famous song to this day.  So though he may not have been getting reviews in O Pasquim magazine, he was definitely appreciated by fellow musicians and reaped some benefits from that attention. In fact, remarking on the momentous occasion of a tenth LP, he has a sweet note on the back cover thanking everyone in the world for helping him along, from record store owners to the civil and military authorities.  (*A paraense a person from the state of Pará)

Although the forró tunes are cute, what you came to hear are the selections of animated carimbó, lilting siriá, and frenetic lambada. Tight horn arrangements and fast tempos are offset ever so slightly by the Farfisa-like organ that leans on chords in a loungerific way.  There is even a blast of synth in the bridge of the opening cut, “Lambada da birita.”  Check out some highlights below:

I really should not add to my trail of broken promises on this blog, but I intend to share some more of this fun music.  I have been wanting to enthuse about it here for years now and never seem to get around to sharing.  I shall make a genuine effort at it now, because as a Buddhist sage once said, “How do you know you won’t die tomorrow?”  Check the comment links.

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Dolores Duran – Canta Para Você Dançar (1957)

Dolores Duran – Canta Para Você Dançar…
1957 Copacabana CLP 11011
2010 reissue EMI 967873-2

1 Scapricciatiello
(F. Albano, P. Vento)
2 Por causa de você
(Dolores Duran, Tom Jobim)
3 Ohô-ahâ
(Kurt Feltz, Heinz Gletz)
4 Quem foi?
(Jorge Tavares, Nestor de Holanda)
5 Feiura não é nada
(Billy Blanco)
6 Que murmuren
(Ruben Fuentes, Rafael Cardenas)
7 Coisas de mulher
(Chico Baiano)
8 Viens
(G.Becaud, C.Aznavour)
9 Conceição
(Dunga, Jair Amorim)
10 Se papai fôsse eleito
(Billy Blanco)
11 Mi último fracaso
(Alfredo Gil)
12 Camelot
(Billy Blanco)
13 Only you
(A. Rand, B.Ram)
14 Estatuto de boite
(Billy Blanco)

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.


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Inezita Barroso – Alma Brasileira (1993)

Inezita Barroso
Alma Brasileira
1993 Copacabana

01 – Luar do Sertão
02 – Moda da Pinga
03 – Morena Morena
04 – Engenho Novo
05 – Soca Pilão
06 – Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro
07 – Prenda Minha
08 – Saudade de Matao
09 – Asa Branca
10 – Maringa
11 – Peixe Vivo
12 – O Menino da Porteira
13 – Negrinho do Postoreio
14 – Tristezas do Jeca

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I don’t have a tremendous amount to say about this album, which is a collection of material from Inezita Barroso’s first few decades as a performer.  But she passed away earlier this year at the dignified age of 90, and I have a few of her LPs on vinyl so I might someday digitize them for this place if there is interest.

Inezita Barroso was Brazil’s long-reigning queen of música caipira and traditional sertaneja, music from the rural interior associated with southern Brazil.  This genre of music has a similar symbolic valence as other “folk” musics in other parts of the world, so naturally when she passed away there was a lot of eulogizing about how she represented the “authentic” and “real” Brazil.  Born in São Paulo to a wealthy family, but spending much of her childhood on the many coffee plantations they owned, she was college educated, married young to a lawyer, formally trained in music – sociologically she was about as “caipira” as Pete Seeger was a freight-train hopping hobo.  Having played in talent-show type affairs in theaters since she was a young girl, her first paid performance came when she was asked to interpret some songs collected by Mario de Andrade during his famous ethno-musicological field trips of the 1930s.  That’s an old folk music “tradition” of its own:  (re)presenting the music of rural people in a cleaned-up package, sung in dialect, that is more amenable to urban, middle/upper-class aesthetics.

But none of these musical ad hominem observations really matter too much, because she was indeed the most visible proponent and advocate for this type of music, and hence an inspiration to many less famous singers and duos to keep going.  For thirty-five years, Inezita hosted a Sunday morning TV program devoted to música caipira called Viola, Minha Viola.  She appeared in films and on the theatrical stage, and also did original research and wrote books about folklore.  Her repertoire was not limited to only the the sertaneja music of the south but included folk songs from the center-west and further east around Rio and, naturally, the Northeast.  In this college we have a very stylized version of Gonzagão’s “Asa Branca” that you can add to your collection of the umpteen versions of that tune.  I like it.

Unfortunately this single-CD retrospective does not give even the bare minimum of information as to the provenance of the recordings – when they were recorded, where they appeared elsewhere.  For that kind of detail, you probably want to look for the collection by the Revivendo label or else the 6-CD boxset released by Copacabana Discos that spans 1955-1962.  Unfortunately this latter collection suffers from a case of severe sonic degradation due to  heavy-handed use of ‘no noise’ filtering, leaving everything sounding like an mp3 you might have found on eMule or Limewire fifteen years ago.  I haven’t heard the Revivendo collection, but while I’m a big advocate for the earlier releases of that label, in recent years they have also been sucking the life out of their audio with the blanket application of noise filtering.  (Seriously guys, just leave the noise – recordings from the 1930s and 40s are never going to sound like they were recorded yesterday so just stop trying already.)  I’m not sure when exactly things started to go all wobbly in their mastering practices, but their one Inezita collection (that I know of), titled ‘Ronda’, dates from 2005, so it could go either way in terms of quality.

So while the information included in this disc is nonexistent, the sound is actually quite nice.  Highlights here include the humorous “Moda da Pinga,” more commonly known as “Marvada Pinga,” the tune “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro” whose sing-songy childlike verses were also recorded by one swinging cat named Wilson Simonal, “Prenda Minha” (also recorded by Caetano), “Tristeza do Jeca” (originally by Tonico and Tinoco), hell everything here is pretty good.  I’m partial to “Engenho Novo”.

I had considered posting this CD to my dormant companion blog to this one, Flabbergasted Folk, because except for the fact that this is Brazilian, it might thematically fit better over there than it does here.  But then I remembered that the drum beat from Engenho Novo was sampled by Racionais MC’s and decided it was okay to post this collection at Flabbergasted Vibes after all…

Check out the interesting development of this sertaneja staple, “Tristeza do Jeca”, which closes out this CD.  Below I have posted the 1947 version of the song by the duo Tonico and Tinoco on the left, followed by another recording a decade later, in 1958, to the right.  Below this is Inezita Barroso’s version, and then again another by Tonico and Tinoco performing it in the 1970s for the TV program MPB Ensaio.  I prefer the earliest two from Tonico and Tinoco myself.  The 1947 has a special sauce ingredient of Hawaiian-style steel guitar combined with a sanfona or accordion.  Perhaps the guitar was  played by my favorite Brazilian steel guitarist (because he’s the only Brazilian steel guitarist I know) Poli or Poly (Ângelo Apolônio), who would eventually make some sertaneja records of his own.  The 1958 version is very different: it has a rhythmic baião-type lilt to it that could lend itself to some slow dancing.  Unfortunately the YouTube clip cuts out halfway through the track but you get the idea.

Then there is Inezita’s version, played in a looser solo arrangement. It is interesting that in the 70s clip, they are playing the song more like Inezita’s rendition, which is maybe more “traditional” sertaneja.  Is it possible that she influenced the way they played their own signature song?  It almost seems like the reverse of a case of one staple of North American folk music – when Pete Seeger said he liked The Byrds more ‘modern’ arrangement of Turn, Turn, Turn more than his own and deciding to just start playing it their way at some point.  Somewhere in my closet I have a CD recordings of all the MPB Ensaio programs, including episodes with both Inezita and Tonico and Tinoco.  Perhaps they tell some stories about this, so now I will have to check.

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