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.
Recordings originally released on Odeon, Star, Continental, Victor, RCA Victor, and Todamérica labels
Meus companheiros do samba
Do samba bem brasileiro
Ouçam o lamento de um triste
Que tem na alma um pandeiro
O samba foi lá em casa
E disse a mim soluçando
Tiraram tudo de belo que eu tinha
Pediu socorro chorandoOnde andarão os valores
Daqueles tempos de outrora
Seus lindos versos de amores
Que até hoje o povo chora
Voltem de novo que é grande a saudade
Talento não tem idade
So all hell has broken loose in Brazil since the last time I made a blog post of Brazilian music. I’m not even going to touch it today – if you want to read about it English, there are some good sources out there (but mostly mediocre ones). Otherwise, poor yourself a glass of something – wine, whiskey, milk, the blood of the workers, orange juice, I don’t really care – and prepare to enjoy some great music.
A long time ago, in a galaxy next door, I posted the first of these two Ataulfo Alves collections from the Revivendo label and, naturally, implied strongly that the second one would be soon to come. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you should know better than to believe such silver-tongued assurances. Like the fortune teller told me once, it is my destiny to let people down.
One of my favorite blog readers, Valladão, commented on the first installment that he honestly didn’t expect to enjoy the CD too much because of the age of the recordings, but instead found himself loving it. That struck me as an interesting comment because I suppose it is a natural enough bias no matter where you come from. Even though as a teenager I spent countless hours borrowing old jazz and blues records from the public library, I think a few decades would pass before I could appreciate pre-war American jazz and blues beyond a detached, almost academic interest and begin to hear it in a more personal way. Perhaps in a similar way, the extremely dense and layered bedrock of Brazilian popular music can sometimes goes unacknowledged by music fans, regardless of nationality. You know it is there under your feet, supporting the present and making possible so many of the things in life that you appreciate, but it remains unexamined, taken for granted. Well, I was delighted to hear that Valladão was turned on to one of his country’s great samba composers because of an innocuous blog post here. I also think there is something extremely “modern” or at least forward-thinking about Ataulfo Alves’ compositions that keeps them sounding fresh (although he is definitely not alone in that regard). He churned out a dazzling variety of material, performing chameleon-feats of tailored stylizations, until it is difficult to comprehend how the same person could have written everything represented in this and other collections. There are threads that tie them together, but I will leave that to the musicologists to explain in depth while I simply marvel at the work, deliberately dumbfounded. If I could meet Ataulfo today, or summon his spirit to ask detailed and nuanced questions about his life and career, I would probably just end up asking him: “Are you a wizard?”
This collection features so many different artists who recorded Ataulfo’s compositions that it becomes kind of impossible to properly present the disc without writing a post that would exceed the patience of most readers. The scant liner notes from Revivendo are kind of disappointing in that regard as well. Suffice it to say that all of the artists collected here have their own squares in the quilt of Brazil’s “Golden Age” of samba. I like these Ataulfo collections so much that I’ve included several tracks in various podcasts over the years: in fact, two on this disc (the Carmen Miranda and Jorge Veiga cuts) appeared on my first ever genre-specific podcast from February, dedicated to samba. I’ll just single out a couple below that tickle my eardrums.
The wonderful Odete Amaral performs the carnival hit “Ironia.” Odete put in a lot of time on sessions as a backup singer, appearing on many great recordings by Francisco Alves and Mario Reis and others from the Golden Age. She married Ciro Monteiro, who also appears on this collection more than once. Thirty years after this recording, incidentally, she would appear on the historic “Fala, Mangueira” album alongside Nelson Cavaquinho, Cartola, and Clementina de Jesus.
Many of Ataulfo’s compositions show a strong influence of choro or chorinho, like Infidelidade sung by Déo. Is that Pixinguinha and Abel Ferreira I hear playing? Strains of that inspiration are heard on a great deal of the instrumental ornamentation woven throughout this material like filigree. Listen to the flute flourishes dancing around Aracy de Almeida singing “Eu Não Sou Daquí” and Nelson Gonçalves on “Sinto-me Bem.” Later on, Déo is featured again and gets downright jazzy as he croons over some punchy blasts of horns that wouldn’t sound out of place on a big band record. The popularity of Latin dance band styles like mambo is evident throughout this collection as well.
My first exposure to Nora Ney was an early 70s record for which Vinicius de Moraes wrote the liner notes. At the time, not being familiar with her classic material, I was left indifferent. The track “Vai, vai mesmo” from 1958 has a wicked kind of edge to it, a deliciously cool “get out of my life” break-up tune. It was also a carnival hit. Also, it has a tuba bass line.
I mentioned in the post for the first volume how Ataulfo is that rare specimen for the era who was both a composer widely-recorded by the top singers of the day, and a first-class performer of his own material at the same time with a successful singing career. He shares that accomplishment with Noel Rosa and some others, but the trajectory of composers like Ismael Silva or Cartola, who came back as performers in another subsequent wave of music, seems to be more common.
Although there are the exact same number (5) by Ataulfo himself on both volumes, for some reason these didn’t jump out as me as much. Or perhaps they just fit in better with the rest of the material? The influence of jazz once again bleeds all of “Ela, Sempre Ela.” Then there is a kind of seresta waltz with a country or caipira vibe, “Lá No Quebrada Do Monte.” I was considering featuring a clip of “Pela Luz Divina” because it’s awesome, but this post is getting rather thick with YouTube clips and I want to chose just one more track. The aforementioned Jorge Viega puts in a memorable rendition of the much-recorded “Na Cadência Do Samba” from 1962, the “newest” track on this disc. This is a trademark tune for Ataulfo, and the liner notes state that Viega’s recording might be the first but they’re not really sure, because several versions were released almost simultaneously. You can hear Viega’s version tucked into that podcast I mentioned, so let’s feature an Ataulfo performance from this disc (which happens to have a similar melody in the refrain), “Talento Não Tem Idade,” where he is backed by Guio de Moraes e Seu Conjunto, kind of a Brazilian Pérez Prado. This recording features an electric guitar on it, a decade before certain purists would start claiming that electricity was killing samba, as well as a full drum kit swinging the beat with panache. But there is no doubt the song is 100% samba. The drummer plays a floor-tom fill halfway through the song that bangs out the rhythm where the surdo drum would be, which kicks the song into another level of intensity, slowing down slightly for the ending so that you aren’t left too disappointed that the it’s over. The notes observe that the recording had no impact on the public via chart success, but I imagine musicians and composers of the upcoming generation playing this one on the Victrola and having their mind’s blown. The sub-genres of jazz-samba (and samba-jazz) were really still nascent, developing phenomena when this record was made in 1952. This was guy was so nonchalantly on the cutting edge of his musical times, he was the definition of “cool.”
The disc winds down with a marchinha sung by Carlos Galhardo, “Arraste O Pé, Moçada”, and a grand finale from Orlando Silva in “Errei, Erramos” (1938), arranged by Radamés Gnattali, in which Silva seems to be channeling Carmen Miranda in his phrasing. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: the Carmen song featured here, “É um que a gente tem” (1941), is one of thesongs she recorded to respond to her critics that lambasted her after her return from living and working in the US. They accused her of having become Americanized, her concert appearances were panned, and she quickly turned around and went back to the US to stay, but not before recording a handful of killer sambas fighting back at her attackers. The most of famous of these had the rather forthright title of “Disseram que eu voltei americanizada” (They said I came back Americanized). The Odeon sat on this recording here and didn’t release it until the scandal had passed, when they were scraping the vault for any more Carmen material.
Not a bad song here, folks. Compilations like this one represent the best that the Revivendo label have to offer, so listen up.
A new atomic era of podcasts dedicated to particular styles and genre of music is being kicked off with a spontaneous homage to the endless wellspring of musical energy known as samba. I hope you enjoy it, and with any luck I’ll make more of these. Saravá!I’ll provide direct links for MP3 and FLAC downloads for your convenience in the next 12 hours. In the meantime here it is streaming on Mixcloud.
Os Originais do Samba – Lá Vem Salgueiro
Elza Soares – Bom dia, Portela
Xangô da Mangueira – Jequitibá do Samba
Darcy da Mangueira – Samba do Trabalhador
Clara Nunes – Candongueiro
Clementina de Jesus – Embala Eu
Giovana – Pisa nesse Chão com Força
Roberto Ribeiro – Coração Contrariado
Os Partideiros 10 – Barra Pesada and Compadre
Roberto Silva – Era Atômica
Francisco Alves – Ai, Ai Que Pena!
Luiz Ayrão – Porta Aberta
Caetano Veloso – Chuva, Suor e Cerveja
Os Demônios da Garoa – Um Samba no Bixiga
Cesar Costa Filho – Um Bilhete pra Longe
Leci Brandão – Decepção de uma Porta-Bandeira
João Nogueira – As Forças da Natureza
Dorival Caymmi e Bando da Lua – Acontece que Eu Sou Baiano
Carmen Miranda – É um Quê que a Gente Tem
Raul de Barros – Folhas Secas
Maria Creuza – Amor de Mãe
João Bosco – O Mestre-Sala dos Mares
Jorge Veiga – Na Cadência do Samba
Ruy Castro apresenta Os Carnavais de Carmen CARMEN MIRANDA
01 – Querido Adão
Benedicto Lacerda, Oswaldo Santiago 02 – Nova descoberta
Arlindo Marques Junior, Roberto Roberti 03 – Fala, meu pandeiro
Assis Valente 04 – O que é que você fazia ?
Hervé Cordovil, Noel Rosa 05 – Alô, alô, Carnaval
Hervé Cordovil, Janeiro Ramos 06 – Duvi-d-ó-dó
Benedicto Lacerda, João Barcellos 07 – Cantores de rádio
A. Ribeiro, João de Barro, Lamartine Babo 08 – Beijo bamba
André Filho 09 – Dou-lhe uma
André Filho, Alberto Rilbeiro 10 – Balancê
João de Barro, Alberto Ribeiro 11 – Minha terra tem palmeiras
João de Barro, Alberto Ribeiro 12 – Nem no sétimo dia
Benedicto Lacerda, Herivelto Martins 13 – Camisa listada
Assis Valente 14 – Onde vai você, Maria ?
Benedicto Lacerda, Darcy Oliveira 15 – A pensão da dona Stella
Paulo Barbosa, Oswaldo Santiago 16 – Cuidado com a gaita do Ary
Oswaldo Santiago, Paulo Barbosa
Well, dear readers, Carnaval is here again. I am skipping it this year, since I recently rejoined the Jehovah’s Witnesses after my lapse, and promised Prince that I would spend a few days handing out fliers with him and the guy from The Revolution who always dressed like a surgeon on stage, Dr. Fink. Maybe he will wear the hospital scrubs and mask while we go out, and it will feel like our own kind of private Carnaval, and I’ll feel less sad.
So this post goes out to all the other people who are missing Carnaval. Because if you are within spitting distance of Carnaval right now, you should get off the damn internet and go outside.
Carmen Miranda deserves a more verbose entry on this blog than I can give her today. The story of her life and career is so rich, complex, and fascinating that it often serves today as a didactic lesson on Brazilian history and culture. But I’m not feeling teacherly this evening. For now, suffice it to say that she was a tremendously talented woman, and the reigning queen of samba for many years in the 1930s. She also featured in many musical comedy films of the day – one of which features prominently in the CD presented here – before she left for the US to star in Broadway shows and, of course, Hollywood films.This collection was released as a companion to the biography penned by Ruy Castro. I haven’t read Castro’s book but I’ve no doubt that it’s excellent. (His book on bossa nova is great fun, even if I suspect some of it is rather apocryphal, and I was just given a lovely Christmas present of his newest book on the golden age of samba-canção, which I am looking forward to reading.) Castro gets to take all the credit at the excellent song selection here and on the other three discs that came out at the same time. I’m not sure why they weren’t put out as a boxset, and in fact I find it rather irritating: one of the four discs has eluded me for several years now.
For the samba aficionados among us, a glance at the track list with the composer credits gives a clear idea of what we’ve signed up for. Assis Valente, Lamartine Babo, Noel Rosa, João de Barro, Hervé Cordovil, Benedito Lacerda… Not much to complain about there. These are all Odeon releases from the period after she left the Victor label. Here’s one of my favorites from this set, Assis Valente’s “Camisa Listrada”
And she has guests to duet with like Silvio Caldas, Barbosa Junior, and – most famously – her sister Aurora. She sings with her sisters Cecilia and Aurora on “Alô, Alô Carnaval”, a song from the film of the same name which is sadly the only one of her Brazilian-made films to survive the ravages of time. There is a very famous, iconic scene in it where Carrmen and Aurora sing “Cantores do radio” in matching sparkly suits. It is up on YouTube but the audio is barely listenable: somewhat disgracefully, it seems as if nobody has done a proper restoration of this film yet. They did record it as a 78 single, which appears in this collection, so here’s an awesome still image and you can just play the CD and look at it:
Isn’t it great?
Some other musical highlights are Beijo Bamba, Balancê, A pensão da dona Stella, and her aforementioned duet with Silvio Caldas, Onde Você Vai, Maria? – for which I really wanted to post a YouTube clip but – shock and horror – it doesn’t exist on YouTube yet! I guess you will just have to track down this CD or an approximation of it floating around the interwebs in the form of a random link somewhere…
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.
A Voz do Samba, Volume 2
2002 Warner Brasil (092745933-2)
2. Nervos de aço
3. Ela disse-me assim
7. Meu natal
8. Torre de babel
9. Meu barraco
11. Cadeira vazia
12. Esses moços (Pobres moços)
13. Quem há de dizer
All songs composed by Lupicínio Rodrigues, with the following tracks featuring co-authors: “Meu Barraco” with Leduvy de Pina; “Cadeira Vazia” and “Quam Há De Dizer” with Alcides Gonçalves.
Original recordings spanning from 1959 to 1987.
In my last post on Jamelão, Volume 1 of this anthology, I was pretty emphatic in my disinterest for hearing an entire hour of samba-enredos back to back, as well as my belief that the record didn’t really do justice to Jamelão. The man himself would probably have disagreed with me; at least regarding the first part of this complaint, because he was in fact exalted as a master of the form of samba enredo. But I’ll continue to stand by the second half of my gripe: the “Jamelão I know and love” is right here on THIS disc, which begins in the 1950s and is comprised entirely of compositions from his friend Lupicínio Rodrigues. The 50s were an auspicious time for Jamelão: he moved from the Sintér label to Discos Continental and began working with the wonderful Orchestra Tabajara, with whom he criss-crossed Brazil and made it as far as France on tour. It was while touring with Tabajara that he crossed paths with Lupicínio in Porto Alegre, and soon after the two began a partnership that would make their names practically synonymous with each other. A great many artists have recorded memorable versions of Lupicínios work, some preceding Jamelão like Orlando Silva and Francisco Alves, and many who followed him – two tracks on this collection, “Nervos de aço” and “Volta” both received impressive renditions by Paulinho da Viola and Gal Costa, respectively, which I happened to be listening to recently because I have become fixated on the magical year of 1973 for some reason. The list of other renditions of these tunes would doubtless be quite large, but it was the voice of Jamelão that made Lupicínio Rodrigues a household name and etched him in the collective consciousness. Orchestra Tabajara, who had relocated from Paraiba to Rio right about the time Jamelão approached them with songs to record, pull off some swinging performances with inventive arrangements. Pianist and bandleader Severino Araújo, could give the ubiquitous Maestro Gaya a run for his money. The brass charts are all delicious, and check out the jazzy interplay on “Vingança” or “Meu barraco.”
This collection is so good that I even like the tracks recorded in the 1980s, so often a decade of embarrassment for artists whose careers began elsewhere in time. As is sadly typical of Brazilian reissues, this collection is sparse on detailed notes, apart from a brief text written by the stalwart Tarik de Souza. Seems like typical record label suits skimping on the artistic patrimony of a giant like Jamelão who deserves better. The dodgy mastering job is credited to a generic “Oficína de Áudio e Video”, and some of the cuts from the 60s sound like they had reverb added to them. This was probably done to give more continuity to the collection – indeed, it is hard to distinguish what decade each song was recorded in without peeking at the credits – but this is also due as much to the infallible integrity of Jamelão and Orchestra Tabajara, without the “help” of any digital enhancement.
Sometime this year I will post some of the Continental LPs I have Jamelão. I posted about the first disc in this series here. And you can find more of his stuff at Orfãos do Loronix.