Jose Roberto e Seu Conjunto – Organ Sound, Um Novo Estilo (1970)

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  José Roberto e Seu Conjunto
Organ Sound, Um Nôvo Estilo
Released 1970 Polydor
Japanese reissue 2008

01 – Aventura
02 – Smile a Little Smile for Me.
03 – Airport Love Theme
04 – Toboga
05 – Jingle, Jangle
06 – Viagem
07 – Samanta
08 – No Time
09 – Diamante cor de Rosa
10 – The Rapper
11 – Mon Ami
12 – Always Something There to Remind Me

This is pre-Azymuth José Roberto Bertrami.  He was working as a studio musician at the time and was probably on a hundred records you have in your collection, many without being credited.  Before this he was in the band A Turma da Pilantragem.

This is nice organ combo pop-jazz with an occasional bossa flair and spasms of funkiness.  Aside from the tracks “Aventura” and “Mon Ami”, which are his own, everything else here is comprised of other composer’s work.   Kind of easy-listening and loung-y but with just enough instrumental prowess and creative arrangements to keep it interesting.  His playing may not be nearly as inventive as what he would produce with Azymuth only a few years later, but Bertrami still coaxes enough otherworldly sounds out of his keyboards to prove why he was an in-demand session player.  In particular he has a penchant for using a horn patch on his analog synth that doubles the part played by actual brass instruments, which adds a loopy and campy touch.

The majority of the repertoire is taken straight from the Hit Parade of 1969-70 and represent a pretty interesting cross section of psychedelic rock, pop, and even an ‘easy listening’ soundtrack hit.  I’ve taken the trouble to notate the cover songs’ origins:

Smile a Little Smile for Me – The Flying Machine
Airport Love Theme – Vincent Bell, from the soundtrack to the film “Airport”, 1970
Jingle, Jangle – The Archies
No Time -The Guess Who
Diamante cor de Rosa – Roberto Carlos
The Rapper – The Jaggerz
Always Something There to Remind Me  (Bacharach/David tune recorded by Dionne Warwick, Sandie Shaw, and R.B.Greaves at Muscle Shoals.  Hard to say which version Bertrami had in mind but Greaves’ version was the most recent.)

Amusingly enough, the most exciting of these cover tunes is “Jingle Jangle” from the virtual cartoon band The Archies, which is replete with fuzz guitar.

The tune “Mon Ami” was featured as a theme to the Globo telenovela “Assim na terra como no céu” in 1970 in a version produced by Paulinho Tapajós.  As I’ve stated before on this blog, the study of telenovela soundtrack music — and it is a subject that deserves series study – is not one I’ve undertaken.  Not yet, anyway.  But I have a hunch that a lot of these Top 40 international hits were associated with contemporary telenovelas that would have made them instantly recognizable to a Brazilian audience even if their originals unknown.  Did ‘The Archies’ air on Brazilian TV?  I have no idea.  For that matter the Roberto Carlos hit was also part of a feature film vehicle for him with the same title.  The two songs credited to ‘Celinho’ are a mystery to me.  There was a Celinho from the state of Ceará who played the accordion and recorded a bunch of tunes in the era of 78s, but I’m fairly certain these aren’t his songs.  Anyone who knows, drop me a line.

This Japanese reissue has typically lovely, round sound.  It’s too bad I can’t read the notes in Japanese though.  It would be nice to know if the musicians are credited.  I suspect Victor Manga is on the drums but I have no confirmation, but he did play in the Turma de Pilantragem.

{edit} As per a comment left below by a reader, I’m updating the post with the following info on the lineup: Jonas Damasceno (Joninhas), Ivan Conti (Mamão), Luiz Carlos Siqueira –
all from “The Youngsters” band – plus the late Gegê on drums and Sergio
Barroso on bass.

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Marcos Valle – Previsão do Tempo (1973)

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PREVISÃO DO TEMPO
Marcos Valle
1973 on Odeon (SMOFB 3788)
2011 Reissue in box Marcos Valle Tudo

1 Flamengo até morrer
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Nem paletó, nem gravata
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Tira a mão
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
4 Mentira
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
5 Previsão do tempo
(Marcos Valle)
6 Mais do que valsa
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Os ossos do barão
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Não tem nada não
(Eumir Deodato, Marcos Valle, João Donato)
9 Não tem nada não
(Eumir Deodato, Marcos Valle, João Donato)
10 Samba fatal
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 Tiu-ba-la-quieba
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
12 De repente, moça flor
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

Marcos Valle – vocals, Fender Rhodes, acoustic guitar, orchestrations on tracks 1 & 10

with
Azymuth:
José Roberto Bertrami, Arp Strings, Hammond, synthesizers and orchestrations on 1, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 12
Alex Malheiros – bass
Ivan Conti (Mamão) – drums

Participation of O Terço on tracks 1 & 10
Sérgio Hinds – electric guitar
César das Merces – bass
Vinícius Cantuária – drumsWaltel Branco – orchestration on “Os ossos do barão”

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical director – Lindolfo Gaya
Production Assistant – Paulo Sérgio Valle
Technical director – Z.J. Merky
Recording technicians – Nivaldo Duarte, Toninho, Dacy
Remix engineer – Jorge Teixeira

Photos – Paulo Sérgio Valle
Layout – Joel Cocchiararo

Remastered in 2011 by Ricardo Garcia at Magic Master Studio, RJ

My apologies for the long delay in getting this post up and out, but I think this album is probably worth the wait. ‘Previsão do Tempo’ (or “Weather Report” in English) is most certainly a career highlight for Marcos Valle and one of his best of the decade. Retaining some of the dreaminess of ‘Vento Sul’ (and some of the musicians from O Terço on a few tracks), whereas that album is dreamy-sedated-sprawling-spaced-out, this one is leaner, focused, funkier, but still grooving with the same bohemian vibe that permeates all that is The Brothers Valle at this point. The album opens with a musical tribute to the Flamengo football club. Kinda boring really. I find songs about sports fucking boring, sorry. But at least it gives us the tip that the tone of this album is a little ‘lighter’ than the last. Oddly enough it’s a fairly straight MPB-style samba as played by O Terço in 1973, whose other song on the album, “Samba fatal” is a hell of a lot darker and heavier. For the rest of the album Valle has Azymuth as his backing band. And it is an analog keyboard lover’s geekfest galore from this point out. Production is incredible. ‘Nem paléto nem gravatá’ is their celebration of adamant nonconformity, a hippie shout of “hell no!”, seeing as in 1973 everyone else but them were all wearing suits and ties.*

The song ‘Mentira’ teaches you the proper way to pronounce the word ‘mentira’ to a carioca. If you say it any other way, such as how the remaining 97% of Brazil pronounces the word, you will be invariably corrected by an American who has never been outside of Rio or treated like backward outside / off-worlder by a native resident of the city. Oh, and this tune was a huge hit in the European discos, as Marcos tells us in his introductory note.

They are able to follow this slab of funk with gorgeously delicate ballads like the instrumental title song, “Mais do que valsa,” and “De repente, moça flor”. While sill maintaining a texture like buttered velvet with Rhodes electric piano, analog synth gurgles, brushed drums, and blue-eyed soulsearching vocals. “Os ossos de barão”, an ode to the material world where all is for sale. And the two part “Não tem nada não” is actually just one tune with a false fade-out and an outro, but is divided here into separate tracks. Pan-Latin fusion post-bossa funk. Some of Paulo’s less interesting lyrics but I feel like he was writing more for the sound of the words and fitting them into the lockstep groove of the band than trying for profundity. The aforementioned “Samba fatal”, aptly named for its gravity, is timed well in the sequence. Not sure if these tracks with O Terço were a continuation of and/or outtakes from the Vento Sul sessions (neither Valle nor Gavin give us actual recording dates in otherwise pretty thorough info), but the two tunes with them do not sound to my ears like throw aways. Most likely they were recorded after they had been touring together and Marcos had a few songs he’d been working on during rehearsals. Its ominous minor-chord changes, organ, and fuzzy-braincell guitar (mixed just perfectly in the right channel) compliments some of Paulo’s best lyrics on the album.

*irony

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