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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password: vibes

 

Poly e Seu Conjunto – Saia Vermelha (1963)

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Poly e Seu Conjunto
Saia Vermelha
 1963 / 1976 Continental
                                                                                                                
SIDE ONE

 SUKIYAKI  (Ei Rohusuke, Nakamura Hachidai)
BONANZA  (Jay Livingston, Ray Evans)
NÃO ME DIGA ADEUS  (Paquito, L. Soberano, J.C. da Silva)
É BOM PARAR (Ruben Soares)
LAMENTO BORINCANO (Rafael Hernandez)
BIBELOT  (Poly)

SIDE TWO

 LA POLLERA COLORA (SAIA VERMELHA)  (Juan Madera, W. Choperena)
THAT HAPPY FEELING (Vento do Mar)  (Warren)
El Suco Suco  (Tarateño Rojas)
EL MANISERO  (Moises Simons)
PARA VIGO ME VOY  (Ernesto Lecuona)
THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU (OS OLHOS DO TEXAS ESTÃO SOBRE VOCE)  (traditional) Photobucket
Here is an album from Poly e Seu Conjunto, Saia Vermelha, probably from 1963. I say “probably” because the copy in front of me is a reissue on the Continental/Phonodisc label from 1976, and discographical info on Poly (sometimes spelled “Poli”) is hard to find – but two tracks off this LP were released as the A and B side of a single in ’63, so it’s safe bet. I speculated as to whether this might be a collection of material actually assembled in the mid-70s, but the brief liner notes and the fact that these songs sound as if they were recorded all around the same time and with the same musicians makes me stay with that bet of early ’60s.

Poly himself is somewhat enigmatic: a multi-instrumentalist, he was best known for his electric guitar and in particular, his LAP STEEL guitar work. A great deal of his recorded output preceded the arrival of rock and roll on Brazilian shores, years before the iê-iê-iê and jovem guarda movements would turn the use his preferred instrument into a lightning-rod for bitter polemic about cultural authenticity and Brazilian identity. Not having anything to go on, I can’t really speculate how his music was received by the Brazilian listening public, but I will hazard a guess that his work was astutely ignored by the music critics. His body of work from the 1950s and 60s demonstrates a stylistic willingness to record anything and everything that was on the hit parade charts of the day, from the popular Brazilian genres of samba-canção, música sertaneja, baião, boleros and ‘fox’. Which would make his records unremarkable amongst hundreds of others, except for the fact that his all-instrumental recordings often featured the lap steel – known as the “Hawaian guitar” in those days. I find myself making comparisons of Poly as some kind of Brazilian mix of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys and Les Paul’s early records when he was experimenting with recording his guitar at different tape speeds. By the time the songs on Saia Vermelha were being recorded, Poly had also embraced early rock and roll (with a distinctly ‘surf’ edge), genres popular in Latin America like cumbia and rumba, and hit songs from Bolivia (El Suco Suco), Cuba (Para Vigo Me Voy), or Puerto Rico (Lamento Borincano). But the 78-rpm single which is duplicated at the outset of this Long Player sort of says all you need to know about this transnational genre-hopping musical musical chameleon/opportunist – one side featured the Japanese hit “Sukiyaki” which to this day is the only Japanese-language song to crack the U.S. top forty, and the flip side featured the theme to the TV show ‘Bonanza.’ His accompaniment throughout this disparate repertoire is usually comprised of some combination of string bass, piano, cavaquinho, acoustic guitar, accordion, and percussion.

Apparently Poly also worked for a time at Universal Pictures’ Brazilian studios as part of their orchestra, and this quite likely influenced his choice of songs. At least that’s the case for the last tune on here, known to most North Americans as “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” but which is given the title of “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You”, with the subcredit “as heard in the film “Assim Caminha a Humanidade.”) This struck me as so odd that I had to look this up, and learned that this was the name of the Brazilian release of the Hollywood film Giant (Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean) and that a song by the title “The Eyes of Texas” exists as the alma mater of the University of Texas at Austin, sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

The best stuff here is when Poly is on the lap steel / Hawaiian guitar. In fact when he’s NOT on the steel guitar, the material can be kind of forgettable. Here are two of the stand-out tracks:

Não Me Diga Adeus

 and

Lamento Borincano

I’m not crazy about the audio quality of this rip and I just may redo the whole thing someday. I’ve had three copies of this vinyl at one time or another and I can’t even be entirely certain which one I used for the source. While editing this I found myself getting annoyed, thinking that my stylus should have been cleaned better or something – however it’s quite likely likely that that the distortions are on the original record, since these 70s repressings on Phonodisc are sort of notoriously inconsistent, not to mention that at least portions of this LP were sourced from 78’s to begin with…

(Process) Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply, cork ringmat); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; 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.

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

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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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Luiz Gonzaga – São João Quente (1971) 24-96khz vinyl

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Luiz Gonzaga
“São João Quente”
1971 on RCA Camden (107.0097)

1 Fuga da África
(Luiz Gonzaga)
2 De Juazeiro a Pirapora
(Luiz Gonzaga)
3 São João do Arraiá
(Zé Dantas)
4 O xote das meninas
(Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas)
5 Macapá
(Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)
6 Impertinente
(Luiz Gonzaga)
7 Vira e mexe
(Luiz Gonzaga)
8 O coreto da pracinha
(Risério Valente, Altamiro Carrilho)
9 Ovo de codorna
(Severino Ramos)
10 Dia de São João
(Rildo Hora)
11 Coronel Pedro do Norte
(Nelson Valença)
12 Lulu vaqueiro
(Nelson Valença)
13 O urubu é um triste
(Nelson Valença)

Vinyl RCA-Camden (107.0097) -> 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 -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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A São João party record from the king of baião, this might be a minor entry in his vast discography if not for a few curiosities. The entire first side (tracks 1 – 7 here) is one long instrumental, fifteen-minute jam where Gonzaga reminds us he’s equally adept at xôte, valsas, quadrilhas, and just showing off his instrumental prowess on the difficult 8-button sanfona (accordion). It’s pretty entertaining, and he makes it a point to touch on some of his successes like ‘O xote das meninas’ and ‘São João do Arraiá’, but it all lacks his booming, commanding voice. This is rectified on the second side of the LP which is split into individual compositions. Aside from Rildo Hora’s “Dia de São João” (which sounds an awful lot like a certain composition by Gonzaga’s protege, Dominguinhos), the rest of these tunes are fairly unknown. And the particular surprise comes at the end: Gonzaga, known for his famous parternships with Zé Dantas and Humberto Teixeira, chose to record not just one but *three* songs from an unknown Pernambucan composer, and put them all together at the end of the LP. Nelson Valença, who seems to have been born, lived, and died in the town of Pesqueira in the agreste of Pernambuco, never had much of a professional career in music, and his biggest claim to fame is having these compositions (and a precious few more that would follow in years to come) recorded by Gonzagão. The first of the them “Coronel Pedro do Norte” is a light satire of the archetypical ‘coronel’ of an interior town, a guy with a big mustache who seems to own everything and everyone, and who just can’t come to terms with the ‘new generation’ and its shaggy-haired youths, and is particularly flustered when his own daughter pays a visit home and steps off the train holding hands with one of these hairy delinquents (cabeludos). “Lulu Vaqueiro” is quite a beautiful ballad, and “Um urubu é um triste” brings us back in that particularly northeastern territory where humor and profundity mix with infectious dance-ability. It is quite a homage to have three of your compositions close out an album by the great Gonzagão, and I would like to find out more someday about the back story on what let up to this – chance encounter, friendship, or whatever. Whatever the case may be, this album must have got a lot of spins in Pesqueira, and these tunes rescue what is otherwise a bit of a bland album from the master.

(*note that in the fielset I have mistakenly dated this album as 1972 thanks to not paying attention to the actual label on the vinyl… sorry about that).

Luiz Paixão – Pimenta Com Pitú (2006)

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Luiz Paixão
“Pimenta Com Pitú”
Released 2006
Label: Independent
Produced by Renata Rosa and Hugo Lins
Recording engineers: Zé Guilherme, Marcilio
Mixing engineers: Zé Guilherme, Térence Briand, Mathieu Pion
Mastered by Térence Briando and Mathieu Pion
Graphic layout – João Lin
Photos – Michele Zollini

Recorded at the Universidadde Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) studios in January and February of 2005. Mixed at UFPE stuios and Nyima (Saint Jean de la Ruelle, France)

1 Baião de cavalo marino (Domínio Público)
2 Ponta de pedra (Sidrak)
3 Forró de cambará (Seu Luiz Paixão)
4 São Gonçalo do Amarante (Domínio Público)
5 Forró bem temperado (Seu Luiz Paixão)
6 Toada do cavalo (Seu Luiz Paixão)
7 Pimenta com pitú (Seu Luiz Paixão)
8 Arrumadinho (Seu Luiz Paixão)
9 Parari (Biu Roque)
10 Forró de vó (Seu Luiz Paixão)
11 Pisa pilão (Domínio Público)
12 Toada solta (Domínio Público)
13 Machucado (Seu Luiz Paixão)
14 Viuvinha (Sidrak)
15 Amor, amor, amor (Domínio Público)

musicians:

Seu Luiz Paixão: rabeca
Sidrak: voz
Guga Santos: bombo, mineiro
Dó: pandeiro e vocais
Maica: vocais
Renata Rosa : vocais
Pepê: cavaco
Hugo Linns: contrabaixo
Ana Freire: triângulo
Carlos Amarelo: zabumba
Mina: pandeiro e voz
Biu Roque: baje e vocais
Guga Santos: mineiro e vocais

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I probably should have shared this record a few weeks ago, but I forgot I had this album sitting around…. And it’s a shame, because it is a LOT more listenable than “Pastoril”, the other album seasonal Pernambucan music I put up on the blog the other week. But it’s not too late — this music is still being performed right up until Three Kings Day (the 6th) where some of the biggest events take place that feature CAVALO MARINO music. And that’s what this disc primarily is, music you would hear at a presentation of Cavalo Marino. What is Cavalo Marino? well, it is NOT this:
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Cavalo Marino is a popular culture / folkloric art form that developed on the sugar plantations of Pernambuco and is a type of open-air theatrical performance that traditionally can have 63 different “acts” with up to 76 distinct characters (!!!). It is difficult to explain how it all links up to the ‘Christmas cycle’ with giving you a dissertation on the topic, but its a weird type of ‘magical realism’ that mixes characters from lives of the sugar plantation workers (ex-slaves or descendants of slaves, for the most part) with fantasy and religious homages to various saints and to God. Some of the principal characters are the roles of Matéus and Bastião, two ex-slaves (in blackface, even if they are actually, by ‘anglo’ standards, black..) looking for work and sharing the same woman (Catíta); the Capitão (‘coronel’, landowner, political big cheese of an area); the Soldier (policeman, overseer); the Caboclo (indigenous spirit, in this case, related to afro-indigenous religious cults), and an ever-present anthropomorphic bull / guy in a cow-costume. All of these characters have spoken and sung lines, and improvise to a degree while interacting with the audience in a spectacle that is satirical and critical of the harsh circumstances in which this ‘folkloric’ tradition was born, and also somehow religiously reverent. All of this is also said to be the Pernambucan variation of “Bumba-Meu-Boi”, a tradition which is found throughout the Brazilian northeast in states such as Maranhão and Ceará.

I would not necessarily call this “holiday music” but it is ‘seasonal’ in that it truly is rare to hear this music outside of the Christmas seasonor “Ciclo Natalino’ (although you will begin to see presentations popping up as early as August), except perhaps in the small town of Condado, Pernambuco, where the tradition started. Why is it called ‘cavalo marino’, literally “sea horse”?? Well, nobody knows for sure, although there are a variety of legends and tall tales about it. Mostly though, they involve a sea-captain on shore leave or ex-sea captain who was known to ride around on a horse a lot, earning the nickname ‘cavalo marino.’

It is much easier to describe this all with visual aids, here are a few You Tube clips

One, performed partly on a stage and with some academic-types talking about how necessary it is to “protect” this music although I will concede their point as much as they are dealing with the tricky area of ‘public domain’…

Here is another video filmed at the ‘terreiro’ (really in this case, a full-fledged performance space) built by the family the now-departed Mestre Salustiano in Tabajara, Olinda. The big gathering is on December 25 but there will is usually another one around January 6th on the ‘Festa dos Reis’ which actually lasts three days. I have been at some of these events but thankfully I am nowhere in the sidelines of this video, my apologies if YOU are

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The musicians on this record are a mixture of old veterans of this music and younger ‘roots’ musicians from the Recife area. It is one of those, MPB singer, actress, and faux-Pernambucana oddball Renata Rosa, who organized this album and produced it for Paixão, perhaps as a thank-you gift for having taught her how to play the rabeca and thus build a career off of pretending to be the daughter of exploited, sunbeaten cane cutters. I give her a lot of credit for keeping it free of any attempt at commercializing the sound — this is truly what it sounds like when you hear it ‘in the street’ (so to speak). During the theatrics, a bank of seated musicians play throughout the night, and these things usually go all night until dawn. Lead by one or several players of “rabeca”, sort of a country-fiddle but constructed a bit differently, and accompanied by pandeiro, the reco-reco (gourd or metal scraper), shaker, and an inflated goat-bladder used to beat out the rhythm. Several of the oldsters here learned under Mestre Batista, allegedly the first (or at least one of them) to develop this artform into the way we know it today. Biu Roche, who sings and contributes a few original contributions, passed away just shortly after Carnaval of 2010. Luiz Paixão also contributes original material alongside compositions from fellow mestre and friend Sidrak, as well as songs considered ‘dominio público’, and some of them have the style of baião or coco but mostly they end up sounding like variations on cavalo marino music anyway.

The CD booklet has some stunning photographs and a nice graphic layout (the scans don’t do it justice), and a well-written essay by Renata Rosa as well. This is already become something of a rarity, released independently but with various donated funds (from ‘patrocinadores’ who love to stamp their logos on album jackets, like Petrobras or Banco do Nordeste).

Luiz Gonzaga – Canta Seus Sucessos com Zé Dantas (1959)

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LUIZ GONZAGA CANTA SEUS SUCESSOS
COM ZÉ DANTAS
Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas (1959)
1959, RCA Victor

1 Sabiá
2 O xote das meninas
3 Vem morena
4 A volta da asa branca
5 A letra I
6 O forró de Mané Vito
7 A dança da moda
8 Riacho do Navio
9 Vozes da seca
10 Cintura fina
11 Algodão
12 Paulo Afonso

All songs by Luiz Gonzaga and Zé Dantas

The season of Festas Juninas began a week ago in Northeastern Brazil, building up to the holiday of São João on June 24 (midsummer’s eve in the northern hemisphere) . If I had more energy I would provide you with some penetrating insights into the sociocultural significance of this annual festivity, its inextricable ties to regional history and identity, and its ramifications in securing a place for the Nordeste in the national imaginary. But for now, I will just say it has something to do with lots of funny hats and food made out of corn.

I almost did a vinyl transfer of this record from a 1970s repressing on one of those rubbery RCA “flexi-discs” they were making during the oil crisis, which has a bright orange ugly cover completely different from the original, before I realized I also had it on compact disc. This is a case where I will opt for the digital over the analog option… Released in 1959, it’s a collection of songs that had been released previously, mostly on 78’s if I’m not mistaken, in the period of 1949 to 1955 and that had Zé Dantas as co-writer. Zé Dantas (José de Sousa Dantas Filho) is probably Luiz Gonzaga’s most famous writing partner after Huberto Teixeira, and every song on this is great. Comprised pretty much entirely of “baião” and “xôte” tunes, it’s a pretty relaxing listen for such a danceable record. As the title of the record suggests this is a collection of hits of greater or lesser fame. I’ve posted two audio samples below. “Xôte de Meninas” is so damn catchy that it will actually blot out the complete butcher-job done on it by Marisa Monte from your brain if you were unlucky enough to have heard that version. “A volta de Asa Branca” is just what it would imply – a revisiting of Gonzaga’s famous anthem of the Nordeste. It’s not as good as the original “Asa Branca”, written with Teixeira, basically just a continuation of the story of the retirante but it’s still quite good, and in later years Gonzagão would often play the two songs back to back.

ze dantas

Most of the volumes in the Coleção Luiz Gonzaga reissues by RCA have precious little in the way of information, but this time they’ve graced us with the original liner notes from Zé Dantas, who has a little to say about every song on here. Very nice.

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