Antonio Adolfo e A Brazuca – s/t (No.1) – 1969

Antonio Adolfo & A Brazuca
Antonio Adolfo & A Brazuca (No. 1)
1969 Odeon MOFB-3618 (Original issue)
2014 Reissue EMI: UICY 76458 Odeon: TOCP-66055
Brasil 1000 Best Collection

Japan reissue, released 23 Jul 2014

1 Juliana 3:18
2 Futilirama 2:47
3 Moça 2:51
4 Dois Tempos 2:43
5 Vôo Da Apolo 4:28
6 Porque Hoje É Domingo 3:09
7 Maria Aparecida 2:06
8 Psiu 1:56
9 A Cidade E Eu 3:16
10 Pelas Ruas Do Meu Bairro 4:05
11 Teletema 2:44
Bonus Tracks: Odeon 7BD-1203 EP (1970)
12 Gloria, Glorinha 3:07
13 O Baile Do Clube 2:07
14 Ao Redor 2:11
15 M.G.8-80-88 2:19
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Record Company – USM Japan

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Producer – Milton Miranda

Assistant Co-producer – Tibério Gaspar
Conductor – Laércio De Freitas
Cover – Victor Fernando
Musical director – Lyrio Panicali
Technical Director and engineer – Z. J. Merky
Orchestrated By – Antonio Adolfo
Photography By – Carlos Ribeiro, Franklin Corrêa, Victor Fernando

Recording engineers – Jorge, Nivaldo
Technician – Reny R. Lippi


 

“This is great summer smoothness.” – blog reader Verge

Listening to this breezy offering of carefree carioca tunes, I get the impression that – had he been inclined to move to the United States and and start recording anglophone versions of Brazilian hits – Antônio Adolfo could have beat Sérgio Mendes at his own game.  But Adolfo was a busy guy in the 1960s, playing in various jazz-bossa and bossa-jazz combos and even backing up Elis Regina and Milton Nascimento for a short while.  The first of two records with his short-lived group Brazuca, this one is immediately accessible and charming, if a bit less adventurous than their second album.  The back cover features blurbs from celebs, a bit like book endorsements, from the likes of Carlos Imperial and Roberto Carlos, who likens them to an old tradition with a new sound.   Adolfo and his writing partner Tibério Gaspar were frequent contenders in the televised song competitions of the day – they won 2nd place with “Julianna”, featured above.  The whole album is very much of its time, its mini-skirt and Vespa vibe has a certain innocence to it where you would hardly know there is a dictatorship going on in the country where this was recorded.  Lyricist Gasper, who passed away to little fanfare last February, says as much in “Hoje é domingo,” where the listener is encouraged to leave their troubles behind and enjoy the nearly-universal day of peace and quiet.    Insisting on carrying on with a smile is its own kind of resistance, I guess.  Adolfo and Gasper were responsible for quite a few songs in Brazil when that became huge hits for other artists.  “Teletema”, which closes this album (it is followed by bonus tracks on the CD) is one of those.  It was featured in a telenovela in a cloying version by “Regininha” later in the year, but I prefer the original

They also wrote the funky BR-3 for Toni Tornado, but probably their best-known hit was ” Sá Marina” as recorded by Wilson Simonal.   You can go google that one up yourself but I feel obliged to share this cool clip of Stevie Wonder singing an anglicized version of it on Brazilian TV, renamed “Pretty World,” when Simonal’s version was still fresh in the collective memory. It starts out  a little shaky but quickly picks up.  I like his cute “obrigado” when he finishes.  For those interested, you can find the whole hour-long TV special on YouTube as well.  YouTube has kind of made blogs like mine a bit obsolete, hasn’t it?  I mean you can find anything there, what do you need me for?  Anyway, I still soldier on.

If the album is guilty of anything, it may be excessive cuteness.  Dois Tempos is a kind of musical pun, a composition combining two time signatures with lyrics sketching a portrait of a person who seems to inhabit both a vanished past and contemporary space tinged with uncertainty, a sepia-toned photograph come to life, a sort of decadently picturesque anachronism.   It’s a bit precious, and while some listeners may be charmed by that very quality, it’s one the group largely shed on the second album.  Even the obligatory song dealing with space flight (because its 1969), Vôo da Apolo, starts like its going to blast off into some sort of exciting space bossa-funk number, but then kind of settles into something more pedestrian.   On the second album, Adolfo and company would  push the envelope a little further with songs like Transamazônica, named after the pharaonic project of constructing a massive highway connecting parts of the Amazon region with the rest of the country.  The lyrics there are nothing special really, but musically the group is bolder and taking more chances.  But don’t let me sour anybody on this very fine album, because it’s  solid.  It just happens to be one of those cases where I was introduced to what I consider their superior effort first, so I can’t help making the comparisons between the two.  And idiosyncratic, impressionistic descriptions of long-player albums is what has made this blog tick for nine year so don’t expect me to change things too much now!  Anyway, enjoy this groovy debut from Antônio Adolfo e A Brazuca.

 


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Nara Leão, Edu Lobo, Tamba Trio – 5 Na Bossa (1965)

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5 NA BOSSA
Edu Lobo / Nara Leão / Tamba Trio
1965 Philips 632.769 L
2013 Remaster


1 – Carcará  (José Cândido, João do Vale)   
2 – Reza  (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)   
3 – O trem atrasou  (Paquito, Vilarinho, Estanislau Silva)   
4 – Zambi  (Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes)   
5 – Consolação  (Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes)   
6 – Aleluia  (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)   
7 – Cicatriz  (Zé Keti, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho)   
8 – Estatuinha  (Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Edu Lobo)   
9 – Minha história  (Raymundo Evangelista, João do Vale)   
10 – O morro não tem vez (Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)   

Recorded live at the Paramount Theater, São Paulo

Remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla at Digital Mastering Solutions

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Well there isn’t a tremendous amount to say about this brief live record.  Solid performances from everyone involved, although the recording itself is less than prestine and seems to have been made worse by questionable remastering that now makes the album feature clipped samples and very obvious noise reduction artifacts… Why do I keep buying CDs just to hear myself complain when I know they’ll screw them up?  Well this otherwise pretty rare so there’s one reason.

Tamba Trio sounds fantastic, as usual, and the two cuts they have to themselves here are nice and long showcases.  Nara is a bit uneven, unfortunately.  Her imperfect intonation was always part of her charm, but in this live setting – inside a large auditorium-style theater and no stage monitors (being 1965) – her pitch is more off than usual.  In fact “Cicatriz,” a song that goes outside her vocal range to begin with, is a downright painful listen.  She sounds excellent singing with Edu Lobo on Aleluia, though.  Sr. Lobo just celebrated his 70th birthday, so it’s a particularly good time to enjoy this rare live recording of him in his youth.  The liner notes thank Aloysio de Oliveira (the man behind Elenco) for loaning him out for this recording.  He sings one of my favorite compositions of his too, “Reza.”

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Zimbo Trio – Zimbo Trio Vol.2 (1966) 24bit 96khz Vinyl

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ZIMBO TRIO – VOL. 2
Zimbo Trio
1966 on RGE (XRLP 5277)
Mono pressing

1 Arrastão
(Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes)
2 Balanço Zona Sul
(Tito Madi)
3 Zomba
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
4 Insolação
(Adylson Godoy)
5 Zimba
(Tito)
6 Reza
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)
7 Samba 40 graus
(Adylson Godoy)
8 Garota de charme
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
9 Vai de vez
(Luiz Fernando Freire, Roberto Menescal)
10 Balada de um sonho meu
(Hamilton Godoy)
11 O rei triste
(Luiz Chaves)
12 Aleluia
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)

Vinyl original mono pressing ; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard ; WaveLab LE 7 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&Rename.

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This is a pretty incredible jazz-bossa album, with all the heat of a hard bop session but with that bossa sensibility of keeping all the tunes under 5 minutes long. Their version of “Arrastão” (from Edu Lobo and Vinícius) which opens this album is probably their ‘signature tune’, and it is instantly endearing by the time it crescendos into the chorus where the tempo is cut in half and swung very very heavy. Godoy’s classical training seeps through his playing everywhere, with strains of Chopin mingling with his jazz key tickling. Luiz Chaves is one hell of a bassist, and it is a shame and travesty, in my opinion, that Zimbo Trio has continued to perform without him (and — worse than that — included an ELECTRIC bass..). Rubinho Barsotti is also great on trap kit, his work with mallets and cymbals being some of the best I’ve heard in this genre. Although some of these tunes – like the two from Edu Lobo, ‘Arrastão’ and ‘Reza’ — were part of Elis Regina’s repetoire and thus receiving nightly treatments by the Zimbo Trio when they were backing her up, it is the original tunes here that really chama atenção. If the manic opening bass riff of ‘Insolação’ doesn’t call your attention, then just turn the record off and find something else to listen to because you can’t be satisfied. “Samba 40 graus” is another original that makes me wonder if these guys were into amphetamines, trying to save money on studio time, or just in a hurry, but the result is ear-engaging. These guys did know how to chill out as well, however, and “Balada de um sonho meu” is about as pretty a jazz ballad one could hope for, followed the by the gentling swinging ‘O rei triste’ penned by Chavez. For “the sad king” it actually sounds pretty uplifting to me, and has some of Godoy’s most inspired playing on the record.

I shouldn’t forget to mention the two tunes from Luiz Bonfá and Maria Helena Toledo, which are both marvelous. “Zomba” has what may be the most ethereal opening of a mid-60s jazz bossa album I can think of, beginning with only Godoy on piano playing a cluster of chords around one note that fades out like a slow raindrop as Luiz comes in on bowed bass strings, a splash of cymbals from Barsotti so subtle you might miss it – and then at nearly two minutes this orchestral evocation transforms, the urbane becomes urban and streetwise, and Godoy’s erudition tackles blue intervals and the band swings it and swings it hard. Check out how hard he rocks just two notes starting at 2 minutes and 50 seconds, for about five seconds, before breaking down the melody into a dozen fragments of different voicing and tempo. Throughout the whole second half he manages to squeeze in these vertiginous arpeggios into the rest of what he’s concocting. He plays a variation of the single-note trick on us again in the OTHER Bonfa/Toledo tune, “Garota de charme”, where he gently taps out some augmented and diminished chords with his right hand while his left plays a melody in unison with Luiz Chavez’s bass. Charming, indeed. It only last a few seconds but it makes the track for me; it’s these small moments of skin tightness that makes a tune that is only 2 minutes and 16 seconds long seem like it plays for five minutes.

I worked for quite a while on this vinyl rip of this relic, half-century old piece of petroleum, and I think it sounds pretty peachy. Hopefully you will too.

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Maysa – Maysa, Amor… e Maysa (1961) Mono Vinyl

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MAYSA, AMOR… E MAYSA

Maysa (1961)

RGE XRLP 5121

1 Estou para dizer adeus

(Benil Santos, Raul Sampaio)

2 Quem quiser encontrar o amor

(Carlos Lyra, Geraldo Vandré)

3 Quizas, quizas, quizas

(Oswaldo Farrés)

4 Chorou, chorou

(Luiz Antônio)

5 I love Paris

(Cole Porter)

6 Raizes

(O. Guilherme, Denis Brean)

7 Murmúrio

(Djalma Ferreira, Luiz Antônio)

8 Besame mucho

(Consuelo Velazquez)

9 É fácil dizer adeus

(Tito Madi)

10 Chão de estrelas

(Silvio Caldas, Orestes Barbosa)

Vinyl First 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 -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename. No EQ or compression.

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Time for a break from the flood of Marcos Valle! This post was actually prepared and written months ago, but somehow I never got around to actually posting it. So, here it is, from a tasty damn-near perfect promo copy of this 1961 LP.

Although strictly speaking Maysa’s work is not jazz, her vocal phrasing (dramatic and filled with vibrato), the instrumentation, and the arrangements on this one are enough to convince me that she fits nicely alongside any other vocal jazz crooner out there. Maysa, whose life story was interesting enough that they made a TV mini-series about, began her singing career quite young — essentially being disowned by her wealthy family for it, since `respectable ladies` from Brazil`s upper class in the 1950s didn’t do things such as sing in night clubs. She was already well respected as a chanteuse of Brazilian romantic and popular song when the bossa nova wave hit the shores, and she quickly incorporated the sounds and repertoire, most famously in her recording of `O barquinho` which resulted in an album that is a touchstone of bossa nova.

This album has become one of my favorites of hers. I just love the lushness and simplicity of the arrangements and instrumentation, the coloration added by the stray jazzista solo. A violin solo here, funky organ chords, trap kits played with brushes, and a voice like velvet. It’s quite possible that the estimable Walter Wanderley is on organ here too. A repertoire that covers some classic composers of Brazilian romantic song and samba canção, bossa nova, and music from elsewhere in Latin America — her recording of “Quizas, quizas, quizas” was actually among the first handful of versions of this song that would end up being recorded probably hundreds of times (including many anglicized versions) The album closes with one of the most poetic tunes in the Brazilian canon, by the master of ‘seresta’ ou ‘serenata’, Silvio Caldas – somebody whose work I have really been getting into: “Chão de Estrelas” was his signature song and a master composition, and Maysa gives it a royal treatment here.

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Marcos Valle – A viola enluarda (1968)

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VIOLA ENLUARADA

Marcos Valle

1967 on Odeon (MOFB 3531)

Reissue 2011 on Boxset `Marcos Valle Tudo`

1 Viola enluarada

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

2 Próton elétron nêutron

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

3 Maria da favela

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

4 Bloco do eu sozinho

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle)

5 Homem do meu mundo

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

6 Viagem

(Marcos Valle, Ronaldo Bastos)

7 Terra de ninguém

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

8 Tião Braço Forte

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

9 O amor é chama

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

10 Réquiem

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle, Milton Nascimento, Ronaldo Bastos)

11 Pelas ruas do Recife

(Novelli, Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

12 Eu

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

Bonus Tracks

13. Terra de ninguém (instrumental)

14. Tião braço forte (instrumental)

15. O amor é chama (instrumental)

16. Ultimatum (single, festival song)

Marcos Valle – vocals and acoustic guitar

Eumir Deodato – piano, organ, arrangements on trakcs 9, 15, and 16

Dori Caymmi – arrangements on 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14

Antônio Adolfo – arrangements on 2, 4, 7, 11 and 13

Oscar Castro Neves – arrangements on 12

Sérgio Barroso – bass

Juquinha – drums

Ugo Marotta – vibraphone

Roberto Menescal and Geraldo Miranda – acoustic guitar

Marçal – percussion

Copinha – flute

Hamilton – trumpet

Maurílio Santos and Edson Maciel – trombone

Jorginho – alto sax

J.T. Meirelles and Cipó – tenor sax

Alberto Gonçalves – baritone sax

Milton Nascimento – vocals on “Viola enluarada” and “Réquiem”

The Golden Boys – vocals on “Terra de ninguém”

Ana Maria Valle – vocal on “Próton, eléctron, nêutron”

Produced by by Milton Miranda

It almost seems unfair to have music this good all coming from the same pair of brothers. The Brothers Valle. After their return from the US, they came back sounding `more Brazilian than ever` with this unbelievably gorgeous release. One look at the credits and one is immediately impressed. If talent was measured in kilos or human tunnage and reflected in the price of an album, I could never ever afford this one. Aside from Deodato, who treats us again with organ and piano alongside his arranging skills, we also get more young arrangers like Dori Caymmi and Antônio Adolfo on this disc, along with one tune from Oscar Castro Neves. I highly recommend having your ears upholstered in velvet before putting on this album, as it is the best way to receive the soft, shimmering, eternal late summer evening of these songs. The title track leading off the album has all the soaring exhubrance of a ‘festival’ song, the famous events where composers would enter their songs into competition with each other. “A viola enluarda” is literally something of an anthem of the times, a prime example of the best of ‘música engajada’ (engaged, politicized music) and MPB. The song is also crowned with a climax of Milton Nascimento’s unmistakable voice joining the fray in the second half. I am also fairly sure I hear The Golden Boys on this song, but oddly they only receive credit on the album for another tune “Terra de Ninguém”. This song won a bunch of prizes at the musical festivals of the day, was rerecorded by several artists afterward. Milton lends his angelic crystal voice to the song “Requiem” later on, pregnant with the characteristic joyful melancholy he brings to nearly everything he sings. Neither Marcos in his 2011 notes nor Paulo mention this, but Beth Carvalho would sing “A viola enluarda” at a mini-festival organized across four consecutive Fridays at Teatro Sana Rosa in Nietrói, and recorded on an album “Musicanossa – O Som e O Tempo.”

The B-side of the single of this was the song “Pelas Ruas de Recife,” by the brothers Valle with Novelli, which is a pleasant frevo-inflected homage to the city of frevo, Recife, but not particularly my favorite of the genre of how-great-Recife-is-during-Carnaval-songs. This is just a personal quibble, because I have never been crazy about frevo and have had the good fortune to live in its epicenter for a brief period. And in the same way that MPB records frequently seemed compelled to include a baião in the 1970s, during the 60s the trend was including a frevo.

The second tune is a trippy piece sunsplashed in groovy day-glo that reinforces the sense that this album is moving away from the more straight-up jazz bossa of Marcos’s last domestic release. The propulsive “Próton elétron nêutron”, a vocal duet with sister Anamaria, and lyrics of atomic-age malaise and alienation from brother Paulo Sérgio where “total chaos is the grand finale”. Another rhythmically energetic tune with a jazzista, rather funky groove is “Tião braço forte”, which by the title I had hoped would be a critique of US intervention in Latin America but, well, just isn’t. It’s a great song though.

In the original liner notes by Paulo Sérgio Valle — which are microscopically reproduced in the artwork but thanks to a scan at 600 dpi are actually readable – he speaks of having come back from the US a few months before his brother, and getting a package in the mail containing new compositions that Marcos was too excited about to wait to deliver.

“Marcos musical fertility couldn’t fit into the baggage compartment of a Boeing and he sent me only days before his return a reel of tape, a sample of his new songs. In that moment I felt a profound change in his way of composing: a refinement, without triggering the excesses of perfectionism, and a more profound ‘brazilianness’, with falling into the naive exploitation of ‘folkclore’.”

He goes on, rather poetically of how they attempted to capture a certain transcendent snapshot of a difficult historical moment in this 1968 album. When he mentions the album credits he includes Victor Manga, who is for some reason left off the reissue information but was a frequent partner of Antonio Adolfo and is also included on the credits given here.

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Single of ‘Viola enluarda’ b/w Pelas ruas de Recife, from my collection

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Cover of another ‘compato’ with four tracks, photo included in boxset

Another highlight is “Bloco de eu sozinho”, a wonderfully melancholic song for carnaval written with Ruy Guerra, “Viagem” written with Ronaldo Bastos. It’s also a favorite of my friend Celia in Portugal, who otherwise “isn’t crazy about Marcos Valle.” But I don’t believe she has heard this album in its entirety and I am hoping it changes her opinion of the man.

Three instrumental mixes make up the bonus songs alongside one single, a tune entered into a Festival on TV Excelsior that took second place to a song by Tiaguara called Modinha. A bit of sloppiness on the 2011 reissue — the female vocalist on this tune is not credited here, so I am going to guess and say its Marcos’ sister Ana Maria.

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