Reposts – Sept 26, 2013

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From top left to bottom right:

 Antonio Adolfo e Brazuca (1970)
João Nogueira (1972)
Paulo Moura – Fibra (1971)
Ray Barretto – Indestructable (1973)
Bobby Hutcherson – Now! (1969) 
Alaíde Costa – Canta Suavamente (1960)

Some reups for all of you while I am busy with other things.  Please report any erroneous links you come across, cheers.

Nara Leão – Liberdade, Liberdade (1966)


Nara Leão, Paulo Autran, Tereza Rachel, Oduvaldo Vianna Filho
LIBERDADE, LIBERDADE
by Flavio Rangel and Millôr Ferndandes

Musical direction by Oscar Castro Neves
with Roberto Nascimento on guitar, Ico Castro Neves on string bass, Carlos Guimarães on flute, and Francisco Araújo on drums.  Vocal chorus comprised of Ângela Menezes, Maísa Sant’Anna, Sônio Márcia Perrone, and Roberto Quartin Pinto.

Released 1966 on Forma.  Recorded by R. Cardoso, produced by Gebara/Quartin.
2013 reissue remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla
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Hino da Proclamação da República
Marcha da Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
Aruanda
Acertei no milhar
Eu não tenho onde morar
Com que roupa
Estatutos da gafieira
Té o sol raiar
Nobody knos the troubles I’ve seen
If you miss me at the back of the bus
Summertime
Leilão
Zumbi
Jota dos três imrãos
Cara al sol
Rumba la rumba
Marinera
Exatação a Tiradentes
Marcha da Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
Hino da Proclamação da República

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So, I recently got my hands on the new Nara Leão boxset.  I have been working my way through it slowly, savoring it, and it is a lot of stuff.  I’ve decided to share some of the less common offerings  first.  Last week we had the record 5 Na Bossa with Edu Lobo and Tamba Trio.   These week brings something probably more obscure.  Some records are obscure for a good reason.  This is one of them.  It would be hard to find a more tedious piece of heavy-handed mid-60s “engaged” material than this.  All that is missing is a rousing rendition of “L’Internationale” or at least “Kumbaya.”

The Brazilian theater and MPB have long had a symbiotic relationship.  Some day I might try to research and write a book about it.  For now, suffice it to say that in general theater people rub me the wrong way.  Maybe it was the mockery I received in that script-writing class I once took as a teenager, leaving me predisposed to dislike theatre people for the rest of my life.  This isn’t to say that I can’t appreciate a well done performance or the merits of a particular dramaturg or actor.  I just don’t want to end up at the cast party afterwards.  

This stage play features Paulo Autran, who I am sure was a very nice fellow.  I have nothing against him.  A veteran of Shakespeare and Brecht, he at least tries to bring the pathos of both to this production that is very much a product of its times.  A couple of years after starring in this play, Autran would feature in Glauber Rocha’s amazing film Terra Em Transe.  Scripted and directed by Flávio Rangel and Millôr Fernandes, “Liberdade, Liberdade” is historically important for being one of the first examples of ‘protest theatre’ in Brazil when it debuted in 1965, a year after the military coup but with the worst yet to come.  In fact by the time this record came out in ’66 it was prohibited to perform it on stage.  A great deal of the play is a patchwork of excerpts from such global freethinkers as Socrates, Martin Luther King, and Jesus. Subtlety is not its strong suit.  I am not going to attempt a critical appraisal on whether the play succeeds or fails at its aims, how so or in what measures, because ultimately the whole thing is just very dull.  Even the attempts at humor fail to actually lighten things up and seem kind of pedantic.  The songs included amidst the lefty soap boxing are rarely played or sung for more than a single verse and chorus.  So unlike Nara Leão’s similar hybrid of theatre and ‘música engajada’, the “Show Opinão”, this one just doesn’t hold up well to multiple listens.  It doesn’t help things that for the CD edition, no attempt to index tracks was made, meaning we have one continuous audio track of 48 minutes.  So forget just trying to find the musical snippets.  This is all a bigger shame because there are some killer compositions strewn about from the likes of Noel Rosa, Baden Powell, Vinicius, Caymmi, Billy Blanco, Carlos Lyra and others.   The music seems to have been performed off-mic too and comes out rather muffled.  (One odd technical note, the album jacket – at least the one featured on the reissue – lists this as a mono recording but it is actually in stereo, albeit mostly just occasional hard panning.)      

If you are dying to hear Nara Leão sing in English or can’t wait for Brazilian interpretations of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” then this album tem sua cara, you need look no further.  Actually the (partial) rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime” is pretty cool.

If you are researching that tumultuous period between the military coup of March 31, 1964 and the implementation of the AI-5 (Institutional Act Number 5) in ’67, this record will probably be of great interest to you.  If you are tuning in to hear the inimitable Nara Leão, it will likely be a footnote.

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In response to Le Porc Rouge’s question about the label Forma (below in the comments section, where everyone should stop in for a visit now and then),  I attempted to answer in the comments but failed due to size constraints.  I have updated this post with the following information.  My response, written as a comment directly to him:

Porco, I didn’t really know anything about the label either, other than that the amazing Moacir Santos’ “Coisas” is stupidly rare in Brazil even on CD.  But I did some searching for you and found a decent succinct write-up and what appears to be a nearly complete discography.  I took the liberdade of doing a quick free translation .. Hell if I had more of these titles, one of us should start a discog.page with credit to this guy.  His blog post is HERE.   The head honcho Roberto Quartin also has an entry at the Dicionário Cravo Albin which is probably the best online resource for Brazilian music in general.  But this guy Rodrigo’s post is more succinct (it’s too bad he didn’t keep blogging).  Here it goes:

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Whenever
someone proposes to study the album covers of Brazilian music from the decade
of the 1960s, they prefer to talk about the label Elenco of Aloysio de
Oliveira, and forget about Forma.  Both
record labels played an important part in the modernization of Brazilian music,
and were acquired by Phonogram (later Polygram, today Universal) in the
following decade.

Forma was
created in 1963 by a young carioca named Roberto Quartin (1943-2004) in
parternship with Wadi Gebara.  Until
1969, the label released more than twenty albums, some of which became historic
for the highly experimental level of their production and the attention to
technical detail on the records.  It was
also responsible for debuting albums by great talents in our music, like
Quarteto Em Cy, Eumir Deodato, and Victor Assis Brasil. 

On the 3rd
of February 1965, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo published the following
note:

At the end
of 1964, a new recording company started up in Brazil with the objective to
accelerate the technical advance of Brazilian music that’s been happening in
recent years.  Its name is Forma, its
base is Rio de Janeiro, and its owner is Roberto Quartin.  In the pursuit of the above mission, the
label sought to put together a stable of top artists, to the point that they
adopted the slogan: “The representatives)of Brazilian music are in top Form!”  But these aces could be both established
artists or new faces, people who have never before recorded.  Hence the first releases on Forma are discs that
showcase the already well-known Eumir Deodato and Luís Carlos Vinhas, but also
draw our attention to an excellent new find: 
the Quarteto em Cy.

In the
following decade, Forma continued its activity for a few years under the
administration of Phonogram.  It released
the first recordings of Gonzaguinha and Ivan Lins, products of the university
song festivals at the beginning of the 70s. 
Quartin relocated to the United States and continued his work as one of
the best researchers of the career of Frank Sinatra, even becoming his personal
friend, with authorization to produce albums of unreleased material.

In his last
years of life Quartin was committed, along with Universal, to the reissue and
remastering for CD of Forma’s complete catalog.  
(written by Rodrigo Cunha)

LPs released by Forma

1964 – “Inútil Paisagem”, Eumir Deodato (FM-1)
1964 – “Novas Estruturas”, Luis Carlos Vinhas (FM-2)
1964 – “Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Sérgio Ricardo (FM-3)
1964 – “Quarteto em Cy”, Quarteto em Cy (FM-4)
1964 – “Esse Mundo É Meu – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Sérgio Ricardo e Lindolfo Gaya (FM-5)
1965 – “Bossatrês em Forma!”, Bossa Três (FM-6)
1965 – “Chico Fim-de-Noite Apresenta Chico Feitosa”, Chico Feitosa (FM-7)
1965 – “Coisas”, Moacir Santos (FM-8)
1965 – “Ana Margarida”, Ana Margariba (FM-9)
1966 – “Som Definitivo”, Quarteto em Cy e Tamba Trio (FM-10)
1966 – “Forma ’65”, Diversos (FM-11)
1966 – “Liberdade Liberdade, de Flávio Rangel e Millôr Fernandes”, Nara Leão (FM-12)
1966 – “Dulce”, Dulce Nunes (FM-13)
1966 – “Os Afro-Sambas de Baden e Vinicius”, Baden Powell e Quarteto em Cy (FM-16)
1966 – “Desenhos”, Victor Assis Brasil (FM-17)
1966 – “Tempo Feliz”, Baden Powell e Maurício Einhorn (100VDL)
1966 – “Quinteto Villa-Lobos”, Quinteto Villa-Lobos (101VDL)
1966 – “A Viagem”, Mitchell e Ruff (102VDL)
1966 – “Rosinha de Valença Ao Vivo”, Rosinha de Valença (103VDL)
1966 – “Forma 66”, Diversos (104VDL)
1966 – “Vinicius: Poesia e Canção Vol. I”, Vinicius de Moraes (105VDL)
1966 – “Vinicius: Poesia e Canção Vol. II”, Vinicius de Moraes (106VDL)
1968 – “O Violão É… Tapajós”, Sebastião Tapajós (107VDL)
1968 – “Musicanossa”, Diversos (108VDL)
1968 – “O Conjunto de Roberto Menescal”, Roberto Menescal (VDL109)
1968 – “Samba do Escritor”, Dulce Nunes (VDL110)
1969 – “Brasil Ano 2000 – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Rogério Duprat (VDL112)
1969 – “O Avarento, de Molière”, Procópio Ferreira (VDL113)
1969 – “Sebastião Tapajós e Sua Guitarra Cósmica”, Sebastião Tapajós (VDL114)
1969 – “Big Parada”, Orquestra Tropical (VDL115)
1970 – “Terço”, O Terço (VDL116)
1970 – “Agora”, Ivan Lins (VDL117)
1971 – “Som Livre Exportação”, Diversos (VDL118)
1971 – “Deixa o Trem Seguir”, Ivan Lins (VDL119)
1971 – “Som Livre Exportação Nº 2”, Diversos (FE1019)
1971 – “Muita Zorra! ou São Coisas que Glorificam a Sensibilidade Atual”, Trio Mocotó (FE1020)

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

01

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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Various Artists – Bossa Nova: Sua História, Sua Gente (1975)

Bossa Nova Sua Historia Sua Gente
Philips / Polygram
Original release 1975
CD reissue, unknown date

DISC 1

01 – Sofrer é da Vida – Mario Reis
02 – Você – Dick Farney e Norma Bengel
03 – Nós e o Mar – Doris Monteiro
04 – Só Danço Samba – Donato e Seu Trio
05 – Mocinho Bonito – Billy Blanco
06 – Samba do Avião – Cariocas
07 – Rio – Lucio Alves
08 – As Praias Desertas – Elizete Cardoso
09 – Último Canto – Agostinho dos Santos
10 – Influência do Jazz – Leny Andrade
11 – Minha Saudade – Tamba Trio
12 – Por Toda Minha Vida – Lenita Bruno
13 – Tristeza de Nós Dois – Luiz Eca
14 – Tem Mais Samba – Quarteto em Cy
15 – Boranda – Edu Lobo & Tamba Trio
16 – Berimbau – Baden Powell
17 – The Girl From Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto
18 – Carta ao Tom 74 – Vinícius e Toquinho

DISC 2

01 – Samba da Pergunta – João Gilberto
02 – Samba de Verão – Roberto Menescal e Seu Conjunto
03 – Demais – Maysa
04 – Folha de Papel – Sergio Ricardo
05 – Chora Tua Tristeza – Conj Oscar Castro Neves
06 – Ao Amigo Tom – Claudette Soares
07 – Você e Eu – Sylvia Telles
08 – Coisa Mais Linda – Carlos Lyra
09 – Ela é Carioca – Sergio Mendes e Bossa Trio
10 – Maria Bonita – Nara Leão
11 – Upa Neguinho – Lennie Dale
12 – Que Maravilha – Zimbo Trio
13 – De Palavra em Palavra – Mpb4
14 – Chuva – Os Gatos
15 – Tema do Boneca de Palha – Rosinha de Valença
16 – Olha Maria – Chico Buarque
17 – So Tinha de Ser com Você – Elis & Tom
18 – Ana Luiza – Tom Jobim



There are a lot of bossa nova compilations out there, and a lot of them are pretty shitty.  This one is a good enough listen, though not nearly as
Earth-shaking as some of the reviews I’ve seen on the internet might indicate.   In fact, T. “Strokin”Jurek must have a different record than the one I
have – not only does it not feature any tracks by Jorge Ben as he claims (rather, it has a medley of Ben songs performed by Zimbo Trio, however, which is a big
difference), but it also does NOT contain “credits and complete song details” in any way.  What my copy has is an essay-style account of bossa nova with information on key composers, artists, producers and arrangers.  Not song credits.  Maybe Jurek has a different edition, or maybe he doesn’t read or speak Portuguese?  If so he should probably stop being paid to write reviews of anthological Brazilian releases. What Jurek also seems ignorant of is that astute fans of this music don’t gripe about compilations like this because they are fond of
“nit picking.” Usually they are motivated for a love of music that exceeds the profit motive of the companies that put it out.  A case in point can usually be found in any compilation claiming to represent an entire musical movement, such as this one.  Even in the 1960s, the Brazilian recording industry was consolidated in very few hands, with each label being pretty equally possessive of its own artists and covetous of its neighbors.  As you will see, that has resulted in some misleading attempts to anthologize.

This collection was originally released as a triple-LP box with an oversized booklet.  I had both the vinyl and CD and for once we are at least lucky to have a CD booklet that replicates
the info in the original vinyl down to the letter.  Unfortunately that info is still kind of vague on the sort of info fans want, such as the provenance of the tracks – the dates, the records they came from, who may have played on them – in fact just the sort of info that Jurek claims comes with this set but does not.   It’s my feeling this is a pretty deliberate choice.  Philips didn’t even
exist as a discrete record label during the heydey of bossa nova, but rather took over what had been CBD (Companhia Brasileira dos Discos) and eventually acquired the Elenco label and their catalog in the early 70s.  So this compilation is missing all kinds of crucial stuff released by the EMI-Odeon and RGE labels, for example.  To make things more confusing, some of the artists associated with those labels appear here on selections recorded after they had signed contracts with Philips (João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, Zimbo Trio).  They are great songs, but these artists’ canonical contributions to bossa nova are found on their first few records, and not the ones recorded for Phillips.

What this compilation does do really well is fill in gaps in the fan’s knowledge of artists either within bossa nova or who were seminal and influential on its formation (even if some of them – like Dick Farney – are once again featured in post-1970 contexts).  A lot of material, however, isn’t actually bossa nova but samba canção, a genre that provided a lot of the roots, repertoire, and inspiration for bossa nova but which is distinct enough that its progenitors were initially scandalized by the deviations in rhythms and intervals that the kids brought to the block.  Although it’s not clear how much is intentional and how much is a product of the contractual shenanigans on who has rights to what songs, this record ends up being a cool compilation that manages to
avoid repeating the cliched representations of bossa nova (with the exception fo Girl From Ipanema), even at the expense of omitting most of its key compositions and recordings.
Extra points for including tracks from Os Cariocas, Carlos Lyra, Agostinho dos Santos, US expatriat Lennie Dale, Silvia Telles, and Billy Blanco.

 

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Herbie Mann – Live at Newport (1963)

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I know there are quite a few people waiting for me to finish up the Marcos Valle series, but I’ve been rather busy lately. But a whole week without a blog post is just unconscionable, so here’s a quick one (while he’s away).

Herbie Mann still doesn’t get enough credit for his role in helping spread the seeds of musical cross-fertilization between the US and Brazil, nor for the amount of great players that passed through the ranks of his various ensembles. My explanation for this lack of respect hinges on the fact that by the late sixties Herbie would become obsessed with taking his shirt off for every photo op, bearing his hairy pectorals while blowing madly on his flute. And also committing the venial jazz sin of flirting too much with commercialism for the jazz critics, embracing soul, R&B, funk, rock, and disco at one time or another.

This is a very fine set of music from Herbie with his shirt still on, and a lineup that boasts Dave Pike, Willie Bobo and Patato Valdez. From Bennie Goodman to Luis Bonfa, there really isn’t a dull moment. And a ripping bossa-bop treatment of “Desafinado” is all on its own enough to make this record worth having. The solos from Herbie and Dave Pike are a world apart from the many sleepier, starchier American jazz appropriations of bossa nova’s own appropriations of American jazz. It’s as if the original Jobim/Mendonça song had a zipper, and Herbie Mann pulled the zipper all the way down, pushed the fabric inside out, stuffed it with a simulacrum of Dizzy Gillespie, pulled the zipper back up, and gave it to us all on Christmas day. Just like if you go far enough to the east you end up in the west eventually, bossa nova’s whitening of samba is baptized into Black American music and Latin Jazz by a Jew from Brooklyn.

Oh, and lots of folks are fond of pointing out that this live version of `Garota de Ipanema` (The Girl from Ipanema)was actually recorded before the Getz/Giblerto version had been released (although that version *had* been recorded by the time of the concert). Pretty cool, eh?

Elsewhere, Willie Bobo and Patato tear it up on the timbales and congas. Like they always do. I hope this whets your appetite for more from the family of Mann as I have quite a bit I’ve been meaning to share someday (including the oddball albums with Sonny Sharrock and Roy Ayers). This 2001 reissue on Wounded Bird has pretty decent sound too.