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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Marcos Valle – The Lost Sessions (1966)

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Marcos Valle

“The Lost Sessions”

Originally recorded in 1966

Released in 2011 in the boxset Marcos Valle Tudo

1. Os grilos (Crickets sing for Ana Maria)

2. Uma lágrima

3. Lá eu não vou

4. Batucada surgiu (Batucada)

5. Primeira solidão

6. O amor é chama

7. É preciso cantar

8. Pensa

9. Mais vale uma canção

10. Lenda

11. Se você soubesse

Bonus tracks

12. Os grilos (instrumental version)

13. Batucada surgiu (instrumental version)

Marcos Valle – piano, acoustic guitar, vocals on tracks 1, 4, and 7

Dom Salvador – piano

Unknown musicians – everything else

Arrangements and orchestrations – Eumir Deodato, Geraldo Vespar and Marcos Valle

Produced by Milton Miranda

This is actually the “last” disc in the boxset but I am sharing it out of respect for several regular blog readers, particularly pawylshyn, who know much more about Marcos than I do and who are being tortured by the long wait for this disc of ‘unreleased’ material. In fact quite a few tracks appeared on the expensive Japanese pressings of the normal albums (which I believe he has, all of them..) but this album’s release is still a blessing to the world This is the album Marcos was working on when his second album — containing the hits of the title track (Preciso Aprender Ser Só) and *especially* “Samba de Verão”, which was covered in the US by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, and Ruben & The Jets — blew up on the record charts and he became an internationally-known name. Enter Ray Gilberto, most famous for writing that lovely song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”, but who at the time was writing English lyrics for Tom Jobim’s compositions to be released stateside. So basically they convinced Marcos to stop what he was working on, record a mostly instrumental album that I don’t think is very good (Braziliance!, although we’ve established opinions differ on that one) and then go to the US and make ‘Samba 68’ (which IS good). The abandoned album has had tracks show up here and there, mostly on the expensive Japanese reissues of some of his original catalog. But here is the original albumas it was when Marcos abandoned it. I’ll hremark again how cool I think it is that he left things just as they found them when they dug out the master tapes. No additional overdubs or studio trickery. The result is a somewhat spare but beautiful record that leaves it to our imaginations to ‘complete’. It would have come between two of Marcos’ most profound albums (O compositor e o cantor and A viola enluarda) had he not embarked on his “American journey”.

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Marcos Valle – Braziliance! (1967)

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Braziliance!

a música de Marcos Valle

1967 Odeon (MOFB 379)

Reissued 2011 as part of the box `Marcos Valle Tudo`

1 Os grilos

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

2 Preciso aprender a ser só

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

3 Batucada surgiu

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

4 Seu encanto

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Pingarrilho, Marcos Valle)

5 Samba de verão

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

6 Vamos pranchar

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

7 Tando andei

(Marcos Valle)

8 Dorme profundo

(Pingarrilho, Marcos Valle)

9 Deus brasileiro

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

10 Patricinha

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

11 Passa por mim

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

12 Se você soubesse

(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

Marcos Valle – acoustic guitar, piano on ‘Patricinha’ and vocals on ‘Deus brasileiro’

Eumir Deodato – piano and arrangements on all tracks except ‘Patricinha’

Luiz Marinho and Sérgio Barroso – bass

Wilson das Neves – drums

Rubens Bassini and Jorge Arena – percussion

Ed Maciel, Raul de Souza, and Norato – trombone

Maurílio Santos – trumpet and flugelhorn

Aurino Ferreira and Alberto Gonçalves – baritone sax

Zé Bodega, Cipó, Walter Rosa – tenor sax

Paulo Moura and Jorginho – alto sax

Copinha, Jorginho, J.T.Meirelles – flute

Neco, Geraldo Vespar, Roberto Menescal – electric guitar

Marcos Valle doesn’t have much to say about this album. In fact it is the ONLY disc out of the 11 in this set in which he didn’t write an introductory blurb. It is almost as if he is saying, curtly, to the press, “No comment.” Well, I don’t have much to say either. It is the weakest disc in the box and contributes to bossa nova undeserving reputation as `elevator music` to those who don’t know any better.

He tells a bit of the backstory about this album only in passing, when introducing the “unreleased album” at the end of the boxset. In short, when “Samba de Verão” became a huge international hit and ended up being recorded in the USA by the likes of Connie Francis (!) and Johnny Mathis, record company executives were clammering at his door to bring him to the US and record. In a confusing rapid sequence of events which were only partly clarified for me by Marcos` notes in another disc in this set, but which in truth only left me confused until the contributions of one of my blog friends here, pawylshyn, set me straight, this album was NOT recorded in the US in spite of what I consider a very “American sound.” A production credit by West Coast lyricist Ray Gilbert (who, aside from writing English lyrics for songs penned by Brazilian composers, is probably most famous for the tune “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”) further threw me off in my having thought this album was recorded in Los Angeles or someplace. Nope, it was recorded in Lapa, RJ, but with Gilberto and Aloysio de Oliveira (founder of Elenco Records) and NOT Milton Miranda Once more, a whole bunch of great players here — it’s as if every album adds more incredible musicians who want to work with Marcos, this time bringing in new folks on horns like the inimitable Paulo Moura as well as Zé Bodega. Geraldo Vaspar and Roberto Menescal on electric guitar? This almost seems like a typographical error… Anyway, in spite of the huge cast of great musicians here, and the presence of Deodato again as arranger, the album has a very, well, “American” sound. Too many strings for my taste. Not enough horns, not enough jazz, and most definitely not enough of MARCOS VALLE. Still, there’s some gems here — its the first appearance of ‘Os grilos’ in this box, a song that appears on `Samba 68` with lyrics. It’s an infectiously good tune and would be recorded a few more times by Marcos himself. The version of “Samba de verão” is not too shabby, and “Batucada surgui” actually kind of smokes with jazz swing. Others are sadly watered down, musak-like versions of otherwise great songs. “É preciso aprender a ser só” being one of those. You can pick the others yourself. On the other hand this may be prime material for the crowd who likes ‘kitsch’ and cheesy lounge music to sit around and practice being ironic.

It truly seems like Marcos would rather just forget that he made this album. Obviously (see the comments below from readers), some people like this album or at least find it pleasant. I could call it pleasant, in fact, since it’s not as if it *offends* me or anything. It’s not terrible music; it’s just not terribly interesting.


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Marcos Valle – O cantor e o compositor (1965)

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MARCOS VALE
O COMPOSITOR E O CANTOR
1965 on Odeon (SMOFB-3413)
Reissue in 2011 on EMI (026461-2) (SET 026447-2)

1 Gente (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Preciso aprender a ser só (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Seu encanto (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Pingarrilho, Marcos Valle)
4 Passa por mim (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
5 Samba de verão (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
6 A resposta (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Deus brasileiro (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Dorme profundo (Pingarrilho, Marcos Valle)
9 Vem (Luiz Fernando Freire, Marcos Valle)
10 Mais amor (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 Perdão (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
12 Não pode ser (Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
BONUS TRACKS
13. Vamos pranchar
14. Deus brasileiro (instrumental)
15. Não pode ser (instrumental)

Marcos Valle – voice and piano
Eumir Deodato – arrangements, orchestrations, piano and organ
Sergio Barroso – bass
Wilson das Neves, Dom Um Româo – drums
Nelson Ângelo – acoustic guitar
Rubens Bassini – percussion
Hamilton and Maurílio Santos – trumpet
Edson Maciel – trombone
Jorginho – alto sax
Jt. Meirelles, Walter Rosa – tenor sax
Aurino Ferreira – baritone sax

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical direction – Lyrio Panicalli
Technical superviso – Z.J. Merky
Sound engineer – Jorge Teixeira ROcha
Layout – Moacry Rocha
COver photo – Mafra

2011 Info
Project curator and producer: Charles Gavin
Supervision: Marcos Valle
Texts by Marcos Valle
Remastered from original tapes by Ricardo Garcia at Magic Master Studios, RJ
Assistant engineer: Matheus Gomes

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This is album is a leap ahead of his first album and situated firmly in jazz-bossa with some traces of innovative pop that would become more prominent in his work later. It also has what is may be the most perfect composition of his entire career: “Preciso aprender a ser só” (I Need To Learn To Be Alone). “Samba de verão” is undoubtedly the most reinterpreted song in his catalog, recorded by a bunch of other artists afterwards includes several version of English.. “Deus brasileiro”, “Dorme profundo” lush and shimmery and wonderful. A lot of the same ‘heavy hitters’ from the debut are playing on this album too, with the added bonus of Wilson das Neves and Dom Um Romão on the drums. Also notice a young Nelson Angelo on acoustic guitar. Anybody know who is playing flute on this album (perhaps one of the saxophonists doubling on flute?) — they are not credited in the notes. But kudos to this reissue project for including musician credits in the first place, as these earlier Odeon releases did NOT include ‘backing musicians’ in general, although arrangers usually took pride of place.

Listen to how HARD the ensemble swings on “Seu encanto” and it ought to put to rest any remaining critics (are they any still living?) who thought bossa nova was overly-influenced by or even ‘imitating’ North American jazz: this song is equal to anything recorded elsewhere in its jazz credentials. Goddamn the ruffing is amazing. Just wish I knew who played the flute on it. The tune “Vem” qualifies for this premium category.

As blogger friend Le Porce Rouge put it, it seems as if every album recorded in Brazil after 1965 had a cover version of a track off this album. It’s influence must have been huge like a musical atom bomb in the climate of 1965, when bossa nova was struggling to redefine itself in a changing musical landscape. The Brothers Valle seemed unconcerned with all that and simply forged ahead with what they wanted to do, categories be damned. The record was successful enough to draw attention of music executives from abroad, who began clambering at Marcos (and Paulo’s) door to bring them to the US and record, after the likes of people like Johnny Mathis and Connie Francis (!!!) had recorded hit versions of “Samba de verão.” It is kind of a shame, since Marcos had only just ‘hit his stride’ with this album and it would be a few years before he recorded again on Brazilian soil. In the USA he would make a delightful little album, “Samba 68”, but also a dreadful little one called “Braziliance!”, and then find his way back home.

The bonus tracks feature the B-side “Vamos prenchar” which was released on the single (compato) for ‘Samba de verão’, and the instrumental takes of “Dues brasileiro” and “Não pode ser”.

Amidst all the greatness on the record, the tune “Dorme profundo” is very special to me as the ‘sleeper’ cut that somehow distills the best of what the album has to offer to me.

In regards to the sound quality issues pawlyshyn mentioned concerning the (expensive) Japanese remasters, I regret to inform you that at least some of those problems remain so perhaps it is a problem with the tapes. “Dorme profundo” has a drop-out, for example, at 1 minute and 36 seconds in the right channel. I’m pretty sure there are a few others scattered around. The is some distortion in places in the upright bass and drums but I’ve become accustomed to it on the Odeon releases from this period — they needed a Rudy Van Gelder to set them straight on how to record the rhythm section of jazz combos with proper separation. But as far as digital distortions go, I haven’t noticed any yet but since I have only had this box for two weeks, feel free to point them out if you come across them. Usually they jump out at a person, but I haven’t noticed any yet.

The back of the album jacket had original liner notes by Paulo Sérgio which unfortunately are only reproduced in microscopic form in the CD artwork. But I’ve taken the liberty of translating them here:

“”Marcos composes in the middle of the night. For this reason his sambas have the flavor of ‘saudade’ for the end of night, waiting for the day to be born. They are songs of love, that demand poetry in the lyrics in place of shouts of revolution, as some people want. It is true that sometimes this exremely lyrical composer has his moments of realism, like in “Gente”, for example. But without capitulating to some type of pre-fabricated formula. It is what we would like to call “lyrical realism.” As a singer, Marcos creates a contagious intimacy. There is nobody better suited to sing his own songs, that come to us still warm from his heart. It is one of the privleges of the singer-composer. On this album we again have the partnership of Marcos and Eumir Deodator, arranger of choice. They are two friends united by a perfect musical identification, by talent, and by the seriousness engraved on everything they do. Here they put into practice what for so long they have studied: the union of heart and technique. In the orchestration of Eumir and the singing of Marcos is the voice of poetry.”
-Paulo Sergio Valle, original liner notes
free translation by Flabbergasted Enterprises

Enjoy this one, folks.

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Marcos Valle – Samba "Demais" (1963) Remaster with bonus tracks

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SAMBA “DEMAIS”
Marcos Valle
1963 Odeon (MOFB 3376)

Reissue 2011 in Boxset `Marcos Valle Tudo` (EMI 026460-2)

1 Vivo sonhando
(Tom Jobim)
2 Amor de nada
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Moça flor
(Luiz Fernando Freire, Durval Ferreira)
4 Canção pequenina
(Pingarilho)
5 Razão do amor
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
6 Tudo de você
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Sonho de Maria
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Ela é carioca
(Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)
9 Ilusão à toa
(Johnny Alf)
10 Ainda mais lindo
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 E vem o sol
(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)
12 A morte de um Deus de sal (Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Bôscoli)

BONUS TRACKS
13. Amor de nada (instrumental version)
14. Ainda mais lindo (instrumental version)

Marcos Valle – vocal, acoustic guitar
Eumir Deodato – piano, organ, arrangements
Sérgio Barroso – bass
Juquinha – drums
Ugo Marotta – vibraphone
Roberto Menescal, Geraldo Miranda – acoustic guitar
Marçal – percussion
Copinha – flute
Hamilton and Edson Maciel – trombone
Maurilio Santos – trumpet
Jorginho – alto sax
J.T. Meirelles and Cipó – tenor sax
Alberto Gonçalvez – baritone sax

Produced by Milton Miranda

Flabber general blurb about this boxset: IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME. At least half the albums in this box have been out of print for years, another shameful legacy of an unappreciative middle class (the only Brazilians with disposable income for non-pirated CDs) and an industry more concerned with quick profits than preserving its own legacy.

There have been a boat-load of career retrospective boxsets released in Brazil over the last year or so. I have not heard all of them, nor do I have interest in hearing all of them — but of the ones I own or have heard, this is by far the best. Marcos Valle was directly involved in the project with Charles Gavin and it seems like a real labor of love. The sound is nice and warm (it is hard for me to compare to original vinyl, since I have only heard one of these on vinyl in my entire life and would probably have to sell a kidney to buy one. Or, kidnap a street urchin and sell HIS kidney.) Each album except one includes bonus tracks – in many cases, just instrumental mixes of the same takes used on the album, in other cases B-sides to singles, and in still others alternate instrumental mixes.

Marcos also wrote introductions for each album (except one) – short but informative and adding a nice personal touch that is missing from boxes such as, for example, the Jorge Ben box.

This is not a *complete* discography for this time period. It is lacking three albums that I know of: “Samba 68” recorded for Verve in the United States, “O Fabuloso Fittipaldi” from 1973, a rare-as-fuck film soundtrack that I’ve never heard, and “Vila Sesamo”, the TV soundtrack for the Brazilian version of Sesame Street, which I uploaded a long time ago here. These were all released on different record labels, which surely accounts for their being left out of this box.

Marcos Valle and his brother Paulo Sérgio worked with a truly mind-blowing number of first class musicians and arrangers, as we will see as this boxset ‘unfolds’ on the tracker. Literally, too many ‘heavy weight’ figures to list here without the tracker rejecting my upload (again).

But perhaps the biggest testimony to Valle’s integrity is the inclusion of a bonus disc of a totally unreleased album. Not a collection of outtakes, b-sides, or rarities included on compilations or soundtracks. A full album that actually went unreleased, because it was never completed (we’ll talk about why not when we get to it). And what is *particularly* noble about this is that whereas many artists would have decided to ‘finish’ the album by recording new tracks to “complete their vision” (Brian Wilson and “Smile”, anyone?), Marcos made the commendable choice to… do nothing at all. He presents the album just as it was when it was abandoned — only a couple songs have vocal tracks, the rest leaving it to our imaginations. And it’s great.

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MARCOS IN HIS OWN WORDS (free translation by Flabbergasted Enterprises LTD)

My first musical influences were in the northeastern music of Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro, so much so that (many years later) I would begin to play the accordion. Afterwards came samba, Ravel, Debussy (at six years old, when I began to study piano and classical music), rock, jazz, black American music, and bossa nova. But on my first album `Samba “Demais”` what dominates is the influence of bossa – I was fascinated by the music of Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Carlos Lyra, Johnny Alf, Roberto Menescal, Sérgio Ricardo and others.

I have a certain special affection for this album – it contains ‘Sonho de Maria’, my first composition to be recorded, also in 1963, by the Tamba Trio. The lyrics are by my brother Paulo Sérgio (it was the beginning of our partnership) and the arrangements are by Eumir Deoodato (he was already immensely talented and alter we became great friends).

With ‘Samba “Demais”‘ I received my first accolades as an emerging composer and interpreter.

-Marcos Valle, 2011

FLABBER review of *this* album:

Valle’s debut record, which I believe has stayed in print pretty consistently, is solid, quality bossa nova, but it is not among my favorites in his catalog or in the genre. It got great reviews at the time and was nominated for several awards. It’s a strong album, really it is. My problems with it are quibbles, really. Released when Marcos was all of 20 years old, it is the only of his albums to feature other composer’s work: one of the most remarkable things about his discography is the immense number of songs written by him and his brother Paulo Sérgio Valle, when the standard in Brazil at the time was for singers to rely heavily on other composers. And while the compositions on this record are fine in themselves, his SECOND album really blows me away, so I can’t help thinking of this as a ‘first step’, which obviously it was (being a debut album, duh..). And although the material of other composers is well chosen, some of the lyrics (including some of Paulo Sérgio, who would only get better and better over the years) are fairly trite drivel.

The lyrics on this album ask the question: How many different ways can you compare a woman to a flower? Rhyme-laden, saccharine lyrics like those on ‘Moça Flor’ are probably what artists like Nara Leão and others had in mine when they criticized bossa nova for a sentimentalism that was increasingly out of touch with the turbulent times and vast social inequities and injustices of the 1960s:

“Moça flor
Tem a cor do amor
Seu olhar a brilhar
E essa lágrima leve querendo chegar”

… I tried to translate this into English but every time I started, I would throw up in my mouth a little bit. Let me try my own bilingual musical criticism instead: Cada um tem seu gosto, mas… isso é uma grande merda. // Everyone is entitled to their own taste, but… this is total crap. Still, apparently a lot of people DO like this song as its been recorded quite a few times.
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A look at the musician and arranger credits should be enough to convince any fan of Brazilian music to give this a try if you don’t already know the album. The arrangements from Eumir Deodato are first-class and the musicianship is superb. If the album as a whole doesn’t blow you away on first listen, don’t worry – his albums kept getting better, and we’re going to listen to a bunch of them together! This is a strong start for one of Brazil’s most prolific talents.

in 320 kbs em pé tree:  MIRROR ONE /// MIRROR TWO

 in FLAC:
MIRROR ONE        or   MIRROR TWO

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