Orlandivo – Orlandivo (1977) (2003 Japan)

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Orlandivo
Orlandivo
1977 Continental
2003 Japan / Odeon TOCP 67178

1     Tudo Jóia
2     Um Abraço No Bengil
3     Gueri Gueri
4     Tamanco No Samba
5     Juazeiro
6     Onde Anda O Meu Amor
7     Disse-Me-Disse
8     Palladium
9     Bolinha De Sabão
10     A Felicidade

Producer – Orlandivo
Mixed By – Dan Martim, Elinho
Lacquer Cut By [Engenheiro de Corte] – Jorge Emilio     Isaac

Accordion – Sivuca
Acoustic Guitar [Violão] – Durval Ferreira
Arranged By, Clavinet, Electric Piano, Organ, Piano –     João Donato
Backing Vocals [Coro] – Luna (68), Suzana
Bassoon [Fagote] – Airton
Cuica –
Double Bass [Contra Baixo] – Alexandre
Drums [Bateria] – Mamão, Papão (tracks: B2, B3)
Edited By – Yedo Golveia
Engineer – Celinho, Deraldo, Luiz Paulo
Flute  – Copinha, Geraldo
Guitar  – Jose Menezes (tracks: A1, A2, A3)
Percussion – Ariovaldo, Chico Batera, Geraldo Bongo, Hermes , Helcio Milito
Surdo – Antenor

Coordinator – J. F. Blumenschein Filho
Creative Director – Paulo Rocco
Layout, Design – Luiz Tadeu Da Silva
Liner Notes – Chico Anísio
Art Direction – A. Lopes Machado

OBITUARY by Marcelo Pinheiro

“In the early hours of this Wednesday (8th of February), singer and composer Orlandivo passed away at 79 years old. Family members made the announcement, but did not communicate any further details, such as cause of death or the locations where the wake and burial of the artist would occur. Author of more than 200 songs, for enthusiasts of his work Orlandivo had interpreters of such caliber as Jorge Ben Jor, Dóris Monteiro, Wilson Simonal, Claudette Soares, João Donato, Elza Soares, and Ângela Maria. Among these several hundred songs, full of swing and irreverence, are classics like Tamanco no Samba, Bolinha de Sabão, Samba Toff, Onde Anda o Meu Amor, Vô Batê Pá Tu, and Palladium. In spite of such a strong resumé of hits, and for being considered by the bohemian carioca crowd as the King of Sambalanço – a highly successfully musical sub-genre of the 1960s with roots in bossa nova, jazz, and Latin rhythms – Orlandivo remained practically unknown by the great majority of the country. A Catarinense native of Itajaí, after a brief period in São Paulo, he went to live with family in Rio de Janeiro at 9 years of age. At 6, he had contact with this first musical instrument, a harmonica given to him by his father, who traveled the country and Europe on ships in the Merchant Marines – according to him, his uncommon name must have come from this, probably a corruption of Orlandini, seen when his father would make frequent voyages to Italy. A great inspiration as a vocalist for Jorge Ben Jor at the beginning of his career, Orlandivo made it big in the period 1961/62, a time when he reigned absolute as the crooner of the group led by organist Ed Lincoln. In 1962, he released his first LP, A Chave do Sucesso, on the Musicdisc label, a title that made an allusion to one of the composer’s characteristics, the use of a key-ring as a percussive instrument.  In 2013, the cult-favorite self-titled album released by Orlandivo in 1977, with arrangements and collaborations with João Donato, was one of the 50 albums highlighted in the column Quintessência.


ORIGINAL ALBUM LINER NOTES:

After a few years only producing albums, Orlandivo  changed his path.  After all, who else in the country could make the “sound of Divo.”  He is back at it again, younger than when he was mere lad, more experienced, knowing much more about things, with that certain sauce and that swing that helped to create his style.  Orlandivo sings simply and easily, so simple that it seems easy to sing, so easy that it motivates us to also try.  But woe to whoever tries to imitate him.  No, my brother!  Orlandivo is Orlandivo , personal, particular, non-transferable, alive, malandro, sly, so in tune he’s uncool, rascal doing his own thing.  I don’t know if the locksmith is still in business, but I guarantee that the one in his hand is the key to success.  That’s it!   It was good luck for those people who, during this time, lived depending on his songs.  Now, I don’t know!  He’s making them himself, singing them himself.  Better for you, getting you back fresh as a daisy, this really cool guy who sings as well as we think we sing when we’re in the shower.  Thank you, Divo, for coming back  with your good vibes.   We were needing you.

20.11.76 Chico Anísio


A lot had happened in Brazilian music between the last time Orlandivo fronted a group back with Ed Lincoln, and this tremendous collaboration with João Donato, who blessed it with his Midas touch that was on quite a golden streak at the time.  All the musical movements between those years seem to be celebrated here with an easy joy, sounding contemporary (both then and now), but with no real concern with genres or trends, searching – as he might put it – for the Brazilian sound anywhere he finds it.   The overwhelming theme here, at least for me, seems to be  texture – and that is no small measure the work of João Donato.  Donato coaxes smooth and amicable aural shapes out of components that tend to have rough edges.  The keyboards are softer, the Farfisa tone on Tamanco No Samba sounds like a few resistors were removed to make the sustain sputter out a little early.  Sometimes when listening to this, my memories go back to the times I had to eat steak with a spork in the sanitarium, because we were not allowed to have any knives for safety concerns.  It was awkward at first, but ultimately some of the best steak I’d ever eaten.  From shout-outs to Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil (the ‘Bengil’ of the second track) to the groovy accordion of Sivuca on Gueri Gueri, everything here has a very digestible flow to it.  Another chance to point out Donato’s arranging genius is his instinct to resist the obvious – he uses Sivuca on the aforementioned Gueri Gueri, but not on the actual forró song here, Juazeiro, where you might expect him to be trotted out.  The album injects some of his classic hits in between new material, with many great contributions from his main writing partner Durval Ferreira.  Yes, Orlandivo does sort of sing “like nobody’s listening”, like we all do in the shower, or like when I am trying to impersonate João Gilberto and failing.  The record ends on an appropriately dreamy reading of the classic bossa nova anthem Felicidade.  I remember thinking to myself, “Why?”, the first time I heard it.  But the answer is more than a simple “why not?”.  It’s an appropriately subtle conclusion to what is an understated capstone in the discography of one of first great musical masters to leave us in 2017.

mp3 iconflac buttonpassword: vibes

Gerson King Combo – Gerson King Combo (1977)

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Gerson King Combo
1977 Polydor

1     Mandamentos Black    
2     Just For You    
3     Andando Nos Trilhos    
4     Esse É O Nosso Black Brother    
5     Swing Do Rei    
6     Hereditariedade    
7     Foi Um Sonho Só    
8     Uma Chance    
9     God Save The King    
10     Blows

I’m wasn’t planning on writing at length about this album, but November is ‘Black Consciousness Month’ in Brazil.  I’m running out of time to post a record in solidarity, and recent events in AmeriKKKA have left me feeling pretty shitty today.  So why not spread some cheer?   Mind you, it is kind of ludicrous that there even *needs to be* a “Black Consciousness Day” in the one country that has the most people of African descent outside the continent of Africa, but there you go…  The actual holiday was November 20th, to mark the date in 1695 when the ex-slave and quilombo leader Zumbi of Palmares was beheaded.  The commemoration itself wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for some serious grassroots mobilization that went on in the 70s.  In short, it means different things to different people, it has its problematic aspects, but it’s definitely worth some respect.

One could say the same about Gerson King Combo, actually.  I sometimes think I’m in the minority in my opinions about Gerson King Combo, but then again at some of my friends share them so maybe I’m not such a freak.  Let me start by saying I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Gerson perform live four or five years ago at the Mercado Eufrásio Barbosa in lovely Olinda, and the guy is still quite a showman and force of nature.  I have no regrets about making that show, none at all.

But his actual records present an uncomfortable thing for me – I often find myself wishing I could just listen to the Combo swing their thing without Gerson singing on top of them.  The band is tight as hell and the arrangements are smart and engaging.  But as someone who’s been a big James Brown fan since I was twelve years old,  it’s hard not to break out laughing when I hear Gerson shouting “good God!!!”..  Most of the funk jams on the record don’t feature him singing so much as vocalizing, occasionally bursting into exclamations of  “aaachk-ck-ck-ck-ck-ck-aaaack owww!!” To me it almost begins to seem like a parody, as if Gil Brother was fronting a band in the 70s.  Oddly enough when he does some soul ballad crooning, like on “Foi um sonho só,” he’s not a half bad singer at all, even if he’s certainly no Tim Maia.  But on the dance-floor rump shakers, I find his vocals kind of distracting and in constant danger of giving me a case of incurable giggles.  I think it’s fair to say that Gerson King Combo’s importance lay more in the role he played in iconography of the Black Movement of the time, whether as a performer or as an immediately recognizable sound when a DJ put on one of his records at a baile.  He cut an imposing figure, and it’s a case where the attitude and image were inseparable from the music. The significance of that shouldn’t be underestimated, but his recorded output and legacy does not cast the long shadow that many of his peers can claim. 

The opening cut, “Mandamentos black,” is a classic of the genre.  And there is lots of other fun stuff here (Swing do Rei, Hereditariadade, Uma Chance are all winners), and some socially conscious lyrics in the middle of it all.  Even my ears eventually “adjust” to Gerson’s voice when I’m in the mood for this album.  But still, if anyone uncovers a tape of the all-instrumental mixes, please send me an email, okay?

Nara Leão – “Descontrolada” (1976) unreleased single!

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Well this is a new thing for the blog, the first time I have ever hosted a “leaked” track unavailable elsewhere, and hopefully it won’t get us shut down after managing to survive this many years.
The track below was deemed unsuitable for release on the rarities discs included with the recent 2103 Nara Leão boxset, and was passed along to me by an audio engineer in friend in São Paulo who made me swear never to share it with anyone except at home through a stereo.  Well that guy turned out to be a royal prick so I am disregarding the promise now.

In the mid-1970s, Nara had gone into semi-retirement in order to raise her children and eventually pursue a degree in psychology.  I suppose the urge to perform in someone as creatively powerful as Nara doesn’t just go dormant, and the retirement didn’t last all that long by today’s standards. These days it is normal for pop stars to release one record every three years, because they are mostly overpaid lazy fucks,   but it must have seemed an eternity to her fans back in the day.   She returned to recording with a deliberately nostalgic work looking back to the golden age of Brazilian song, hence the title, Meu Primeiro Amor (“My First Love”).  It is a great record but probably came across a bit anachronistic in  light of the whirlwind of changes – social, musical, political – that had swept across Brazil in the decade leading up to it: changes which, of course, Nara played pivotal and multiple roles as a cultural and musical icon.  Given how the newly-uncovered track featured here lay buried for almost forty years with no indication that it ever existed, it is difficult to say if this recording session was simply an attempt by Nara to musically invent herself, to experiment with new sounds, or maybe to make a little cash with a more contemporary-sounding single.  Whatever the case, she apparently did not care for the resulting recording and disowned it.

For the session, she chose João Donato to work out the arrangements and take on production duties  (he would later end up producing her next album, Os Meus Amigos São Um Barato ).   The complete personnel on this track is unknown, but what little was written on the insert inside the tape reel documents that the session involved Hyldon and Cassiano on guitar, both seminal figures in the Brazilian soul scene of the mid-70s, and the melody sounds like one or both of them may have a writing credit here.  And though I can’t prove it, I swear I can hear their friend Tim Maia on backing vocals.  Normally his voice overtakes everyone else on every session he was ever on, however, so maybe they just kept him really far from the microphone or made him sing in the hallway.  The tune starts out with a throwback nod to her bossa-cum-capoeira heyday, but the intro is just an illusion that does not prepare the listener for what comes next: some of the most funky pieces of music to be made in Brazil in the mid-70s, music that is so forward-thinking it wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio decades later.   All that being said, as incredible as it is to have an unissued track from Nara Leão with these unlikely collaborators, I can understand why she chose not to release it.  Her voice just isn’t particularly suited to funk and soul music, and although she did have a reputation for iconoclasm in the 60s, perhaps in the mid 70s she opted not to jeopardize her good standing as a canonical MPB singer by attempting a polemical style like funky samba soul, especially with such sexual overtones.  She even chose to sing, rather awkwardly, in English, which would have further enraged much of her devoted following.

So here is the track, titled “Descontrolada”, and if it doesn’t get this blog shut down for good, I hope to see you all soon in another post.  If the gods have mercy, I promise to post more often than I have been lately.