Trio Mocotó – Trio Mocotó (1973)

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Trio Mocotó
Released 1973 on RGE

Fritz Escovão (Luís Carlos de Souza)- cuíca and vocals), Nereu Gargalo (Nereu São José)- pandeiro and vocals) e João Paraíba (João Carlos Fagundes Gomes) drums and vocals

with Amilson Godoi (piano), Olmir Stocker (guitar), Itiberê (bass), and Bira (percussion)

Arrangements and orchestration by Rogérgio Duprat, Sérgio Carvalho, João Carlos Pegoraro, Waldemiro Lemke

SIDE ONE
01. Desapareça, Vá, Desapareça
02. Nó na Garganta
03. Vem Cá, Meu Bem, Vem Cá
04. Recordar
05. Não Vá embora
06. Desculpe

SIDE TWO
07. Maior é Deus
08. Samba da Preguiça
09. Palomares
10. Swinga Sambaby
11. Tô Por Fora da Jogada
12. Gotas da Chuva na Minha Boca


Feeling hungry? Help yourself to a steaming plate of mocotó. Trio Mocotó to be precise. These guys are more famous for being the percussion section underpinning some of Jorge Ben’s greatest records than they are for their own material. And it’s easy to understand that – as good as this album is, their original tunes are rather lackluster and their flat, boring vocals would have made them very popular with the hipster crowd in present-day Olinda or Recife. Which is my way of saying that their vocals are bloody awful and rather irritating (with the exception of Não Vá Embora and Palomares). Trio Mocotó excels at creating a groove, but without a musically-charismatic frontman like Jorge Ben to lead them, their stuff can feel a little uninspired. But this is still essential listening for anyone interested in the samba-soul, samba-rock scene of the mid-70s and has some wonderful moments. As you can see from the album credits, there were a TON of arrangers working on this album; Unfortunately their credits are not specified as to which songs were arranged by whom, but I am willing to guess that Rogério Duprat arranged “Nó na garganta” and possibly “Palomares.” The latter tune is easily the high point of the record — Once you make it through the chord changes of the first verse, you may say to yourself, “boy these guys really took a page from the Jorge Ben textbook of songwriting”, until you look at the album credits and see that it IS actually a Jorge Ben song. Kind of a throwaway tune, as he had songs to spare. He would end up recording it himself sometime in the 90s. Get this album just for this tune, if nothing else, and you will find the rest of the songs growing on you after a while. Other strong cuts here http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifinclude ‘Maior é Deus’ (NOT the Paulo César Pinheiro tune, by the way), the mellow sentimentality of ‘Recordar’, and Ben-like “Swinga Sambaby”, and the propulsive opener, ‘Desapareça’, which features nice Hammond B3 as well as an uncredited saxophone solo. It’s a very short solo, perhaps they just grabbed a sax player from the corridor of the recording studio and asked him to play a few bars and forgot to ask his name when they payed him.. If you are like me and find Burt Bacharach-Hal David songs to be cloying potential suicide-triggers, don’t even THINK about listening to the final song, the ridiculous closer “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Cuica.”

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Marcos Valle – Marcos Valle (1974)

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MARCOS VALLE

Released 1974 on Odeon (SMOFB 3854)
Reissued 2011 in the box Marcos Valle Tudo

1 No rumo do sol
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Meu herói
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Só se morre uma vez
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
4 Casamento, filhos e convenções
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
5 Remédio pro coração
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
6 Brasil X México
(Marco Valle)
7 Tango
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Nossa vida começa na gente
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
9 Novelo de lã
(Walter Mariani, Marcos Valle)
10 Cobaia
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 Charlie Bravo
(Marcos Valle)

Marcos Valle – vocals, piano, arrangements
Tavito – arrangements
Wagner Tiso – keyboards
José Roberto Betrami – keyboards
Helio Delmiro – electric guitar
Luizão Maia and Alex Malheiros – bass
Robertinho Silva – drums
Vocals – Márcio Lott, Renato Correa, Ronaldo Correa, Marisinha, Regininha, Malu, Aninha e Claudio Telles

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical direction by Lindolfo Gaya
Production assistant – Tavito
Recording technicians – Roberto, Dacy and Toninho
Remix engineer – Z.J. Merky
Photos and layout – Flavio D’Alincourt
Art – Roberto Souza
Cover – Juarez Machado

2011 reissue coordinated by Charles Gavin
Supervision by Marcos Valle
Remastered by Ricardo Gardia at Magic Master, RJ

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Marcos Valle’s restive spirit once again sees him changing things up. Rather than attempt to repeat the winning formula of 1973’s “Previsão do Tempo”, this album finds Marcos nesting in the clouds of baroque pop and blue-eyed soul. The vocal and orchestral arrangements – aided and abetted by composer Tavito – are meticulous, and the production, as always, is first-rate and delicious. Largely a mellow affair dominated by ballads, it is punctuated with a few more upbeat tunes beginning the with sensitive anti-hero anthem “Meu herói.” While not packing the pure funk punch of the Azymuth tunes of the last album, there are some funky hooks – “Casamentos, filhos e convenções” has a very satisfying chorus with chord changes to offset the verse well enough to be called perfection. Clavinet through a wah-pedal mixed with strings, brass, piano. Very nice analog synth work from Wagner Tiso and José Roberto Betrami on the whole record. The song “Remedio pro coração” reminds me of Taiguara’s albums from the early to mid 70s, but less melancholic and angst-ridden. “Tango” is probably the only Marcos Valle tune to have a bandeon, and is actually almost a tango, and a great song. “Nossa vida começa a gente” is a sonic orgasm, its lush pop exterior subverted by the inclusion of what appears to be a surdo drum dropped into the chorus that would almost make this prime material for a dub remix (but.. please don’t do this). “Novela de lã” is another ballad, downbeat with a lot of room for dynamics, muted electric guitar sneaking in some jazz chords, Hammond organ threatening to swell but never actually doing so, and of course more layered vocal harmonies. “Cobaia” is one of my favorite slow tunes on the album mostly due to the piano line that comes in about 27 seconds in and its interplay with the acoustic guitar. The whole album is full of these subtle touches that disguise the sheer creativity of the arrangements. Seven of the eleven songs clock in around two and a half minutes, three tunes barely crack the three-minute mark, and the album closes with one “long” tune that almost reaches five minutes, the gorgeous instrumental “Charlie Bravo”, which has Wagner Tiso’s influence in it pretty strongly. There is no track by track sessionography for this that I am aware of, which is a shame for this tune in particular – I have a feeling that Marcos himself may not even play on the song but only composed it. Well, “only” composed a five-minute elegy to his own legacy in a composition that evokes everything that came before on the record, and in a way much of his achievements as a musician and composer over the last decade. It is both a fitting and beguiling closer to this very necessary boxset. It leaves me wanting to hear more – and once again, these last few http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifvolumes in the box lack any alternate mixes or bonus tracks – but it also reminds that there is already so much here to keep a lover of good music happy, we should really just be thankful.

I know it was a long wait for this last piece of the Valle box. I hope its been worth it. By far this box has been the most satisfying reissues of any Brazilian artist’s back catalog in many years.

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Marcos Valle – Garra (1971)

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GARRA
Marcos Valle
1971 on Odeon (MOFB 3683)

1 Jesus meu Rei
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Com mais de 30
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Garra
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
4 Black is beautiful
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
5 Ao amigo Tom
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Osmar Milito, Marcos Valle)
6 Paz e futebol
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Que bandeira
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Máriozinho Rocha, Marcos Valle)
8 Wanda Vidal
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
9 Minha voz virá do sol da América
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
10 Vinte e seis anos de vida normal
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 O cafona
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)

———-
bonus tracks 2011

12. Com mais de 30 (versao instrumental)
13. Garra (versao instrumental em sol)
14. Black is beautiful (alternate version instrumental)
15. Que bandeira (alternate version instrumental)
16. Que bandeira (instrumental mix)
17. Wanda Vida (instrumental mix)
Marcos Valle – vocals and piano
Dom Salvador – piano and organ
Marizinha – vocal on Black is Beautiful
Geraldo Vaspar – acoustic guitar, orchestrations on 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
Orlando Silveira – orchestrations 9, 10
Cesar Camargo mariano – orchestration on 6

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical direction by Lindolfo Gaya
Assisten producer – Mariozinho Rocha

2011 reissue supervised by Charles Gavin
Reamstered by Ricardo Garcia at Magic Master, RJ

Another classic early 70s album from Marcos Valle, But, this album took a little while to grow on me. Perhaps because, when I’m obsessively-compulsively collecting, consuming, and divulging music, I am busy worshiping the Dark One, Satanáis, Beelzebub, Lucifer, or Jimmy Witherspoon – I am a little put off by the opening track on this one, ‘Jesus Meu Rei.’ On the other hand, there is an apocryphal and even millenarian streak to a lot of the content on this album. Satan may have granted me the power to acquire gluttunous amounts of music over the years, but far be if from me to question The Brothers Valle if their faith is strong. It’s a gorgeous baroque pop tune with whispy harpsichord and strummy acoustic guitar and very, um, “churchy” organ from none other than Dom Salvador. Then tuning into the lyrics and I am surprised, in spite of knowing that I shouldn’t be, of Paulo Sérgios genius. In its hymnal piety the song also calls on Jesus to look around at how the world has changed, and ambiguous lines that can either be a lament of world gone down the wrong path, or perhaps a plea to some type of moral relativity adn realism (“nada e ninguem / sabe o que é mal / e o que é bem / Jesus meu rei / fazendo lei / Passa seu tempo real”). A chorus of voices that’s built since the first verse swells into the transcendent bridge and the softly provocative lines:

De repente, achou a verdade / Informou ao seu ministério / Que o mistério estava na vida / Vida lá fora / Fora dali

Era só olhar para o mundo / Ver a gente amando na grama / E as crianças pelo jardim Escorrendo pra mãe, pro pai // Pro paísFor the non-Lusophile, I regret to inform you that are missing out on quite a bit here and subtle wordplay that translation just can’t get at. Listen to how well the lyrics, vocals, and arrangments hang together and reinforce each other.

When I first played this album I didn’t quite know what to thing of it. But since then I’ve decided this may be the “sleeper” in the whole batch of Marcos’s 1970s output, a near perfect album. In his liner notes Marcos admits to his inability to classify these songs: “sambas-pop-bossa-jazz”, he calls them, but there is definitely some pós-Tropicália rock here too.

“Com mais de trinta” begins by playing with the trendy phrase of the late 60s and early 70s, “Never trust anyone over 30,” after which Paulo gives us a hold LOT of reasons not to trust the number 30. Then seemingly leaving the whole idea of 30 in the dust as the narrator contemplates the things in life he dreams about but never does, his sensation of dislocation in time and space, “Passo a passo, faço mais um traço”.. This is deceptively simple, unadorned lyricism. Bereft of the layered complexity of Chico Buarque’s genius work, or unburdened by the density of Caetano Veloso’s beguiling forays into solipsism, Paulo Sérgio seems to have had a way of saying speaking in a very simple way about very complex ideas. So simply and directly that might leave you utterly unstruck and unconcinved when first encountered. There is a clean symetrical beauty to the words, Marcos’ vocal delivery, and the production and arrangements. When the truth of this hit me, the parts of this album that had seemed like a bit of a confused mess became utterly uncluttered. Paulo had a way of setting words to Marcos’ musical ideas that makes them one of the classic telekinetic songwriting teams. And Paulo had a way of churning out pointed, sardonic, and nuanced critiques of all manner of societal patterns, preconceptions, of issues contemporary and contextual and quasi-eternal, without ever succumbing to bitterness or hipster irony, holding on to his own brand of humanist optimism.

The title track is just plain weird, with Marcos’s out-of-breath ‘ha ha’ sounding completely bizarre in one of his brother’s stranger lyrics concoctions of urban dislocation, ambition, alienation. Musically it’s infectiously punchy in a soft painted-velvet arrangement of drums grooving in the left channel, utterly unhurried and laid-back; Dom Salvador laying down percussive bursts of organ and swells of Hammond vibrato at the end of certain measures; breaks at the ends of the chorus where suddenly flutes and violins sneak their way. Then a verse of Marcos singing scatlike nonsense syllables. Once again, sonically it is a pastiche of elements that probably shouldn’t be thrown together and yet couldn’t sound more natural (and, once again, Paulo Sérgio manages a lyrical mimesis). The alternate version here, at a faster tempo and in different key, sheds light on the creative process and makes me even more impressed with the final version. Its not that the two are terribly different in structure or execution, but the album take is much more “in the pocket.”

The album continues to challenge the listener, to greater or lesser success or failure. “Black Is Beautiful” almost feels like they are (as the British would say) ‘having a go’ at the listener with a playful send-up of Afrocentric pride; then I think to myself, no, they are totally sincere, just hopelessly clumsy and even naive about it. From a sociohistorical context, in Brazil or in the US where the phrase “Black is beautiful” was born, there is so much that is just WRONG with this tune that I wouldn’t know where to start. I still can’t honestly say what they were thinking.. This album has plenty of The Brother’s Valle blue-eyed soul on it, but this song has enough exaggerated torch-song drama to it that I just can’t take it too seriously But it’s also too damn intriguing for me to leave it at face value, and its kind of, well, a bit hilarious:

“Hoje cedo na Rua do Ouvidor // Early today on Ouvidor Street
Quantos louras horríveis eu vi // I saw so many horrible blondes
Eu quero uma dama de cor // I want a lady of color
Uma deusa do Congo ou daqui // A goddess from the Congo or from here
(Que se integre no meu sangue europeu) // To blend with my European blood

Black is beautiful (2x)
Black beauty is so peaceful
I wanna a black
So beautiful”

If this is sardonic, then it may be complex commentary on the foundational myths of Brazilian mestizagem (race-making, and often coerced in the master-slave relationship) as the roots of an alleged “racial democracy” that has never existed in reality. Or, perhaps its just completely silly drivel from two blond-haired blue-eyed surfista beach bums. In which case, its still hard to be mad at these guys. It’s just too damn honest and awkward, and the broken English (is this intentional? These guys spent two years living in the States…) only adds to the sense that somebody is mocking somebody else about…something.

Amigo Tom… At this time Tom Jobim had spent quite a few years in the US recording with the likes of Frank Sinatra and producer Creed Taylor (for his CPI label). This song is a simple `welcome home’, things weren’t the same without you, please don’t leave again, yes things have changed here but it will all be okay in the end.. The melody line and chordal structure is a worthy homage to the master of bossa nova.

“Paz e futebol” takes up the trope of Brazilian culture a culmination of tropical laziness and a Lusitanian aversion towards work, a critique strongly linked to Anglo-Saxon prejudices against Brazil but just as equally bought into by Brazil’s upper class who looks to Europe (or the US) as their model for “civilzation”. This is a gentle rebuttle without an exclamation point to punctuate its rancor. “Que bandeira” is probably just a song of thwarted, spurned love and the misunderstandings in changing relationships. Or maybe it’s a coded critique of the military dictatorship that the censor`s missed because they thought Marcos and Paulo were harmless pothead surfers at this point.. “Wanda Vidal” is lyrically like the opening of some unwritten mystery novel, but was actually on the soundtrack to a telenovela (Os Ossos do Barão) and musically driven by heavily strummed acoustic guitar, bossa-rock drums, chunks of organ chords and piano, congas.. Apparently this song has some cult status in Europe and the US as Madlib apparently did a remix of it. The following tune “Minha voz vira do sol de América” is, in spite of its possibly megalomaniac title, an understated instrumental based around Marcos or Dom Salvador’s piano and Veraldo Gaspar’s lush arrangement, with a stray female vocal drifting in and out (uncredited, but maybe his wife Ana again?). “Vinte e seis anos de vida normal” – this song couldn’t possibly have a cooler introduction of vocal harmonies, strings, followed by strong propulsive drums, erogenous arrangements, and more of Paulo’s lyrical talent in narrating another disaffected, alienated young person who feels they’ve spent their life reading newspapers and watching TV, wishing he’d done things he hadn’t, regretting things he had, until he comes across an announcement in the paper that mentions that he has died, um, reading the newspaper, followed by a stanza of millenarian hyperbole too good to spoil.

“Cafona” (translated roughly as in bad taste, tacky, ‘brega’ or whatever) is either utter nonsense or deep and profound. I’m not sure. But its definitely got one of the deepest grooves around on this disc and Marcos vocals couldn’t be more, well, Marcos. And it was the lead track for a another telenovela sountrack, a show with the same name of “Cafona.” It’s a perfect album closer, and again a perfect marriage of voice-lyric-instrumentation-arrangement.

The instrumental bonus tracks all make for great listening. And sense we mentioned Madlib in this post — is he actually hoping for more remixes and samples? One thing that hasn’t been mentioned in these posts is that, in a big way, Marcos Valle is more valorized outside Brazil than within it, where is almost forgotten except for his bigger hits. In a lot ways he was either ahead of his time, or just ‘out of time’, existing in some weird alternate musical universe. I am aware that these write-ups have perhaps begun leaning towards the breathless prose of idyllic idol praise but, damnit, this album really IS probably a masterpiece. It is nothing if not masterful, and it makes it all sound so easy – as if blending sun-dappled soul music with post-bossa pop, mild psychedelia (as in, about five or six hours into a psychedelic experience..), and rock attitude is just something they guys could do with a shrug or the casual nonchalance displayed in the back cover photos.


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Marcos Valle – Marcos Valle (1970) with Som Imaginário

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MARCOS VALLE

Marcos Valle with Som Imaginário
Released 1970 (Odeon MOFB 3596)
Reissued 2011 in the box Marcos Valle Tudo

1 Quarentão simpático
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Ele e ela
(Marcos Valle)
3 Dez leis [Is that law]
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
4 Pigmalião
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Novelli, Marcos Valle)
5 Que eu canse e descanse
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
6 Esperando o Messias
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Freio aerodinâmico
(Marcos Valle)
8 Os grilos
(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
9 Suíte imaginária: Canção – Corrente – Toada – Dança
(Marcos Valle)
———-
bonus tracks

10. Esperando o Messias (instrumental version)
11. Freio aerodinamico (instrumental version)
12. Berenice (B-side)

Marcos Valle – vocal, piano

Leonardo Bruno – arrangements on 3, 7, 11
Orlando Silveira – arrangements on 2, 4, 5
Ângela Valle – vocals on Freio aeorodinâmico and Ele e ela
Noveli – bass
Nelson Ângelo – acoustic guitar
Som Imaginário:
Wagner Tiso – keyboards
Tavito – electric guitar
Luiz Alves – bass
Robertinho Silva – drums
Produced by Milton Miranda
Musica director – Lyrio Panicalli

———————————-

First let me confess: When I first took this box set home, this is the first album I took out of the shrink-rap and put on the stereo. It had been a long time since I’d heard it and everything about it just calls out to you to play it again once you’ve known its charms — including the classic album cover (and back cover, contracapa)

This album is the kind the critics call a “career milestone”, I think. It marks in no uncertain terms the Brothers Valle’s turn to resplendent weirdness and a series of masterpieces or near-masterpieces for the first half of the 70s. The shift isn’t objectively all that dramatic from 1969’s “Mustangue cor de sangue”, but the album is considerably more confident and focused. It kicks off with the powerful “Quarentão Simpático”. It sports a relaxed psychedelic pop groove and Paulo Sérgio Valle really showing his lyrical genius with a portrait of an outwardly-brusque but big-hearted friendly barstool dweller that reminds him of his father

“Quarentão, rei do palavrão
Não parece não
Mas é tido como um tipo que não faz mal não
Que só beija a mão
Não quer confusão
Tão simpático, me lembra muito bem meu pai

Fez do seu mundo o fundo de um bar
Sempre o mesmo bar
Não viu que a vida foi
E a zinha à toa pode ser a mãe ou a sua irmã….”

Apparently the evocative personage sketched in this song ended up as the theme music for a character in the telenovela Fogo Sobre Terra for the character Diogo Fonseca (played by Jardel Filho). It is confusing in Marcos’s brief notes introducing the album – he makes it seem as if the song was written with the telenovela in mind but my brief research (and I *do* mean brief) shows that the novela actually ran from 1974 to 75. The song also isn’t listed anywhere in the soundtrack that I found in the Wiki article, and that’s the extent of my research – as important as the telenovela phenom was to the decade of the 1970s (and its continued importance), they just generally bore me to tears and I almost compulsively avoid knowing anything about them. It’s a character flaw of mine.

The album continues with instrumental / scat-sung “Ele e ela” which has some some awkward sounds of a guy and gal smooching and kissing and giggling, made even more awkward when I looked at the album jacket and saw that the female voice is HIS SISTER, and now I can’t really listen to the song without feeling kind of creepy.

This is followed by the groove gospel of “Deis leis”, which is lyrically either broken English aaaamixed with Portuguese or a surreal pastiche, either way the song is pretty bad-ass. The arrangements by Leonardo Bruno (heavy strings and brass in the left channel, and weird crowd-sounds that remind me of people on a roller coaster) do a lot to take the tune “to another level.” “Pigmalião 70” is swinging bossa pop; I don’t know what the deal is about this tune but it’s another televnovela tune, this time from a show in 1970 with the same name, and a song by this name appeared on the soundtrack twice, once performed by Erlon Chaves (probably instrumental) and again credited to a group called “Umas e outras”. Before my time, and I haven’t yet started collecting LPs from telenovelas (which could easily become another obsession and my doctor has advised me to avoid it, if possible). “Que eu canse e descanse” is a lush ballad that would have fit nicely anywhere on “A viola enluarda” and also fits very nicely here as a respite from the dayglo-and-velvet trippiness that resumes in short order with “Esperando o Messias” (Waiting for The Messiah), more foot-tapping pop with brilliant lyrics. I am mildly surprised that this song wasn’t questioned by the censors of the time, whose unlimited reach by 1970 were forcing all kinds of revisions by songwriters or just banning songs altogether – because the song is a powerful critique of the Brazilian middle-class, again couched in a character portrait of a young married couple consumed by work, TV, consumerism, rational planning and with no time for love, sex or the finer things in live. Paulo Sérgio does not waste a word in his parsimony and, like all his word, there is a profound empathy in all of it, so perhaps even a paranoid censor couldn’t find an objection. It’s also breathlessly groovy and the instrumental version in the bonus tracks highlights this fact.

“Feio aerodinamico” is another instrumental with some wordless vocalizations from Ana Maria Valle, an earlier version of which was included on the previous disc in the boxset. Catchy and memorable and engrossing (and apparently a Euro-disco hit, according to Marcos “years later”). “Os grilos” belongs in a soundtrack somewhere, maybe a Brazilian equivalent of a Quenton Tarantino film, in some scene involving beach-bum hedonism and drug deals and possibly violent scenes that would scar the song forever like he did with Stealers Wheel “Stuck In The Middle With You”…. The song first appeared on the USA album “Samba 68” where it had completely different lyrics about his wife sneaking out through a window at night for a date when they were youngsters, whereas here it becomes a bohemian love song with the protagonist courting his lover with offers of a life of leisure and ‘no stress.’ Another ‘nota 10’ on the production, with an infectious groove topped by vocals dripping with tape delay to add a lysergic edge to it all.

Up until this point of the album, Marcos has had help in the backing band fro Som Imaginário, whose name will be familiar to any collector of Brazilian psych and prog rock, but who have thus far kept themselves in more of a ‘supporting’ role, and proving themselves as equally adept at executing jazz-bossa and pop arrangements. (Not a colossal shock, actually – One listen to the song “Supergod” from their first album should demonstrate why they were perhaps the ultimate choice as accompaniment for this album). This restraint changes, but only a little, with the album’s closer, the 9-minute “Suite Imaginária” which is straight-up orchestral progressive-pop/rock with a strong presence of Wagner Tiso on the piano, split up into four or five “movements.” It’s a pretty radical move for the blond-haired blue-eyed heart-throb Marcos Valle to end his album with this abstract baroque beauty, with harpsichord and organ pounding out some slow modal chord changes (with the harpsichord adding blues flourishes) alongside a chorus of melancholic wordless melodies, a “flute break” with harpsichord and percussion, followed by dreamy piano arpeggios. If this tune tickles your musical erogenous zones, just wait until we get to 1972’s “Vento Sul”, recorded with the band O Terço, which is saturated with the cosmic haze of early 70s psychedelic art-rock.

This is one of the only that I can clearly recall hearing the original vinyl. Although I was rather full of beer when I heard it, I have to say I recall the drums being LOUDER on some tracks. Or maybe I just want to hear them mixed louder. Or maybe everything seems louder after a few beers. But it’s Robertinho Silva for fuch’s sake. Bad-ass drummer and ubiquitous session player during the 70s. So without a copy on wax I can’t make a fair comparison but it wouldn’t be unusual for a modern mastering job to ‘soften the edges’ off an album like this. Even so, I find the mastering quite agreeable, not too loud, and keeping sufficient dynamics and detail to make me happy. Good headphone listening too.

It’s nice to hear the instrumental tracks before the vocal overdubs, and (if anyone still needs any proof) show clearly that there is a lot of tightness and deliberateness to what comes off on first listen as a rather spontaneous or even sprawling album. “Berenice” is pretty little tune released as a single. A lot of Marcos Valle from this period makes me wonder if Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys had any interaction with Marcos during his stay of 2 years in the USA. It seems like Van Dyke Parks would have dug the arrangements on these tunes, as well as obviously appreciating the eternal summer-breeziness of all of Marcos’ music. Any Beach Boys fanatics want to chime in on this question?

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Marcos Valle – Mustang côr de sangue (1969)

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MUSTANG COR DE SANGUE

Marcos ValleReleased in 1969 as Odeon MOFB 3588

Reissued in 2011
in the boxset Marcos Valle Tudo with extra tracks

1 Mustang cor de sangue(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
2 Samba de verão 2(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
3 Catarina e o vento(Arnoldo Medeiros, Marcos Valle)
4 Frevo novo(Paulo Sergio Valle, Novelli, Marcos Valle, Taiguara)
5 Azimuth(Novelli, Marcos Valle)
6 Dia de vitória(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
7 Os dentes brancos do mundo(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
8 Mentira carioca(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
9 Das três às seis(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
10 Tigre da Esso que sucesso(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
11 O Evangelho segundo San Quentin(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle)
12 Diálogo(Paulo Sergio Valle, Marcos Valle, Milton Nascimento)

BONUS TRACKS
13. Azymuth (alternate take)
14. Tigre de Esso, que sucesso (instrumental alternate take)
15. Feio aerodinâmico (Azymuth No.2) (instrumental alternate take)
16. Beijos sideral (B-side)

Marcos Valle – vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
Milton Nascimento – vocals on Diálogo
Eumir Deodato – arrangements on ‘Dia de vitória’
Orlando Silveira – arrangements on ‘Samba de verão 2’ and ‘Os dentes brancos do mundo’
Maurício Mendonça and Marcos Valle – arrangements and orchestration on ‘Mustang cor de sangue’
Novelli – baixo
Victor Manga – bateria
Nanâ Vasconcelos – percussion

Produced by Milton Miranda
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Marcos Valle was a chameleon, but he was always Marcos Valle.

“Mustange cor de sangue” is another solid effort from the Brothers Valle, much more in a pop vein than “A viola enluarda” from the previous year. From the start you can hear a strong influence of the `pilantragem` of Wilson Simonal, who would in fact rerecord the title track this same year. This song and “Os dentes brancos do mundo” are cited by Marcos as being critiques against consumerism and social inequality, while Samba de Verão No.2 is a comment about the changed turbulent times that left with people neither “the calm or the piece necessary to appreciate ‘Samba de verão’ from his second album. (Reading between the lines, it’s as if he is saying that song has outlived its relevance by 1969… Unfortunately Samba de Verão No.2 is also nowhere near as memorable a tune as its namesake, but holds its own.)

The jazzy slightly funk-inflected Azymuth would be the inspiration for the name of that band, who would eventually come to work with Marcos a few years later. The songs “O Evangelho segundo San Quentin” is one of the more beguiling, rather abstract piece of avant-pop, followed by another gorgeous collaboration with Milton Nascimento, “Diálogo”, which ends the original album. (This would be the last time Milton would appear on a Marcos Valle album as far as I am aware, which is odd since Marcos would soon record with Som Imaginario and continue to collaborate with people associated with Milton. My celebrity-gossip guess, based on nothing, is that Milton had an unrequitted love crush on blond-haired blue-eyed Marcos and hence had to stop appearing on his albums). The whole album leaves my tongue twittering to utter the phrase “transitional” album as its flirtations with psychedelia, rock, and an alchemical stew of bossa, samba, pop, and jazz idioms make this album into more of an introduction to his 1970s work than a closing chapter on his 1960s` “canon”.

The bonus tracks here are particularly cool. The alternate instrumental take of “Tigre de Esso, que sucesso” is quite funkier, leaving it to our imagination what it would have sounded like if it was chosen as the album take. “Feio aerodinamico” would appear on Marcus’s next album, and here we get a very different instrumental version. The last song, “Beijos sideral” is likewise a piece of grandoise quase-psychedelic pop.

The usual suspects appearing in the lineup, with Victor Manga on drums this time and Nanâ Vasconcelos on percussion, oddly enough.

I found a cool review of this album in Portuguese that does a better job of describing the album and its context, including some interpretations of Paulo’s surreal lyrics on some of the tunes. Pity I have no time for a translation right now, so those who are interested can check it out via Google translator. Its written by Leonardo Bonfim at an online magazine called “Freakium!”

É o disco que marcou a mudança
definitiva na carreira de Marcos Valle, que deixou de soar brasileiro
para soar universal. Há influência de samba, jazz, soul,
psicodelia, Beatles, Burt Bacharach e Pilangragem, tudo fermentando
um som completamente original. Um texto de Marcos e Paulo Sergio explicava
alucinadamente o conceito do disco. Vale a pena reproduzí-lo
na íntegra:


“Se o filósofo Diógenes
vivesse hoje, procuraria um homem de verdade como os faróis de
um Mustang… Muito louco, pois só perdendo o juízo eu
acho a cabeça. E veja os Dentes Brancos do Mundo… sorrindo,
rindo, marijuanizado. E o mendigo que morreu enforcado no ‘hall’
(ou Hal) do elevador seria Cristo? Christo – próton – Deus –
Segundo Evangelho de S. Quentin. Das 3 às 6 graxa pelo chão,
torre de petróleo, meu pássaro é o avião,
a a ve a nave, amando o Tigre da Esso – que Sucesso. Neste mundo anormal
alucinógeno para ficar normal. Só perdendo o juízo
achamos a cabeça.”


A loucura do texto também estava
presente em canções como a “pilantra” “Os
Dentes Brancos do Mundo”, que citava maconha, masturbação
e ressaltava a perigosa frase do encarte: “Só perdendo o
juízo, eu acho a cabeça”; a soul-psicodélica
“Mustang Cor de Sangue” e a lounge “Tigre Esso que Sucesso”,
que faziam uma crítica bem humorada ao consumismo exagerado;
e na inusitada “O Evangelho Segundo San Quentin”, que lamentava
a morte do redentor enforcado no hall do elevador, traçando um
paralelo com o filme 2001 – Uma Odisséia no Espaço,
de Stanley Kubrick.


Outras canções também
se destacavam, como “Samba de Verão 2”, de letra bem
poética; “Dia de Vitória”, sobre a passeata
dos cem mil e o tema jazzy “Azimuth”.




Em 1969, os Valle já estavam bem
à frente da maioria dos artistas do cenário brasileiro.



in 320 em pe tree

in FLAC L3SSLESS AUDIO


password in comments section. feel free to leave one (besides ‘password doesn’t work, which would be wrong…)

Tim Maia – Tim Maia em Inglês (1978)

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TIM MAIA (1978)
aka “Tim Maia em inglês”

Original recording sessions 1976
Original LP release, Seroma 1978
CD reissue on Continental 1995
This reissue, Editora Abril 2011

1 With no one else around
(Tim Maia)
2 I love you, girl
(Reginaldo, Paulo, Tim Maia)
3 To fall in love
(Tim Maia)
4 Only a dream
(Tim Maia)
5 People
(Paulo, Tim Maia)
6 Let’s have a ball tonight
(Reginaldo, Tim Maia)
7 I
(Tim Maia)
8 Day by day
(Reginaldo, Paulo, Tim Maia)
9 Vitória régia
(Reginaldo, Carlos, Paulo, Tim Maia)

This had long been the Holy Grail of Tim Maia albums for me. Even with all the mystery surrounding the deleted Racional albums, they were long available as bootlegs and then the first finally saw an official reissue a few years back on Trama Records (the second saw a reissue this year). But this album, one of Tim’s strongest, never garnered the kind of critical attention and cult status of those albums. This is probably for several reasons — it is straight-up, top-notch quality SOUL with none of the bizarre lyrical rants of the Racional religious cult attached to it; it was Tim’s intention to record an album singing entirely in English, so in a way it would have alienated a great deal of his Brazilian public; and, most importantly, nobody ever really heard it. These factors were also aided and abetted by the fact the he ended up releasing the album in 1978, when he also had an album out on Warner Brothers that would become one of his biggest successes, “Tim Maia Disco Club”, which also happened to be “more in tune with the times,” as the cliché goes.

And by the time this album came out, Tim had truly alienated most of the record industry. Although an innovator and an entrepreneur in a million ways (he was one of the first Brazilian artists to found his own label), he had relatively no business acumen, and his penchant for not keeping to scheduled meetings and even his own concerts — showing up obscenely late, or not at all — had grown so famous as to make concert promoters and record labels reluctant to work with him. Warner Brothers took on a risk putting out ‘Disco Club’ in 1978. I forget the circumstances (time to reconsult the frivolous Nelson Motta biography), but it was also the *only* album he recorded for them.

The story goes that this album was actually recorded in 1976 when Tim had come to his senses and left behind the bizarre charismatic / religious / semi-apocalyptic cult when he found out its founder was growing rich on its members donations. The album was recorded and the album covers were printed up. Some say that Tim lost his nerve at the last minute about the risky move of releasing an album entirely in English; other versions say he simply didn’t have the money left to press the vinyl. Most likely both versions are true. The result was that he ended up releasing the 1976 album often known as “Rhodêsia” (for the hit it contained) on Polygram records, and then another album (sometimes called ‘Verão Carioca’) in 1977, before this album ever saw the light of day. Tim released it on his own imprint, SEROMA Records, and it fell on deaf ears. With no distributors willing to work with him or take up the album, Tim took it on himself to go personally to radio stations and journalists handing out copies (he joked that the album covers had begun to ‘yellow’ in the two years that they waited for the vinyl to be pressed). The results were utterly ineffectual. It seemed that nobody cared.

And it’s a damn shame. I have said before that if Tim’s records had been released in the US, he would have been a huge soul music star there. This is especially true of this album, as it really stands among the best of its peers in American soul music. And the most incredible part is that although Tim drank at the font of American soul, funk, and rhythm and blues (he also lived in New York and bummed around the US for about ten years before getting himself deported) – he only sounds like HIMSELF, Tim Maia. Unmistakeably Tim Maia.

The entire first half of the album is saturated with mellow chill-out soul ballads with gorgeous melodies and lush arrangements, that manage to keep a certain hard edge in the production, keeping the base arrangements (bass, guitar, drums, keyboards) anchored well while letting the horn arrangements add further depth. The first song, “With No One Else Around”, is just plain gorgeous. Another love song, with the nondescript title of “I Love You, Girl” makes up in musicality what it lacks in lyrical content, and ends with a swinging crescendo. The third track “To Fall In Love,” the favorite of the writer of the reissue’s liner notes, combines poignant by simple lyrics (To fall in love is like burning fire), with the bands ability to work the dynamics between tight and close, and swinging and large, as well as some tight full-stop breaks with very long pauses leaving you wondering where they are going next. They are really going anywhere but back into the main groove but it still works to charm you.

“Only A Dream” has Tim singing in falsetto in a way he rarely did, that oddly enough puts me in a mind of someone on another continent who would release his first album in 1978 – Prince Rogers Nelson. Of course, falsetto is a 70s soul trademark but something about the first bars of the chord progression remind me of something that could have been on ‘For You’… The lyrics are, once again, nothing complicated, but striking in their sincerity – “Let me live the life I dreamed once before, let me live the way I once wished to be.” Anyone who knows about Tim’s tumultuous personal life with substance abuse and women can’t help but be moved by the vulnerability expressed in this tune. The next track, “People,” is another ballad but changes the theme to social commentary of the ‘enough with all the hate, we are all the same’ variety. Kind of weak the weak cut of the bunch but still respectable. This is followed by “Let’s Have a Ball Tonight”, which is the first upbeat tune on the whole album. In fact, its a slowly undulating funk number but comes off as fast given all the ballads preceding it. Lyrics are again a foray in social commentary of anti-war, peace-on-earth sentiments but more effective this time – nothing overreaching or pretentious but just direct candor: “There are so many conversations / meeting parties and cocktails / to preserve peace on earth / They never find the way. / You know why? Because love is really the answer, this you’ll have to agree…” The band then whips into a muscular bridge that sounds very much like the groove of ‘Rational Culture’, especially a four-note vamp plucked out on the guitar. And it works joyously. Another ballad follows, “I,” in which Tim seems in a rush to sign the papers for a wedding. “Day By Day” follows the tried and true formula of some of the other ballads here – mid-tempo, and going out swinging. Its good, but its overshadowed by the closer “Vitória Régia”, which was also the name given to Tim’s band at this point. The tune is a festival of funk that ends up being a kind of call to arms for environmental preservation and a hymn to Mother Nature. Victória Régia is the name given to the HUGE lily pads found in parts of Brazil (fine examples of which exist in Rio’s Botanical Gardens). It’s also a bad-ass name for a band.

This reissue couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Not only was it hard to even find a crappy-sounding mp3 version of this on the interwebs, but I was also preparing to shell out several hundred dollars for the one and only CD pressing this album ever saw, issued on the Continental label in th
e mid 1990s. They only come around once in a blue moon and the sellers usually ask obscene amounts of cash, and buying a used CD through the mail for that kind of money is a risk I am reluctant to take.

The sound on this Editora Abril edition isn’t actually mind-blowing — I am curious what masters were used, and IF original masters even exist for this recording. These kinds of details that a Tim fanatic like myself is hungry for are annoying absent from the 50-page booklet. And you know something else — speaking as someone who scanned every page of that booklet: There is NO REASON for this booklet to be that long. A lot of it is filler – graphic design tricks that attempt to give a 1970s’s “period” look to the packaging with lots of pastels and free-floating bubble shapes interspersed. As well as completely superfluous information like the fact that The Police had a new album out in 1978. Who cares? Even stranger, a picture of Black Sabbath and a note about *their* album of the year, the largely-unliked ‘Never Say Die.’ I suppose this could have something to do with Editora Abril being more of a news publishing house than a record label. But let me level this criticism which I find to be more serious: It is sad that, even after all these years, a lot of Brazilian journalists and the music press still don’t seem to GET Tim Maia. A great of time is spent at the beginning of the booklet’s essay describing the climate of disco music that was becoming a popular fad in the later 70s in Brazil. That would be fine, except this album has NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT!! These facts are more relevant to 1977’s “Verão Carioca” and especially 1978’s “Tim Maia Disco Club”, which was – obviously – deeply influenced by disco. But “Tim Maia em inglês” is pure soul, there isn’t a single NOTE deserving of the label ‘disco’ on it, making all of this commentary in the notes beside the point. Also questionable is the inclusion of a well-known anecdote about the recording of “Verão Carioca” while noisy construction was going on in the building next door — Did they accidentally include this in the booklet for the wrong CD??

But enough with the complaining. The book has some cool photos,contains some informative anecdotes, its a nice package, and most importantly – this music is available again without my having to sell one of my kidneys on the black market (which, in Brazil, is easier than you might think).

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