Toni Tornado – B.R. 3 (1971)

toni tornado

Toni Tornado
B.R.3
Released 1971 on Odeon
2002 reissue, Odeon Cem Anos

Another great album from Toni Tornado, the “James Brown of Brazil.” But first off — here is the deal with this CD pressing: There is a really annoying defect on the first track, Juizo Final (*not* the Nelson Cavaquinho song, by the way), where it skips obnoxiously within the first ten seconds. This is not a problem with the individual disc or the rip. How do I know this?? I bought two of them… Same exact skip in the same exact place on both of them.

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On the whole the album is less funky than his 1972 album that would follow this but it is no less soulful for it. The repetoire seems him giving soulful treatments to two Roberto Carlos / Erasmo Carlos compositions (Não lhe quero mais, and Papai, não foi esse o mundo que você valou); a song by Hyldon (O repórter informou) and of course the title track that was a big hit (penned by Antônio Adolfo and Tibério Gaspar). This song would gain awards at the annual Festival of Song, in 1970, after which his career took off. The title, B.R.3, besides referring to the highway that connects Rio to Belo Horizonte, is also street slang for an intravenous injection… Giving the refraine “A gente corre, a gente morre, na B.R.3” a different shade of meaning.

The heavy influence of American black music was truly revolutionary, but also very “foreign” for Brazil, leading to some amusing parodies on TV that Toni himself participated in, on the show Os Trapalhões. These clips give you the idea, no portuguese necessary

And this one, of horrible VHS quality but even more silly, performing B.R.3. Filmed around the time of this record, this one pokes fun at the Toni’s rather idiosyncratic way of dancing while singing the tune at this point in history, sort of an odd power-walk/march. Note all the wigs of cabelo “Black Power”….

Short bio of Tony Tornado from allbrazilianmusic. com , a site from UOL that I actually forgot existed!! I could have been saving myself time on translations lately!

Born in São Paulo, Antônio Viana Gomes moved to Rio at age 11, after his father died. He worked as a shoeshine boy and sold candy until turning 18 and joining the Army (as a parachutist). He initiated his career as a rock’n’roll singer, using the stage name Tony Checker. Then, he joined the music & dance group Brasiliana and toured the world for the next ten years. He lived in New York for 3 years, and there he met Tim Maia. He was arrested in Brazil, once, accused of reproducing the Black Panthers compliment. Back in Brazil, he continued as a crooner, being eventually discovered by songwriter Tibério Gaspar. Tibério and Antônio Adolfo chose Tornado to interpret their songs, “BR-3” at a very important music festival in 1970, and the success was overwhelming. Another huge hit was “Podes Crer, Amizade”. He also developed his acting career, mainly in the 80s and 90s.

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Tim Maia, Cassiano, Hyldon – Velhos Camaradas (1998)

1 Primavera [Vai Chuva] (Silvio Rochael – Cassiano)
Interpretação: Tim Maia

2 Na sombra de uma árvore (Hyldon) Interpretação: Hyldon

3 De bar em bar (Paulo Zdanowski – Cassiano) Interpretação: Cassiano

4 Réu confesso (Tim Maia)Interpretação: Tim Maia

5 As dores do mundo (Hyldon)Interpretação: Hyldon

6 Salve essa flor (Paulo Zdanowski – Cassiano)Interpretação: Cassiano

7 Coroné Antônio Bento (Luiz Wanderley – João do Vale)Interpretação: Tim Maia

8 Na rua, na chuva, na fazenda [Casinha de sapê] (Hyldon) Interpretação: Hyldon

9 A lua e eu (Paulo Zdanowski – Cassiano)Interpretação: Cassiano

10 Gostava tanto de você (Édson Trindade)Interpretação: Tim Maia

11 Sábado e domingo (Nenem – Hyldon)Interpretação: Hyldon

12 Coleção (Paulo Zdanowski – Cassiano)Interpretação: Cassiano

13 Azul da cor do mar (Tim Maia)Interpretação: Tim Maia

14 Acontecimento (Hyldon)Interpretação: Hyldon

cassianoTim singinghyldon

At first glance at the uninspiring artwork (not this lame collage right above this paragraph, I made that – but the lame CD art), one might think this a rather generic compilation. Until you look a little closer and see that it compiles some of the best work from the path-breaking records of the godfathers of Brazilian soul music — Tim Maia, Cassiano, and Hyldon. The first two were frequent collaborators, with Cassiano being a regular guitarist in Tim’s band and having had many songs recorded by him. When its all said and done this is not only a wonderful introduction to the material by these guys but also a really gratifying listen even for people already familiar with it. It’s well put together, and a lot of this material is unfortunately rather hard to come by. There is a second volume that was released but I don’t have it.

Enjoy this collection of VELHOS CAMARADAS!!

in 320kbs

Toni Tornado – Toni Tornado (1972)


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Toni Tornado – Toni Tornado (1972) 320kbs
Odeon Records

This album has one major deplorable flaw — it is too damn short! Only 26 minutes of pure bliss may be all some of you can take, but I find myself playing this one twice in a row, and I almost never do that… Oh my what a fine record this is! Toni Tornado is associated with the Black Power movement in Brazil (the English phrase was actually used — even today, someone sporting an Afro here is referred to as having “cabelo Black Power.”) Along with people like Tim Maia, Cassiano, Hyldon, Jorge Ben, Banda Black Rio, *whew* I’m out of breath… Well, all these folks were taking cues from black music in the US, which made them rather polemical at the time, culturally speaking, in a place where the gatekeepers would scream bloody murder about cultural imperialism and “alienation” ever since the Jovem Guarda and “ia ia ia” bands started pulling out electric guitars and copying The Beatles. A variety of cultural nationalism that celebrated the heterogeneous population(s) of Brazil in a way that ironically promoted what in crucial ways was a homogenous image of “The Brazilian People” — this type of stance did not tolerate anybody pulling out claims of a distinct ethnic identity (except for Brazil’s indigenous people, who were not considered citizens until fairly recently.. but that’s another story). For the cultural nationalist, “The Brazilian People,” one and all, were ALL equally African-Indian-Portuguese. Brazilians were supposed to only listen to samba and chorinho and bossa nova. I am simplifying and being droll, as I am wont to do. Hey, it’s my blog.

So, embracing black music from North America was one way of shaking up this attitude and asserting a black identity in a place where people had always tended to aspire towards the ideal of whiteness, which is where and how social mobility happened. But all of what I have written here thus far is just cultural critique and interpretation, in very important ways it MISSES THE WHOLE POINT of great music like this, the kinetic energy, the movement.. Although you will hear a few yelps of “good gawd” ala James Brown on this record, songs clearly influenced by sixties and seventies US soul, by blues music, by more James Brown, and Toni Tornado looks remarkably like Al Green on the cover of this album — you won’t just be hearing imitation of music from the US, but innovation. This musical community, like others in West Africa and elsewhere, was building an aesthetic of its own, embraced and celebrated by the DJs of the big ‘funk’ parties of the favelas — as featured memorably in the film Cidade de Deus (City of God), this was Brazilian funk before its bundalização in the last few decades.*

What makes Toni Tornado stand out from his contemporaries is that his music is wilder, maybe even unhinged at times, more raw. This album, issued on CD in 2002, is already out of print again. Treat yourself, get twisting and do the Tornado!

*The term “bundalização” is a translation of the term “assification”, a neologism coined by The Frankfurt School in a treatise on cultural production titled “The Commodity Fetish and The Crappification of Everything.”

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