Aldo Sena e Seu Conjunto
SOLO DE OURO
1984 RGE 309.6006
01 Big Show
02 Lambada Do Papão
04 Lambada Do Campeão
06 Gosto De Você
07 Solo De Ouro
08 Lambada Do Leão
09 Menina Do Cinema
10 Lambada Do Bomba
11 Festa Do Amor
12 Transfusão De Bordão
This post is obviously coming far too late in the day for you to break it out at your Sunday barbeque or churrasco, but there is always next weekend. It’s been a while since I posted anything and I’ve been told that it is of paramount important for your “brand” to stay constantly active in social media.
This is Aldo Sena, one of the greats of guitarrada, a party music from Pará listened to by working class people, and hence largely ignored by the Brazilian cultural elite because they only care about poor people when they can be turned into folklore. The songs on this record comfortably move between related styles like lambada and brega, and there is even a reggae-brega that isn’t half bad. When I first heard the vocal tunes on this record, I felt like they were
filler, but I no longer feel that way. They are pretty good,
especially Menina do Cinema which has that strum-along sing-along Jovem Guarda thing going, and I like Gosto de Você although it may
be the least dread faux-reggae song you’ve heard in a while (hopefully
you won’t find it dreadful..).
Most of Aldo’s repertoire here is instrumental music, centered on his electric guitar that has a clean tone you might associate more with surf music than Brazilian music. A lot of the popular music of northern Brazil has as much if not more in common with things happening with its neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean than with the sounds found in MPB. You are more likely to hear music that sounds like bachata or cumbia than bossa nova. Mestre Vieira, who is kind of the godfather of this stuff (more James Brown than Corleone of course), used to play lots of choro and chorinho at the very beginning of his career, but also played lots of mambo and merengue, an omnivorous music appetite that would have caused music critic José Ramos Tinhorão to begin foaming at the mouth. If guitarrada suddenly came on the scene today, there would be people using words like “transnational” and “hybrid” and “postmodern,” but in the 70s and 80s the gatekeepers of taste would have been, well, unlikely to use those words. Words weren’t really necessary anyway when you could just keep people from being part of the conversation from the beginning.
Things have changed, though, with Aldo Sena having been featured as the youngest member in a “supergroup” called Mestres de Guitarrada along with Mestre Vieira and Mestre Curica. They received attention via showcase presentations at Itaú Cultural in far away lands like São Paulo, and a CD of music released in a great looking but highly impractical wooden box format that has been pretty much out of print and scarce since it the week it was released. Neither of those things would have happened without the intervention of researchers and producers with access to the cultural elite. So it goes with “cultural preservation” and “rescue” missions. You can see a clip of one of these Itaú Cultural shows below, with some of the audience restricted to chair-dancing until finally people can’t resist any longer and end up dancing in the aisles.
Although the power of AM radio airplay should not be underestimated, the bread and butter of artists like Aldo Sena was in live performances. The other live clips, filmed more recently by an audience member at a small club in Ceará, proves that he still sounds great, and the people still dance. Boy do they dance. In the clip that I’ve put first, the band rips through the song “Melô do Bode,” a song by Vieira e Seu Conjunto that is one of my favorite things in the whole world (you can find it here), and the clip below it featuring the fabulous dancers is a carimbó. The last two clips below that are studio tracks from the actual album featured in this post.
** Interesting side note: this needledrop is from an LP that once belonged to Rádio Tamandaré, an AM station in Recife that began in the 1950s and has since converted to an entirely evangelical Christian format (100% Jesus!).