VA – A Música de Donga (1974)


1974 Discos Marcus Pereira (403.5023)

1 Amigo do povo
2 Canção dos infelizes
(Donga, Luiz Peixoto)
3 Benedito no choro
4 Patrão prenda seu gado
(Donga, Pixinguinha, João da Baiana)
5 Vertigem
6 Seu Mané
(Baiano, Donga)
7 Cinco de julho
8 Ranchinho desfeito
(De Castro e Souza, Donga)
9 Ligia, teus olhos dizem tudo
10 Pelo telefone
(Mauro de Almeida, Donga)
11 Quando uma estrela sorri
(Lobos, Villa, Donga, David Nasser)
12 Depoimento de Donga ao Museu da Imagem e do Som do Rio de Janeiro em 02/04/69

with performances by

Elizeth Cardoso
Leci Brandão
Paulo Tapájos
Gisa Nogueira

the ensemble

Dino 7 Cordas (violao 7 cordas, arrangements)
Meira (violao)
Waldiro Frederico Tramontino (Canhoto)(cavaquinho)
Joel Nascimento (bandolim)
Altamiro Carrilho (flute, arrangements)
Abel Ferreira (clarinet, sax)
Luiz Paulo da Silva (bombardino)
Marcal, Elizeu (percussion)
Jorginho (pandeiro)


“Não tem nada disso. Depois é que o samba foi para o morro. Aliás, onde houvesse festa nos iamos. /// It was nothing like that. It was only afterward that samba went to the favela. Really, wherever there was a party, we went there and played.”

Donga in 1969, responding to an interviewer from the Museum of Image and Sound asking him what he thinks about people saying that “samba came from the favelas”


Donga is credited with writing the first song to ever be called a “samba”, the tune “Pelo Telefone,” in spite of arguments between various people about whether its really a maxixe or samba or whether other people contributed to its composition and so on and so forth. Or that the verb ‘sambar’ is literally just ‘to dance’, of African origin. Donga’s importance can’t be over-stated. If you want to know more about him, there are plenty of people more informed and erudite than I am to tell you about him. I’m sorry this post isn’t more developed but I have some more pressing concerns at the moment (see below)

A beautiful, beautiful album with gorgeous sound and amazing singers performing Donga’s material. Donga only actually performs on about half the album, the other tracks being led by famous musicians like his friend Almirante or the lovely sambistas Leci Branção, Gisa Nogueira and Elizete Cardoso, who opens up the first vocal number with total class. Amazing arrangements, you can really hear the choro happening. It’s too bad that the CD issue of this album doesn’t include any (readable) liner notes as all the original LPs on Discos Marcus Perreira had informative write-ups, but the stellar sound on this makes me forgive them.

As already stated, my apologies for not giving this post the attention it deserves. In fact I was hoping to post something every day for the two weeks leading up to carnaval. Alas ’twas not to be. My house has been broken into twice in the space of 8 days and I am in the process of figuring out where to move, since I really can’t stay here. It’s all kind of mind-blowing, really: I lived on a block with crack dealers working the corner in Chicago and never had to deal with problems like these, and now I’m in a place with 25,000 people in it.. But as long as I have my life, and some music to listen to, everything will be alright.

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