More Re-ups for the people
LIÇÃO DE VIDA Elza Soares 1976 on Tapecar X.42 Reissued 2010 on `Discobertas` (DB-053)
1 Malandro (Jotabê, Jorge Aragão)
2 Cipriano (Sidney da Conceição, Romeo Nunes)
3 Lição de vida (Paulo de Capitola)
4 Pinta e borda (Belizário, Di Ferraz)
5 Rainha dos sete mares (Lino Roberto, Alfredo Silva, Avarese)
6 A rosa (Efson)
7 Curumbandê (Beto Baiano)
8 Nó na tristeza (Carlito Cavalcanti, Vicente Mattos)
9 Deus e viola (Neoci, Dida)
10 Estou com raiva de você (Miro Barbosa, Jorge Roberto)
11 Samba, minha raiz (Ivone Lara, Délcio Carvalho)
12 Sal e pimenta (Newton Ramalho, Nazareno de Brito) Mulata assanhada (Ataulfo Alves) Beija-me (Roberto Martins)
BONUS TRACKS (recorded live)
13. Vem Chegando a Madrugada (Noel Rosa de Oliveira – Adil de Paula)
14. Quando Vim de Minas (Xangô da Mangueira)
15. Sei Lá, Mangueira (Paulinha da Viola, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho)
Elza Soares has a massive discography, a fascinating life, and an unmistakable voice. Her `voz rouca` (course voice) occasionally breaks into scat singing very reminescent of Louis Armstrong, and ela gosta de gritar / she likes to scream to punctuate some of her musical phrases (listen to ‘Pinta e Borda’ for lovely examples of both). In fact she does this more nowadays than she did in the 1970s, but in these days she did it with more subtletly, in my opinion.
In spite of the consistently high caliber quality of her albums in the 1970s, Elza’s career was in something of a slump — but only by comparison to the phenomenoal successes she had in the 1960s when she recorded for Odeon. Now signed to Tapecar, it can probably said that her shining star was somewhat eclipsed by label-mate Beth Carvalho (who had signed to RCA by this time), Alcione, and Clara Nunes as the reigning queens of samba in the 70s. Which is a shame, because the result is that these Tapecar albums — in spite of having some hit songs on them — are relatively underappreciated in Brazil and have been out of print for years until now. The fledgling label Discobertas, who seem to have aquired a chunk of Tapecar`s back catalog, has reissued four of her albums from the 1970s and two from the 1980s all at the same time. (They also issued a small Beth Carvalho boxset of Tapecar material, which I have been very truent in uploading here…). I’ve been able to find a few of these on vinyl, and at the risk of sounding like a characture of myself I have to say I am not completely convinced about the remastering on these. There is sibilance in the vocals that is attentuated on the vinyl (with a good stylus) and distortions in some of the instruments. But it is great to see the albums in print, and Discobertas has included bonus tracks from a rather rare series that Tapecar issued of recordings organized by Project Minerva. The tracks here are from volume 8 and are from a live radio broadcast. If you pay attention you can hear the tracks are sourced from vinyl… I have Volume 7, which is incredible and features some very tracks from Cartola that I don’t believe have ever been issued on CD. With any luck I will upload that one here too…
The arrangements are mostly by keyboardist Ed Lincoln, who was sort of the staff arranger at Tapecar at this period but whose renowned career goes back as long as Elza herself. In addition to Lincoln, three tunes (Pinta e Borda, A Rosa, and Estou Com Raiva de Voce) are arranged by clarinetist, sax player and genius Paulo Moura And the arrangements all perfectly compliment the tunes and her voice, and Moura’s have the additional touch of jazz-samba flourishes you might expect from him. I also suspect he may have played on some of this, although the lack of musician credits on the CD make this speculation on my part. Her repetoire features a great deal of new sambas by new sambistas like Jorge Aragão (soon to be a member of Fundo de Quintal and currently a samba star on his own). An interesting highlight is the presence of “Samba, Minha Raiz”, written by Dona Ivone Lara but only to be recorded by her a few years later and is now a samba classic. The album ends with a medley of material culled from the early years of Elza’s career – three rapid-fire segments of “Sal e Pimenta”, “Mulata Assanhada,” and “Beija-me”. The brief liner notes from Marcelo Fróes trace the authorship and recording history of these tunes very succinctly for those who are interested. The bonus tracks from the Project Minverva radio broadcast on Rádio MEC end up becoming a tribute to Mangueira – “Vem Chegando a Madrugada,” “Quando Vim de Minas” and “Sei lá, Mangueira”. With composer credits like these (Noel Rosa, Xangô de Mangueira, Paulinha da Viola), it’s hard not to be convinced.
On the back album cover, you’ll notice the photographic depictions of domestic bliss showing Elza, her newborn child, and her husband, footballer Garrincha. Unfortunately these idyllic images were apparently more an ideal or perhaps a posture than a reality. In a marriage frequently described as “turbulent”, both Elza and Garrincha were pretty well immersed in alcoholism at this point and known for their frequent quarels and fights. And sadly Garrincha would famously beat the crap out of Elza only a year later (one last time?) after which she would divorce him.
This album shouldn’t be passed up by any fans of Elza or afficionados of samba (kind of a redundant statement, since they are more or less synonymous). Enjoy! (password in commentaries)
1974 Tapecar (X.23)
Reissue 2010 on Discobertas 2010 (DB-051)
1 Bom dia Portela
(Bebeto de São João, David Correia)
2 Pranto livre
(Everaldo da Viola, Dida)
3 Não é hora de tristeza
(Walter da Imperatriz, Lino Roberto, Wilson Medeiros)
4 Meia noite já é dia
(Norival Reis, David Correia)
(Nezinho, Campo, Tatu)
6 Partido do lê lê lê
7 Deusa do rio Niger
(Motorzinho, Walter Norambê)
8 Quem há de dizer
(Alcides Gonçalves, Lupicínio Rodrigues)
9 Louvei Maria
10 Xamêgo de crioula
11 Falso papel
13. Salve a Mocidade
14. Festa do Círio de Nazaré
(Aderbal Moreira, Dario Marciano, Nilo Mendes)
15. O Mundo Fantástico do Uirapuru (Tatu, Campo, Nezinho)
Produced by José Xavier
Arrangements by Ed Lincoln
Album artwork by Randall
This is Elza Soares’s first album for the Tapecar label after she asked to be let go from her contract at Odeón. It is also noteworthy for the fact that organist Ed Lincoln was the arranger on the album, and his keyboard work can be heard peppered throughout the record. And whereas her Odeon albums were built around her singular and unique interpretations of time-tested samba clasics or more recent compositions from time-tested composers, this album contained new songs by mostly unknown writers, with the one big exception being the Lupicínio Rodrigues tune ‘Quem há de dizer.’ And check out the heavily-Jorge-Ben influenced `Deusa do Rio Niger` and the samba-soul `Giringonca`!!
The reissue — which possibly marks the first time this has ever been on CD — also includes three bonus tracks. The first was a hit from a telenovela that was dominating the TV airwaves at the time, the “Salve a Mocidade” from the novela ‘O Rebu.’ This was quite probably the biggest hit that Elza had during the entire decade of the 1970s. The other two tracks appeared on one of the many Tapecar carnaval compilations, this one called ‘Samba Enredo 75’.. I see some of these Tapecar releases on the street every now and then and should really pay closer attention — I had mostly assumed they contained album tracks available elsewhere and basically ignored them. Alas, I was quite wrong!
I find the sound a bit lifeless and ‘stiff’ sounding, but the only vinyl copy of this that I have found has a skip on it that makes a vinyl rip impossible. And the bonus tracks are a nice touch. You can’t go wrong with any Elza Soares from the 60s or 70s, and this album is a fine example of why!
There are some lame and poorly-written internet bios of Elza at allmusic and Wikipedia, and this one from All Brazilian Music is not much better, but anyway here it is. Oh, and Elza has recently written her own autobiography (or had someone ghost-write it for her) in 2009, but I have not picked up a copy yet.
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