Jackson do Pandeiro – Os Grandes Sucessos de Jackson do Pandeiro (1975) 24-96khz vinyl

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Jackson do Pandeiro
“Os Grandes Successos de Jackson do Pandeiro”
Released 1975 on Tropicana / CBS Records (01320)
[which was also Columbia – Epic – Sony in Brazil…]

1. Morena Bela
(Juarez Santiago / Onildo Almeida)
2. Tum Tum Tum
(Ari Monteiro / Cristóvão de Alencar)
3. Casaca de Couro
(Rui de Morais / Silva)
4. Lamento Cego
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Nivaldo da Silva Lima)
5. Forró De Surubim
(Antônio Barros Silva / José Batista)
6. Mané Gardino
(Ari Monteiro / Elias Soares)
7. Cantiga Do Sapo
(Buco do Pandeiro / Jackson do Pandeiro)
8. Tem Mulher, Tô Lá
(J. Luna / Zé Catraca)
9. Penerou Gavião
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Odilon Vargas)
10. Sina De Cigarra
(Delmiro Ramos / Jackson do Pandeiro)
11. Chu Chu Beleza
(João Silva / Raimundo Evangelista)
12. Forró Em Campina
(Jackson do Pandeiro)

Tracks 1, 10, 11, and 12 are in stereo
Track 2 through 9 are in mono

This is a rather generic compilation of Jackson’s material released on the CBS subsidiary Tropicana in the mid-70s, without any indication of the provinence of any of the material included on it. It has all the tell-tales of a contractural obligation album, which in the case of Jackson is much less of a straight-forward thing than the phrase suggests. I know much less about his life than I would like (and am still waiting to find myself a copy of his biograpy, O Rei do Ritmo), but one bit of wisdom I’ve collected over the years is that Jackson had a nasty habit of entering into business deals with a record label while still under contract to another.

Thus, around the mid-70s we see Jackson leave CBS/Sony and begin recording for smaller or independent labels like Chantecler/Alvorada or Continental – however, CBS continued to release anthology after anthology of his material, leading me to the impression that he still owed them some albums…

My guess is that, with this particular release called “Os Grandes Sucessos” (The Greatest Hits..) which in fact lacks pretty much all of his biggest hits, they were trying to promote some of his newer material included here by capitalizing on some of his earlier, albiet lesser-remembered hits (many of them released as 78 RPM`s on another US-owned label, which were collected and shared HERE although the links were taken down so quickly I have been too spooked to put up new links). Jackson’s discography is so confusing, and the plethora of labels he recorded for so baffling in number, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the executives Tropicana (and their conglomarate corporate overlords) were counting on this chaos in order not to have to pay out on royalties — there are composer credits here, but absolutely nothing on the publishing rights. A little fishy. And though any single-LP collection of Jackson do Pandeiro is going to lack some favorites, there are obvious glaring omissions here of ANY of the recordings that were synonomous with him as a `household name.` So what we get is a mixture of his lesser-known hits and some songs that I don’t think were ever hits at all — namely, material from recent CBS releases like the LP`s “Sina de Cigarra” and “Tem Mulher, Tô Lá.” All of Jackson’s discography on vinyl is frustratingly rare — and even more frustrating, badly represented on compact disc for someone who represents such a huge part of Brazil’s musical patrimony – that I want to make it clear I am not making a critique of those early 70s albums from Jackson. Because in fact I still have yet to hear them! In that sense, I would have been happier if this had been strictly a collection culled from those early 70s discs, rather than a haphazard, somewhat random stroll through his career.

All that being said, this is still Jackson do Pandeiro and ipso facto a truly enjoyable listen. It includes some of my favorites from him like “Tum-tum-tum,” “Cantigo do sapo” (the best song ever about improvising frogs), and “Lamento cego.” And the newer material is also high-caliber stuff.

Some technical notes of interest for those who care… The chaotic nature of this weird collection presents some challenges for somebody wanting to do a decent digitalization of it. The album mixes songs recorded and mixed in MONO (the majority here) with song in stereo, all of them mastered at different maximum volumes, and seemingly all thrown together without much attention to detail. My solution involved a change from my usual workflow for vinyl digitalization. The first part, the actual vinyl transfer, is identical to the usual; it’s in the editing and post-processing that things get weird:

Vinyl original pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition ->

-> For tracks 2 THROUGH 9, a second pass in Click Repair solely to use its Stereo->Mono fold-down feature
-> Checking for aditional blemishes in Audition again, and comparing to “false stereo” source for differences

-> Normalizing the amplitude of each track, individually, to 0 decibels.

I’ve been skipping the step of normalizing on a lot of my recent vinyl rips, because I believe one of the great things about vinyl/analog is how much you can turn up the volume on a system before you start to hear distortions, and normalizing everything to 0db kind of defeats this pleasure to my ears. However, the tracks on this compilation are so all-over-the place in terms of their overall levels, I think I’ve actually made an improvement over the original vinyl mastering (or should I say, lack therein).

dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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Zenilton – Meu Casamento (1980) 24-96khz vinyl

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ZENILTON
“Meu Casamento”
Released 1980 on Copacabana Records (COELP 41299)

01. Meu casamento (Zenilton – Januário Gonçalves)
02. Ela está na minha (Severino Ramos – G. Amorim)
03. Nunca fui mal (Zenilton – Zé Mamede)
04. Quiabo crú (Gatinho – Roderiki)
05. Forró das véias (Severino Ramos)
06. Todo mundo lá tem culpa (Marcelo Reis – Belinho)
07. A vida dos animais (Zenilton – Guriatã de Coqueiro)
08. Fuxico do povo (Jorge de Altinho – Coroné)
09. Mudanças das capitais (Zenilton – Guriatã de Coqueiro)
10. Destino do jumento (Tio Jovem – Zenilton)
11. É melhor cair (Marcelo Reis -Hernandes)
12. Motorista amigo (Zenilton – Guriatã de Coqueiro)

Produced by Luiz Mocarzel and Talmo Scaranari
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro by Luiz Paulo at Sigla Estúdios
Photo credit – Marinho Gusman

Vinyl original pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

If one were to rely solely on his album covers, where forrozeiro Zenilton is invariably shown alongside some barely-legal young lady in a short skirt, a person might be tempted to dismiss him as fluff. In truth I know next to nothing about him – but on these early albums of his, at least, he was a first-rate practitioner of forró pé-de-serra. In his case the traditional zabumba, triangle, and sanfona have been augmented by a cavaquinho (a instrument that Gonzagão first began including), electric bass guitar, and a full drum kit. The drums are given to cheesy fills on the tom-toms (the kind, when I was a youthful musician, we used to satirize with our onomatopoetic “doo-do-do-do-do-do-do”, always the same fill no matter the song…). But I love the production on this – crisp and clean and very “live” sounding. Working from a pretty clean vinyl copy, I felt like I was listening back to the master tapes.

The songs are all well-written and tightly-arranged, and filled with the ribald and clever wordplay endemic to classic forró, with some odd twists of his own. The dangers of eating raw okra; rhymes about crocodiles, spiders and piranhas; the confusing geography of changes in state and federal capitols (and praise for Quito for always being the capitol of Equador); and some scathing socioeconomic critique about not selling donkey meat to Japan (?). And a homage to the working men (and women, but mostly men) who keep Brazil’s economy moving – the truck drivers (Motorista amigo). Sort of pandering to his fan base here but it’s a smart song and sincere enough. With a few entries from composers Severino Ramos and even one from Jorge de Altinho (very much a more famous personage these days than Zenilton), the bulk of the repertoire here was written by Zenilton.

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Luiz Gonzaga – São João Quente (1971) 24-96khz vinyl

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Luiz Gonzaga
“São João Quente”
1971 on RCA Camden (107.0097)

1 Fuga da África
(Luiz Gonzaga)
2 De Juazeiro a Pirapora
(Luiz Gonzaga)
3 São João do Arraiá
(Zé Dantas)
4 O xote das meninas
(Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas)
5 Macapá
(Luiz Gonzaga, Humberto Teixeira)
6 Impertinente
(Luiz Gonzaga)
7 Vira e mexe
(Luiz Gonzaga)
8 O coreto da pracinha
(Risério Valente, Altamiro Carrilho)
9 Ovo de codorna
(Severino Ramos)
10 Dia de São João
(Rildo Hora)
11 Coronel Pedro do Norte
(Nelson Valença)
12 Lulu vaqueiro
(Nelson Valença)
13 O urubu é um triste
(Nelson Valença)

Vinyl RCA-Camden (107.0097) -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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A São João party record from the king of baião, this might be a minor entry in his vast discography if not for a few curiosities. The entire first side (tracks 1 – 7 here) is one long instrumental, fifteen-minute jam where Gonzaga reminds us he’s equally adept at xôte, valsas, quadrilhas, and just showing off his instrumental prowess on the difficult 8-button sanfona (accordion). It’s pretty entertaining, and he makes it a point to touch on some of his successes like ‘O xote das meninas’ and ‘São João do Arraiá’, but it all lacks his booming, commanding voice. This is rectified on the second side of the LP which is split into individual compositions. Aside from Rildo Hora’s “Dia de São João” (which sounds an awful lot like a certain composition by Gonzaga’s protege, Dominguinhos), the rest of these tunes are fairly unknown. And the particular surprise comes at the end: Gonzaga, known for his famous parternships with Zé Dantas and Humberto Teixeira, chose to record not just one but *three* songs from an unknown Pernambucan composer, and put them all together at the end of the LP. Nelson Valença, who seems to have been born, lived, and died in the town of Pesqueira in the agreste of Pernambuco, never had much of a professional career in music, and his biggest claim to fame is having these compositions (and a precious few more that would follow in years to come) recorded by Gonzagão. The first of the them “Coronel Pedro do Norte” is a light satire of the archetypical ‘coronel’ of an interior town, a guy with a big mustache who seems to own everything and everyone, and who just can’t come to terms with the ‘new generation’ and its shaggy-haired youths, and is particularly flustered when his own daughter pays a visit home and steps off the train holding hands with one of these hairy delinquents (cabeludos). “Lulu Vaqueiro” is quite a beautiful ballad, and “Um urubu é um triste” brings us back in that particularly northeastern territory where humor and profundity mix with infectious dance-ability. It is quite a homage to have three of your compositions close out an album by the great Gonzagão, and I would like to find out more someday about the back story on what let up to this – chance encounter, friendship, or whatever. Whatever the case may be, this album must have got a lot of spins in Pesqueira, and these tunes rescue what is otherwise a bit of a bland album from the master.

(*note that in the fielset I have mistakenly dated this album as 1972 thanks to not paying attention to the actual label on the vinyl… sorry about that).

Jackson do Pandeiro – Chiclete Com Banana: 1958-60 (2008)

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Jackson do Pandeiro
“Chiclete Com Banana”
The Columbia Records Sessions 1958-60
Released 2008 by Discobertas Records (DB – 002)

DISC ONE

1. Tum, Tum, Tum
2. Pacífico Pacato
3. Boa Noite
4. Nortista Quatrocentão
5. Sem Querer
6. Vou Sambar
7. Boi da Cara Preta
8. Linda
9. Baião do Bambolê
10. Quadro Negro
11. Forró na Gafieira
12. Cantiga do Sapo
13. Naquela Base
14. Quem Não Chora Não Mama

DISC TWO

1. Chiclete com Banana
2. Forró de Surubim
2. Lágrima
3. De Arerê
4. Ogum de Malê
5. Sarava o Endá
6. Casaca de Couro
7. Lamento Cego
8. Valsa Neném
9. Mane Gardino
10. Acorrentado
11. Leva Teu Gererê
12. Vou Buscar Maria
13. Penerou Gavião

I have already lamented previously about the current sad state of Jackson do Pandeiro’s discography. I don’t know if it is due to evil record executives or quarelling family members, but his very extensive catalog of recordings is barely in print, limited to three titles that represent full albums (O Forró de Jackson, O Rei do Rítmo, and A Cabra da Peste) and few compilations with generic packaging that do little to honor the man. But alas it must just be me, the gringo commodity fetishizer, who gets so worked up about OBJECTS and the lack of them. What’s important is the music, right? Well, when you can find it. When you want Jackson do Pandeiro in better quality than a crappy mp3 you found on the internet, then you find yourself with a problem.

Let us welcome Discobertas records, then, into this sad story. They have done the world a service, and brought us a focused, concise collection of music: pretty much everything Jackson recorded for the Columbia record label in his brief tenure there from September 1958 to September of 1960. This is music that makes me glad to be alive.

As the liner notes point out, Jackson do Pandeiro shocked everyone when he left Copacabana Records, with whom he had made a ton of hit records and become a national sensation, and left for the (American-owned) Columbia. Ironic, then, that he end there recording one of his most famous tunes and one of the most famous moments of musical social critique and satire of American imperialism – ‘Chiclete Com Banana’.

By this time, Jackson do Pandeiro was living in Rio, starring in films, and living it up carioca-style. The majority of the tracks on this collection were released on 78’s and many will be unfamiliar even to Brazilian fans. In addition to the expected songs of baião and coco, there are also styles like rojão, batuque, marcha and samba represented here. And it is samba that is perhaps the most starteling revelation here — not that Jackson could sing samba, since he had already done so quite well, but the way it’s presented here. With horn charts and strings often replacing instruments like the sanfona or concertina, one wonders if Columbia was trying to make a samba star out of Jackson. Or perhaps it was his own initiative to do something different? There is a recent book about the man (“O Rei do Ritmo” by Fernando Moura and Antonio Vicente) that may or may not shine some light on this issue.. I have only come across the book once and wish I had bought it, since I am too lazy to remember to order a copy. It has a discography in it that appears almost identical to the one found on the Jackson do Pandeiro ‘official’ website — it appears that one was copied directly from the other, but I won’t point fingers. A great deal of the material here appears to have been recorded with Britinho e Sua Orchestra as his backing band — Britinho was a pianist whose band was sort of the house band at Columbia for putting out popular dance records, mostly samba, in the 50s.

This is usually the point where Flabbergast begins complaining about the quality of audio mastering or packaging or whatnot. Well today I am going to cut Discobertas some slack, because they have done a bang-up job on recent reissues from Beth Carvalho and Elza Soares. This was their second release (not sure which was the first in their catalog)… Armed with only a single photo of Jackson (from the ‘personal archive of the family’), reproduced about five times, they give us the following weird disclaimer in the CD insert: roughly translated, “All efforts were made in the attempt to locate the musicians, composers and photographers involved in the historic material that this project finally makes available. Any corrections will have to be made in subsequent editions (pressings).”

Kind of a weird thing to say on your own record, no? Seems like these guys had as hard a time putting together solid info on Jackson as even the casual listener, which is kind of discouraging.. They do, however, provide the precise catalog numbers of all the releases on 78 and the few that appeared on LPs. As far as I can tell, Jackson had two full length releases (LPs) on Columbia, the majority of which was material already released on 78 with a few new things thrown in. Thus, this seems to be *everything* for Columbia right here on these two discs.

Interesting side note- the producers thank Erasmo Carlos in the liner notes… Maybe just for being a cool guy, or a friend, or maybe they showed up at his house to look at his record collection in desperate need??

Another note — I can’t figure out the source material for this reissue — original tapes, or vinyl? Although the notes above this mention the old standard disclaimer of ‘these original recordings were made on magnetic tape between 1958 and 1960, every technical resource available has been made to improve the audio quality…”, they never come out and say ‘mastered from the original master tapes’. Instead they do a good job of tucking that information away under “Digitalização e pre-edição – Marcelo Fróes” which doesn’t really specify what was digitized. A lot of the tunes too crystal clear to have been done from anything besides tape, but then a lot can be done with pristine copies of original vinyl (such as one might find in Erasmo Carlos’ house..). Usually, working from the original master tapes is something people like to brag about, so the jury is out until they ‘come clean’. But it sounds good to my ears, and this stuff is pure gold musically.

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Ary Lobo – Poeira de Ritmos (1963)

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Ary Lobo
Poeira de Ritmos (1963)
RCA Victor LP – BBL 1236
Reissue on Coleção “Essential Classics” (BMG, 2004)

O forrozeiro de raiz Ary Lobo (1930-1980) nos mostra em seu sexto LP na RCA, de 1963, um caldeirão de ritmos nordestinos. Alguns bons para dançar juntinho num baile de forró (Coco da Juliana ou A cigana mentiu) ou numa boa quadrilha junina (Mané Cazuza). – Rodrigo Faour

A true representative of the genuine forró, ARY LOBO (1930-1980) shows on his 6th LP under RCA, originally released in 1963, a real “melting pot” of Brazilian rhythms. There are tracks meant to bring couples dancing close together (“Coco da Juliana” or “A cigana mentiu”) as well as a good old Brazilian-style “square dance” (quadirlha) (the track “Mané Cazuza”). – Rodrigo Faour

1. Quem encosta em Deus não cai
2. Mané Cazuza
3. Vítimas do Nordeste
4. Faca de ponta
5. A cigana mentiu
6. Cento e vinte
7. História de um órfão
8. Patrulha da cidade
9. História do Jeová
10. Coco da Juliana
11. Aqui vou bem
12. Escada da glória

Reissue produced by Charles Gavin
Remastered by Jade Pereira and Carlos Freitas at Classic Master, SP

Although I would recommend you start with his other album that I posted here simply because it grabs you immediately, this is also a very fine album. It starts out with a ballad, which seems an odd choice – the beautiful prayer-like “Quem encosta em Deus não cai) from João do Vale, Ary Monteiro, and J.Ferreira. Rodrigo Faour neglects to mention in his blurb that the record also contains a good ‘frevo’ song (a style specific to the city of Recife), in “Vitimas do nordeste.” Another highlight is yet another religious catechism in “História de Jeová,” as well as the inclusion of an Adoniram Barbosa song, “Escada de Glória.” Unfortunately, Ary Lobo himself does not contribute any compositions of his own on this album, but there is a lot that was composed specifically for this album by various permutations of the composers who were working with him. I quite like the sound of these RCA/Victor reissues. And its not like I have any choice — finding these as original vinyl pressings would cost more than I have to spend, and any reissues around would be on the RCA-flexi-disc style pressings that I personally don’t care for.

in 320 kbs emi pé tré
in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Ary Lobo – Ary Lobo (1962)

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Ary Lobo
“Ary Lobo”
Released 1962 on RCA-Victor (BBL – 1172)
Reissued 2004, “Essential Classics” series (82876641002)

1. Moça de hoje
2. Minha promessa
3. Eu vou pra lua
4. Movimento do Cidade
5. Se o passado voltasse
6. Zé Negreiro
7. Mulher de saia justa
8. Planeta plutão
9. Baião do Acre
10. Pedida a São Jorge
11. É Cosme e Damião
12. Garganta de cera

—————————-

This is a particularly strong album from Pará native Ary Lobo (Gabriel Eusébio dos Santos Lobo). With experience as a radio presenter while serving in the army, Lobo relocated to Rio where he also worked in radio and began making records in 1958 interpreting other composer’s material. By the time this album was released in 1962 he had five LPs and had become a songwriter in his own right, and a top-notch one at that. His style was heavily influenced by Jackson do Pandeiro and even though he adds his own twists and personal “toque”, Pandeiro’s masterful shadow looms over just about everything here. His repertoire had come to mostly feature the regional styles of the Northeast, singing about the quotidian challenges of life in Recife (Movimento da cidade), or of the northeastern migrants to the southeastern cities of Rio or São Paulo in “Minha Promessa.” In this latter song the Cearense protagonist tells how he made a promise to Padre Cícero, swearing that if luck should come his way in Rio he would return to his home in Juazeiro do Norte. Everything turns out well for the narrator in the song, which was rarely the case for the migrants looking to trade their hard luck for a better life in the cities of the industrialized southeast, giving the song a tone of either tongue-in-cheek irony or a hopeful prayer, depending on your interpretation.

This record contains the first song Ary Lobo ever wrote, “Eu vou pra lua”, which was written and first recorded in 1960. (I am not sure if that recording was used for this Long Player or if it was rerecorded for this release..). Brilliant, clever, and catchy as hell, the Jackson do Pandeiro influence is very heavy here in both the arrangement and his vocal phrasing — in fact the first time I heard it, I thought it *was* Jackson do Pandeiro – but the song is still all Lobo’s. The lyrics use the romanticism of Sputnik-era dreams of colonizing space as a solution to earthly social problems as a way to fit in some biting social satire in under three minutes (2:56 to be exact..). I wish I had time to translate the lyrics to English for the anglophiles in Flabberland but, alas, I do not. But as a basic summary I can say that our singer is sick of hunger, crime, inflation and “uneven development” (sorry, that’s my inability to resist social-science jargon… the phrase is “O progresso daqui a carestia” or “Here, progress is expensive…”), and resigning himself to disinterested apathy (“It’s no longer worth it to even criticize / Nobody believes in politics / Where the people live in agony”). He then goes on to imagine a utopian life on the moon free of bureaucracy where there is no lack of water, electricity, hospitals or schools. Oh yes, and where a woman gets sentenced to ten years in jail for cheating on her husband but her ‘back door man’ doesn’t suffer (a bit of light male chauvinist humor tacked onto the end of the tune). Of course now we know none of these things could ever happen since even The Muppets couldn’t colonize space, or even make a good film about it.

 

Eu Vou Prá Lua
Eu vou morar lá
Sair do meu Sputnik
Do Campo do Jiquiá…

Já estou enjoado aqui da terra
Onde o povo a pulso faz regime
A indústria, roubo, a fome, o crime
Onde os preços aumentam todo dia
O progresso daqui a carestia
Não adianta mais se fazer crítica
Ninguém acredita na política
Onde o povo só vive em agonia

Na lua não tem
Nome abreviado
[a bunch of acronyms*]
Nem contrabando
De mercadoria
Lá não falta água
Não falta energia
Não falta hospital
Não falta escola
É fuzilado lá
Quem come bola
E morre na rua
Quem faz anarquia

Lá não tem juventude transviada
Os rapazes de lá não têm malícia
Quando há casamento é na polícia
A moça é quem é sentenciada
Porventura se a mulher for casada
E enganar o marido a coisa é feia
Ela pega dez anos de cadeia
E o conquistador não sofre nada

* Lobo cleverly mocks Brazil’s acronym fetish by rhyming a bunch of them in rapid succession here. The lyrics posted in numerous places online are erroneous in this part of the song, having apparently been taken from a cover version from Zé Ramalho which changed them, no doubt in an effort to make the song more ‘up to date.’ Which is fair enough, I suppose: the acronyms on the original recording seem mostly taken from institutions and bureaucratic agencies from the Vargas and Kubitschek era like COHAB and IPSEP (which was both an agency and a neighborhood, still very much existing, in Recife). He rattles them off too quickly for me to figure out, especially since I suspect a few of them no longer exist… perhaps someone out there can help set the record straight?

The album also features other notable hits like “Moça de hoje” and “É Cosme é Damião”, along with others I am quite fond of like “Zé Negreiro” and “Pedida a São Jorge”. Most of the songs were written by various pairings of Luiz Boquinho, Ary Monteiro, and Ary Lobo himself, which makes for a cohesive experience of a recording on which there are no bad or uninteresting tracks.

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