Jackson do Pandeiro – Forró do Jackson (1958)

Jackson do Pandeiro
“Forró do Jackson”
Released 1958 on Copacabana Records (CLP 3068 / CLP 11086 )
This CD pressing, Copacabana (99301)
Pressed by Sonopress Brasil, probably 1995

Above are two of my personal favorites, tracks penned by the Rosil Cavalcanti, also a Paraíban who found a second home in Recife just like Jackson, and who aside from contributing some of the most memorable moments of Brazilian music, also played football and worked at the Ministry of Agriculture.

01. Falso Toureiro
(Heleno Clemente – José Gomes)

02. Rosa
(Ruy de Moraes e Silva)

03. Ele Disse
(Edgar Ferreira)

04. Forró em Limoeiro
(Edgar Ferreira)

05. Cumpadre João
(Rosil Cavalcanti – Jackson do Pandeiro)

06. Meu Enchoval
(Gordurinha)

07. Moxotó
(José Gomes – Rosil Cavalcanti)

08. 17 na Corrente
(Manoel Firmino Alves – Edgar Ferreira)

09. Coco do Norte
(Rosil Cavalcanti)

10. Êta Baião
(Marçal Araujo)

11. Cajueiro
(Raimundo Baima – Jackson do Pandeiro)

The sweet smell of São João bonfires is already wafting through my windows. Unfortunately in some strange postmodern (or is it post-ironic?) twist, I have been without running water in my house for five days now, I’ve been sick with alcohol poisoning from someone serving “moonshine” in a single mixed-drink I had over the weekend, and the big musical attraction for São João here has nothing whatsoever to do with “cultura Nordestina”, except for the fact that they are very popular here, numerically speaking probably more popular than the home-grown sounds of pé-de-serra, ciranda, or samba de coco. Indeed, the big attraction today is romantic sertaneja duo BRUNO E MARRONE!! Now, if you happen to have heard any of the GOOD sertaneja from the earlier decades of the twentieth century and mostly made in the south and center-west of Brazil… this has nothing to do with that whatsoever. Think of Lefty Frizzell or Hank Williams Sr. versus Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson, and you get the idea. This stuff is totally corporate, totally mass-marketed, so much so that I am having trouble finding an un-protected YouTube clib to subject you for my masochistic gratification. For tonight’s debacle, the city has erected a stage in the central plaza that is two or three times the size of what we had here for Carnaval. No doubt built according to the duo’s megalomaniac specs, the funny thing is that its a small plaza and I have no idea where the audience is going to fit. The other problem is that some of my friends here genuinely like this crap, so I have to respectfully keep my mouth shut. Although I drew a line when it came to the stage – I was remarking on its absurd size and one of them said, “well they have huge band,” to which I responded..”Um, bullshit. There were a LOT more people crammed onto the stage during carnaval and nobody was seriously inconvenienced by it. It’s just the ego of these famous guys..” Here is a clip, probably filmed on a cell phone, of the duo playing in what seems to be a smallish place in comparison

Another funny thing is that comparatively speaking, there is MUCH worse out there than these guys. At least they seem to avoid the tendency towards over-sized ten-gallon hats and women in trashy outfits on stage who pole dance on and around the musicians and singers. But its still crap, and crap from Goiás, which is far away from the Nordeste. I wish I had that second-hand car I’ve been thinking of buying, so I could kidnap Ariana Suassuna and bring him here to brow-beat these two with his crypto-fascist regionalist puritisms, bludgeoning them into submission with his ancient croaking voice until they beg for mercy and play some damn pé de serra.
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All of which brings me to the point of today’s post, Jackson do Pandeiro. It’s been my intention to post something every day during the regional mayhem that is Festa Junina and São João. I am getting rather tired of all of it, frankly. Between the World Cup and this daily party, I can’t get a lot of my work done, at least not the parts that depend on the participation of other people. But then I get revived when I randomly happen across a stage of *decent* pé de serra, or when I put a record like this one — a classic Jackson do Pandeiro from 1958, with a classic cover of him in repose in the lap of the gorgeous Almira.

Jackson (who also went by “Jack” and also “Jaques” in earlier phases of his career) is LONG overdue for a proper box-set treatment of his discography that surpasses the weak ‘retrospective’ type CDs like the “Millenium” collection, one of the only ‘best-of’ packages I think is still currently in print. The guy was a larger-than-life figure, charismatic and innovative, and to my ears he is as important as Luiz Gonzaga, although I understand all the social and historical reasons why Gonzaga’s legacy is more prominent in Brazil as a whole. This record, like just about he everything he did, has no bad songs on it. The tracks “17 na corrente” and “Coco do Norte” were both hits but any of these songs will get a dance floor moving and most of them will be recognizable to the discerning ear of many a fan of Brazilian music. Unfortunately “Forró em Limoeiro”, a song that did a lot for his career and earned him enough money to go and schmooze with music journalists and `ipmortant` industry people in Rio de Janeiro`, sounds like it was sourced from a 78-rotations record rather than a master tape, but the music still shines. Here is a clip of him performing it a good fifteen years later, along with some commentary from various people about his tremendous contributions, principally in the area of syncopated rhythm —

With any luck this MPB Especial which see a DVD release someday if TV Cultura can liberate the tapes. And HOLY CRAP what do we have here?? “O Canto da Ema” performed Jackson and João do Vale (who has a writing credit on this song) performing inside what seems like a train car or a small diner…

Too bad its only a minute long, because its a riveting minute. I should have more incisive critique about this album but I am simply enjoying far too much coming across these great clips of Jackson. He managed to appear in 10 different films during his lifetime (I don’t have any ready statistics on this but I believe his colleague Gonzagão has him beat in terms of film appearances..). This montage shows him in full cangaçeiro regalia, in proper São João spirit:

More sources on Jackson do Pandeiro

An interesting-looking book that I hope to read someday soon, by Fernando Mouro and Antonio Vicente

A rather simple website that does not have a ton of information, but DOES have a fairly thorough collection of song lyrics in an easily accessible format, plus some choice quotes (under ‘depoimentos’) from famous artists about the importance of Sir Jaques. Check it out here at directly in your browser as http://jacksondopandeiro.digi.com.br/

And another website, a bit more professional design than the last but is a bit more clunky to navigate. It does have a fairly detailed discography although I have reasons to doubt that all the dates are correct, it is still a useful resource: http://jacksondopandeiro.com.br/

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Luiz Gonzaga – Luiz "Lua" Gonzaga (1961)

*note: Gonzaga did not actually have a mustache in the photo above..

Luiz Gonzaga com Acompanhamento Típico
“Luiz ‘Lua’ Gonzaga” Released 1961 on RCA Victor (BBL-1115)

1. Capitão Jagunço baião (Paulo Dantas/Barbosa Lessa)
2. Baldrama Macia rasqueado (Arlindo Pinto/Anacleto Rosas)
3. Creuza Morena, valsa (Lourival Passos/Luiz Gonzaga)
4. Dedo Mindinho, baião (Luiz Gonzaga)
5. Amor que Não Chora, toada (Erasmo Silva)
6. O Tocador Quer Beber, xote (Carlos Diniz/Luiz Gonzaga)
7. Na Cabana do Rei, baião (Jaime Florence/Catulo de Paula)
8. Aroeira, xote (Barbosa Lessa)
9. Rosinha, baião (Nelson Barbosa/Joaquim Augusto)
10. Corridinho Canindé, baião (Luiz Gonzaga/Lourival Passos)
11. Só Se Rindo, xote (Alvarenga/Rancinho)
12. Alvorada da Paz, marcha (Luiz Gonzaga/Lourival Passos)

Transcription notes: Vinyl -> 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 -> Normalized to -1 db -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1.
Absolutely no EQ or noise-reduction!

As far as I can tell this was Luiz Gonazaga’s first long-player recorded FOR the format of a long-playing record or LP. Previous to this his work has been on 78s and singles. The record is also unique in that it lacks any songs from his famous partnerships with Humberto Teixeira or Zedantas. There is quite a lot of variety on this album, reflecting how Gonzaga was simultaneously “inventing” a genre of music and also constantly expanding its boundaries. The record starts off roaring with a tale of Canudos besieged by the militias of the First Republic, with their captain in the role of Judas against Antônio Conselheiro, the “messiah” of the sertão. But then the second cut, Baldrama Macia, takes us far from the northeast, to a different style of caipira or ‘country / folk’ music from the state of Mato Grosso and the area around its capital, Cuiabá. The style is called “rasqueado” and I don’t know too much about it, but apparently it grew from the riverine cultures spanning Paraguay to Mato Grosso and included the influence of polka music. To my ears it bears a curious resemblance to certain types of Mexican folk musics far to the north. The third tune, Crueza Morena, is in the mold of a traditional ‘valsa’ sertaneja, the very waltz that found its way to Brazil via the Portuguese court culture when the royal family briefly resided in Rio de Janeiro in the early nineteenth century, and would influence everyone from Villa Lobos to Pixinguinha. The next cut, a pure baião written entirely by Gonzaga himself, is a fine tune, nothing wrong with it in the least, but it pales compared to the song that follows it. “Amor que não chora”, written by the famous samba-cançao composer Erasmo Silva, was the big hit off this record. Just a gorgeous tune, everything about it complementing everything else in perfect proportions of instrumentation, vocal, lyric..

“Lugar que tem chuva, tem felicidade
Amor que não chora, não sente saudade”

Such simplicity executed with deceptively perfect rhythmic exactitude. The only other lines in the tune:

“Meu amor me abandonou, eu não sei qual a razão
Hoje está fazendo um mês que eu fiquei na solidão

Ai, ai, meu amor não chorou
Ai, ai, meu amor me deixou”

All of these are case-book examples of a vocalist knowing how to drag a line behind the beat, then speed it up in just the right place, where the phrasing is more essential than hitting all the notes – which, incidentally, Gonzaga always nailed with his big, expansive voice. Looking at the song structurally or compositionally, “there’s nothing to it,” as the English expression goes — but that’s part of the beauty, of course.

This is followed by a short song detailing the legal campaign to insure the rights of sanfoneiros everywhere to have a drink while on the bandstand. During the Estado Novo of Getulio Vargas (1937-1945), forró musicians were forbidden to drink on the bandstand due to the belief that they would incite riots and unrest and bring back the chaos of the cangaçeiros like Lampião who caused the government so much trouble. The repressive, discriminatory, and senseless law stayed on the books long after the fall of Vargas. Since Gonzaga had come to prominence with plenty of hit songs during this period, he had simply had enough of having to stay ‘dry’ during performances and wrote this song in protest. The song was popular and powerful enough that in 1962 the subject was to be brought before the Câmara of Deputies, where a nearly unanimous vote was held, “O Tocador Pode Beber.” A historic political victory in the name of popular culture.

The second side of this album is also quote good although not as strong as the first half. “Na Cabana do Rei” is another melodically lovely xotê about singing toads and pigeons. The next few tunes kind of float right through my consciousness without leaving much behind except for “Corridinho Canindé” which features a slick refrain of ‘ziggy-ziggy-boom’ as well as a tuba. This makes me happy. And actually the most beguiling track here closes out the album “Alvorada de Paz”, which is a marcha in the style of a samba-exultação, that is to say a patriotic samba singing the praises of not only Brazil but its leaders as well — in this case the election of President Jânio Quadros. Quadros was only president for about eight months, famously resigning his office and claiming that “occult forces” were conspiring against him. This is a literal translation from the Portuguese, which really only means “hidden forces.” But I think that if we take Quadros’ resignation letter literally, we will realize he was talking about the RECORD INDUSTRY, the Devil’s Plaything, more powerful even than the derrubador dos presidentes Carlos Lacerda, and thus by extension — Luiz Gonzaga and his “homage” to his presidency. In this line of reasoning, Gonzagão is responsible not only for the collapse of Jânio Quadros administration, but also the military coup that seized power from his vice-president João Goulart in 1964, and the entire military regime that followed. An still the cangaçeiros await their real revenge. If you play this record backwards, you will realize that forró is not just party music. It’s the Devil’s Music, pure and simple.

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Azulão – Eu Não Socorro Não (1975)

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Azulão “Eu não socorro não”
Released 1975 on Esquema (1239023)

01. Nega buliçosa (Tiago Duarte)
02. Forró do Compadre Solon (José Silva – Ivan Bulhões)
03. Mané gostoso (Lidio Cavalcante – Adolfo da Modinha)
04. Tropé de cavalo (Genesio Guedes – Abenildo Lucena)
05. A filha de Mané Bento (João Gonçalves – Genival Lacerda)
06. Esquenta moreninha (Assisão)
07. Eu não socorro não (F. Azulão)
08. Candieiro de Iaiá (Brito Lucena)
09. Severina xique xique (João Gonçalves – Genival Lacerda)
10. Tem que ter suor (Antonio Barros)
11. Canção do roedor (Cecéu)
12. Rosa mulher (Agripino Aroeira – Rosilda Santos)

Produced by Arnaldo Schneider
with assistance from Antônio C.
Recorded at Estúdio Hara
Sound technician and mixing – Max Pierre
Record pressed by Tapecar
Album cover by Joselito

Transcription details:
Vinyl -> 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 -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced

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This is the glorious first album by Azulão, born Francisco Bezerra de Lima. Known as “O Grande Pequeno” on account of his very diminutive height, there is nothing small about this guy’s voice or his charisma. He plays forró pé de serra in an old-skool style. When I first heard of him I was told he was in the same lineage (linha) as Jackson do Pandeiro, and while I was skeptical of such a bold comparison, I was also curious enough to buy his most recent album (released a few years ago) and he most definitely merits it. Since then I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform live during the season of Festas Juninas and must say he put on one of the best live shows I have had the pleasure of seeing. Azulão is a fixture in the music scene of Caruarú, a city in the interior agreste region of Pernambuco that is famous both for being the mecca of forró as well as holding the Guinness Book record for the largest outdoor concert(s) in the world, held during the São João festivities. Although he has been recording music for 35 years and performing music for much longer, Azulão remains something of a ‘best kept secret’, a forró celebrity in Pernambuco but seemingly under-appreciated everywhere else. I am still exploring Azulão’s discography but aside from some clunkers he recorded in the 80s, mostly due to 80s production values, it is hard to go wrong with this guy’s records and they are all worth checking out.

This record has a wonderfully crisp, full sound to it with top-notch production values complimenting the top-notch musicianship. Note the prominence given to the cavaquinho on this record – an instrument typically associated with samba, it was Luiz Gonzaga who first began using it on forró records. Although not uncommon in this setting these days, it is also not necessarily “essential” to playing pé de serra (the core instruments being sanfona, zabumba, and triangle), and so it is a delicious treat to have on this record. The title song is a bit of word play, which I would have missed if I had not been enlightened by proprietor of the Hotel Portela. The brief lyrics, repeated twice, are the cry of a man whose had enough of being mistreated by his lady. When he says that if he saw her being thrown into a fire and burning up, he wouldn’t save her (‘eu não socorro não’), the sonority of the sung refrain also comes out as ‘eu não sou corno, não’, the “corno” being the term for a man whose partner is famously cheating on him — in English, a “cuckold, Spanish “cornudo” or “cabrón”, Italian “cornuto.”

For better or worse, nothing is catching fire this week as the region where I live is being drenched in rain that has not stopped for four straight days. But if you can’t find a bonfire on your block, put on this record and start your own. Even if you don’t dance the forró or are perpetually dancing by yourself like me (which is particularly silly and impossible with forró), this album makes for a great listening experience under any conditions.

I have a handful of photos that I took of Azulão performing live, somewhere on a hard drive, but in lieu of their absence here is a look at the man in the present day from a pic I found on the interwebs

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n 32o kbs em pee tree
or MIRROR HERE

Azulão – Eu não socorro não (1975) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

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Luiz Gonzaga – Canta Seus Sucessos com Zé Dantas (1959)

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LUIZ GONZAGA CANTA SEUS SUCESSOS
COM ZÉ DANTAS
Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas (1959)
1959, RCA Victor

1 Sabiá
2 O xote das meninas
3 Vem morena
4 A volta da asa branca
5 A letra I
6 O forró de Mané Vito
7 A dança da moda
8 Riacho do Navio
9 Vozes da seca
10 Cintura fina
11 Algodão
12 Paulo Afonso

All songs by Luiz Gonzaga and Zé Dantas

The season of Festas Juninas began a week ago in Northeastern Brazil, building up to the holiday of São João on June 24 (midsummer’s eve in the northern hemisphere) . If I had more energy I would provide you with some penetrating insights into the sociocultural significance of this annual festivity, its inextricable ties to regional history and identity, and its ramifications in securing a place for the Nordeste in the national imaginary. But for now, I will just say it has something to do with lots of funny hats and food made out of corn.

I almost did a vinyl transfer of this record from a 1970s repressing on one of those rubbery RCA “flexi-discs” they were making during the oil crisis, which has a bright orange ugly cover completely different from the original, before I realized I also had it on compact disc. This is a case where I will opt for the digital over the analog option… Released in 1959, it’s a collection of songs that had been released previously, mostly on 78’s if I’m not mistaken, in the period of 1949 to 1955 and that had Zé Dantas as co-writer. Zé Dantas (José de Sousa Dantas Filho) is probably Luiz Gonzaga’s most famous writing partner after Huberto Teixeira, and every song on this is great. Comprised pretty much entirely of “baião” and “xôte” tunes, it’s a pretty relaxing listen for such a danceable record. As the title of the record suggests this is a collection of hits of greater or lesser fame. I’ve posted two audio samples below. “Xôte de Meninas” is so damn catchy that it will actually blot out the complete butcher-job done on it by Marisa Monte from your brain if you were unlucky enough to have heard that version. “A volta de Asa Branca” is just what it would imply – a revisiting of Gonzaga’s famous anthem of the Nordeste. It’s not as good as the original “Asa Branca”, written with Teixeira, basically just a continuation of the story of the retirante but it’s still quite good, and in later years Gonzagão would often play the two songs back to back.

ze dantas

Most of the volumes in the Coleção Luiz Gonzaga reissues by RCA have precious little in the way of information, but this time they’ve graced us with the original liner notes from Zé Dantas, who has a little to say about every song on here. Very nice.

in 320 kbs arrasta-pé tréFLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO
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MORE FESTA JUNINA TO COME at FLABBERGASTED VIBES!!

Jackson do Pandeiro – O Cabra da Peste (1966)

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Jackson do Pandeiro
“O Cabra da Peste”

Original release: 1966, “Jackson do Pandeiro – O Cabra da Peste”, Continental, PPL 12265)

Censored release: 1969

reissue: 1978, “Jackson do Pandeiro – O Cabra da Peste – Edição Limitada”, Popular/GE/Continental, 146411047)

This pressing, Warner/Continental CD, 2001 (092741523-2)

01. Capoeira mata um (Alvaro Castilho – De Castro) Balanço
02. Tá roendo (Figueirôa – Maruim) Samba
03. A ordem é samba (Jackson do Pandeiro – Severino Ramos) Samba
04. Pinicapau (Codó) Baião
05. Forró quentinho (Almira Castilho) Forró
06. Bodocongó (HUmberto Teixeira – Cicero Nunes) Baião
07. Secretária do diabo (Osvaldo Oliveira – Reinaldo Costa) Forró
08. Vou sambalançar (Antonio Barros – Jackson do Pandeiro) Samba
09. Alegria do vaqueiro (Zé Katraca) Baião
10. Forró do Biá (Luiz Moreno – Jeronimo) Forró
11. Papai vai de trem (Ivo Martins – Jackson do Pandeiro) Baião

DELETED TRACK between tracks 10 and 11 above, Polícia Feminina (Severino Ramos – José Pereira) Forró

What a confusing release history this album has had, which utter lack of any information whatsoever on the CD reissue fails to clear up. This is what I was I have been able to piece together for you: “O Cabra da Peste” was released in 1966 (sometimes listed as 1963, which I originally fell for but was thankfully corrected about), censored and re-released without the song “Polícia Feminina” in 1969, then reissued again in limited edition in 1978, from which I suspect this album cover at the top was taken. I am not sure what is meant by the text under the photo, “rerecording with a new cover,” unless they consider the removal of one track to be a rerecording. Or perhaps by 78 they decided to put “Polícia Feminina” (a fairly innocuous and silly song about having your heart locked up in prison, etc) back on the album…. Whatever the case may be, the CD issue is still missing the track. The recording is in mono, so we can at least be glad they didn’t use a version “electronically rechannelled for stereo”…

Jackson do Pandeiro recorded a ton of hit songs that are very important for Brazilian popular music. None of those are on here. (You might, however, want to visit the previous post of O Rei do Ritmo on this site..). I read one review of this album, in Portuguese, that criticized the song selection as being the weakest of any album from Jackson’s career.. Well, if that’s true, I am still pretty impressed by this record and it only shows just how much of a genius this guy to give these tunes so much life. It’s a solid set of forró, samba, and samba de coco. And although there might not be anything that immediately has you singing along like many of his better-known releases, there are some real stand-out cuts here. “Capoeira mata um” totally kicks off right. “A ordém é samba” written by Jackson and and Severino Ramos, and “Bodocongó″ by Humberto Teixeira e Cícero Nunes are catchy tunes and hot performances, showing just how easily Jackson could interpret a variety of styles and have it still come out like, well, Jackson do Pandeiro. One difference between material from this era and his earlier 1950s successes can be found in the suingue (or, swing) of the rhythm section — the influence of bossa nova is felt in the way the drummer lays down some jazzed-out chops on even the forró numbers. While this might not be the place to start for people new to Jackson do Pandeiro, this a fine album on its own. It makes me happy.

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Jackson do Pandeiro – Sua Majestade, O Rei do Ritmo (1960)

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Jackson do Pandeiro
“Sua Majestade – O Rei do Ritmo”
Copacabana records, 1960

1 Forró em Caruaru (Ze Dantas)

2 Cabo Tenório (Rosil Cavalcanti)

3 O canto da ema (João doVale – Alventino Cavalcanti – Ayres Vianna)

4 Sebastiana (Rosil Cavalcanti)

5 Cremilda (Edgar Ferreira)

6 Coco de improviso (Alventino Cavalcanti – Edson Menezes – Jackson do Pandeiro)

7 Xote de Copacabana (José Gomes)

8 A mulher do Anibal (N. de Paula – Genival Macêdo)

9 Um a um (Edgar Ferreira)

10 Coco social (Rosil Cavalcanti)

11 Falsa patroa (Geraldo Jacques – Isaías de Freitas)

12 O crime não compensa (Eleno Clemente – Genival Macêdo)

This long-player, which by all appearances seems to be a collection of the many singles put out by Jackson do Pandeiro in the decade or so before 1960, quite a few of them on 78s. Save Chiclete com Banana, most of his biggest hits are here, and it’s an incredibly fun listen. It is also one of the only releases from him you will find on CD besides a few anthologies. This is at least partly do the fact that Jackson recorded for at least four or five different labels during his career, and a lot of his output was in the form of singles. Hopefully someday there will be a boxset deserving of this huge figure in Brazilian music. Along with Luiz Gonzaga, he is a master of the genre of forró, but also known for his interpretations of ‘samba de coco’ — traditionally a type of samba found in the sertão or backlands of Pernambuco and Paraíba, accompanied by hand-claps and group call and response singing, but reinvented by Jackson into an ensemble setting. The guy just oozed musicality out of his pores. The style of syncopation he injected into his music is credited with transforming Brazilian music, changing the way musicians and composers were rhythmically approaching their material. I can believe it.

Whereas, Luiz Gonzaga – the undisputed king of the baião ballad and sort of the ambassador of forró “pé de serra” style – was in a way more of a curator of the rich, musical and cultural heritage of the northeast (my opinion, feel free to dispute it), Jackson do Pandeiro was forging new sounds and textures, or as the music-writers’ cliché would have it, “pushing the boundaries” of the genre(s). This is not meant to be a dig against Luiz Gonzaga: I adore him and his musical legacy, but there is a real way in which that legacy has become almost a stand-in for the culture itself, and Gonzaga was deliberately “reinventing tradition” to promote a previously devalorized part of the country. But Jackson, man, Jackson do Pandeiro was as ‘modern’ as any bossa nova, as charismatic and tempestous a stage presence as any rocker. Even if he wasn’t jumping around the stage, his performances would leap off of it and into your consciousness.
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Why does Almira look so scared and horrified?
I’ll tell you.
It’s because Jackson do Pandeiro was an unstoppable rhythm machine. And, he was dancing right next to her.

Here is a bio of Jackson do Pandeiro from cliquemusic, translated by yours truly for your enjoyment:

BIO from CLIQUEMUSIC, translated by Flabbergast

Born in the interior of Paraíba, his first wish was to play the accordion. But since that instrument was very expensive, his parents gave him a pandeiro (tambourine). His mother was a singer of coco, and played the zabumba and ganzá. At 13 years-old he moved with his family to Campina Grande, where he worked at odd jobs and began to pay attention to the singers of coco and the guitar-playing minstrals at the open markets and fairs. It was in this city where his first stage name emerged, Jack, influenced by North American Westerns that he would watch at the cinema. In the 1940s he moved on to João Pessoa, where he played in cabares and on radio stations. Much later he went to Recife, Pernambuco, and it was there at the Rádio Jornal do Comércio that he definitively adopted the name Jackson do Pandeiro. In 1953 he recorded his first hits: “Sebastiana” (Rosil Cavalcanti) and “Forró em Limoeiro” (Edgar Ferreira). Three years later he married Almira, who would become his partner during performances. In the same year they moved to Rio de Janeiro, and Jackson was contracted by Rádio Nacional, where he was a popular and critical success for his way of singing baiões, cocos, rojões, sambas, and marchinhas of carnaval. His influence is felt still today in artists that have rerecorded songs that Jackson made famous, like “O Canto de Ema,” recorded by Lenine (*Flabber note: much better version recorded by Gilberto Gil on Expresso 2222… But I don’t like Lenine at all, he makes me cringe..), “Na Base de Chinela,” by Elba Ramalho,” “Lágrima” by Chico Buarque, or “Um a Um” pelos Paralamas do Sucesso.** An inspired composer and instrumentalist of rare talent, he popularized other classics of Northeastern music, like “Chiclete com Banana” (Gordurinha/Almira Castilho), “Xote de Copacabana” (José Gomes), “17 na Corrente” (Edgar Ferreira / Manoel Firmino Alvez), “Como Tem Zé na Paraíba” (Manezinho Araújo / Catulo de Paula), “Cantiga do Sapo”, “A Mulher do Aníbal”, “Ele Disse” (Edgar Ferreira) and “Forró em Caruaru” (Zé Dantas). In 1998 he was the honored figure at the 11th Prêmio Sharp de Música (Flabber note: I don’t know what this event is…)

** Flabber note: A glaring omission from this list by cliquemusic — “Sebastiana” was recorded by Gal Costa on her 1968 album, and its one of the wildest renditions of anything associated with Jackson do Pandeiro.

*** An even more glaring omission is Gilberto Gil’s version of CHICLETE COM BANANA, which is still performed by him frequently. Along with O Canto de Ema recorded by Gil on Expresso 2222, these songs were my first exposure to Jackson.

**** Flabber note: This brief bio also does not mention that Jackson became involved with the same religous sect, Cultural Racional, that had Tim Maia recording his wonderfully looney masterpiece(s) of funk in 1975. The album of Jackson’s where the Racional philosophy gets reflected most is titled “Alegria Minha Gente” from 1978 and as far as I know has never received a CD release.
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HAVE A LOOK AND A LISTEN!!!

SEBASTIANA – A fantastic song, also great for practicing your vowel sounds (and sometimes epsilon)

CHICLETE COM BANANA

This clip of “Chiclete Com Banana” is a rather odd piece compiled by someone wanting to make a statement about the Americanization of Brazilian culture, splicing in old footage of films and carnaval and cartoons. It may or my not have something to do with cineaste Jose Nelson, I don’t know, I can’t figure it out.. I like it though. And keep an eye out for a George Bush playing percussion!

Clip of a documentary made by TV Cultura — sign the petition to get this shown in full!

And more — A Globo documentary (using some clips from the TV Cultura one, incidentally), just the first bit