Marcos Valle – A viola enluarda (1968)

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VIOLA ENLUARADA

Marcos Valle

1967 on Odeon (MOFB 3531)

Reissue 2011 on Boxset `Marcos Valle Tudo`

1 Viola enluarada

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

2 Próton elétron nêutron

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

3 Maria da favela

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

4 Bloco do eu sozinho

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle)

5 Homem do meu mundo

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

6 Viagem

(Marcos Valle, Ronaldo Bastos)

7 Terra de ninguém

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

8 Tião Braço Forte

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

9 O amor é chama

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

10 Réquiem

(Ruy Guerra, Marcos Valle, Milton Nascimento, Ronaldo Bastos)

11 Pelas ruas do Recife

(Novelli, Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

12 Eu

(Paulo Sérgio Valle, Marcos Valle)

Bonus Tracks

13. Terra de ninguém (instrumental)

14. Tião braço forte (instrumental)

15. O amor é chama (instrumental)

16. Ultimatum (single, festival song)

Marcos Valle – vocals and acoustic guitar

Eumir Deodato – piano, organ, arrangements on trakcs 9, 15, and 16

Dori Caymmi – arrangements on 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14

Antônio Adolfo – arrangements on 2, 4, 7, 11 and 13

Oscar Castro Neves – arrangements on 12

Sérgio Barroso – bass

Juquinha – drums

Ugo Marotta – vibraphone

Roberto Menescal and Geraldo Miranda – acoustic guitar

Marçal – percussion

Copinha – flute

Hamilton – trumpet

Maurílio Santos and Edson Maciel – trombone

Jorginho – alto sax

J.T. Meirelles and Cipó – tenor sax

Alberto Gonçalves – baritone sax

Milton Nascimento – vocals on “Viola enluarada” and “Réquiem”

The Golden Boys – vocals on “Terra de ninguém”

Ana Maria Valle – vocal on “Próton, eléctron, nêutron”

Produced by by Milton Miranda

It almost seems unfair to have music this good all coming from the same pair of brothers. The Brothers Valle. After their return from the US, they came back sounding `more Brazilian than ever` with this unbelievably gorgeous release. One look at the credits and one is immediately impressed. If talent was measured in kilos or human tunnage and reflected in the price of an album, I could never ever afford this one. Aside from Deodato, who treats us again with organ and piano alongside his arranging skills, we also get more young arrangers like Dori Caymmi and Antônio Adolfo on this disc, along with one tune from Oscar Castro Neves. I highly recommend having your ears upholstered in velvet before putting on this album, as it is the best way to receive the soft, shimmering, eternal late summer evening of these songs. The title track leading off the album has all the soaring exhubrance of a ‘festival’ song, the famous events where composers would enter their songs into competition with each other. “A viola enluarda” is literally something of an anthem of the times, a prime example of the best of ‘música engajada’ (engaged, politicized music) and MPB. The song is also crowned with a climax of Milton Nascimento’s unmistakable voice joining the fray in the second half. I am also fairly sure I hear The Golden Boys on this song, but oddly they only receive credit on the album for another tune “Terra de Ninguém”. This song won a bunch of prizes at the musical festivals of the day, was rerecorded by several artists afterward. Milton lends his angelic crystal voice to the song “Requiem” later on, pregnant with the characteristic joyful melancholy he brings to nearly everything he sings. Neither Marcos in his 2011 notes nor Paulo mention this, but Beth Carvalho would sing “A viola enluarda” at a mini-festival organized across four consecutive Fridays at Teatro Sana Rosa in Nietrói, and recorded on an album “Musicanossa – O Som e O Tempo.”

The B-side of the single of this was the song “Pelas Ruas de Recife,” by the brothers Valle with Novelli, which is a pleasant frevo-inflected homage to the city of frevo, Recife, but not particularly my favorite of the genre of how-great-Recife-is-during-Carnaval-songs. This is just a personal quibble, because I have never been crazy about frevo and have had the good fortune to live in its epicenter for a brief period. And in the same way that MPB records frequently seemed compelled to include a baião in the 1970s, during the 60s the trend was including a frevo.

The second tune is a trippy piece sunsplashed in groovy day-glo that reinforces the sense that this album is moving away from the more straight-up jazz bossa of Marcos’s last domestic release. The propulsive “Próton elétron nêutron”, a vocal duet with sister Anamaria, and lyrics of atomic-age malaise and alienation from brother Paulo Sérgio where “total chaos is the grand finale”. Another rhythmically energetic tune with a jazzista, rather funky groove is “Tião braço forte”, which by the title I had hoped would be a critique of US intervention in Latin America but, well, just isn’t. It’s a great song though.

In the original liner notes by Paulo Sérgio Valle — which are microscopically reproduced in the artwork but thanks to a scan at 600 dpi are actually readable – he speaks of having come back from the US a few months before his brother, and getting a package in the mail containing new compositions that Marcos was too excited about to wait to deliver.

“Marcos musical fertility couldn’t fit into the baggage compartment of a Boeing and he sent me only days before his return a reel of tape, a sample of his new songs. In that moment I felt a profound change in his way of composing: a refinement, without triggering the excesses of perfectionism, and a more profound ‘brazilianness’, with falling into the naive exploitation of ‘folkclore’.”

He goes on, rather poetically of how they attempted to capture a certain transcendent snapshot of a difficult historical moment in this 1968 album. When he mentions the album credits he includes Victor Manga, who is for some reason left off the reissue information but was a frequent partner of Antonio Adolfo and is also included on the credits given here.

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Single of ‘Viola enluarda’ b/w Pelas ruas de Recife, from my collection

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Cover of another ‘compato’ with four tracks, photo included in boxset

Another highlight is “Bloco de eu sozinho”, a wonderfully melancholic song for carnaval written with Ruy Guerra, “Viagem” written with Ronaldo Bastos. It’s also a favorite of my friend Celia in Portugal, who otherwise “isn’t crazy about Marcos Valle.” But I don’t believe she has heard this album in its entirety and I am hoping it changes her opinion of the man.

Three instrumental mixes make up the bonus songs alongside one single, a tune entered into a Festival on TV Excelsior that took second place to a song by Tiaguara called Modinha. A bit of sloppiness on the 2011 reissue — the female vocalist on this tune is not credited here, so I am going to guess and say its Marcos’ sister Ana Maria.

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password: vibes

VA – O Fino da Bossa (1964) (Alaíde Costa, Jorge Ben, Nara Leão, Zimbo Trio, Oscar Castro Neves, Wanda Sá)

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“O Fino da Bossa”
O show “O Fino da Bossa” recorded at the Paramount Theatre in São Paulo, 25th of May, 1964.
Original LP produced by Walter Silva
CD repressing on RGE 1994
featuring:
Alaide Costa
Zimbo Trio
Rosinha de Valenca
Ana Lucia
Paulinho Nogueira
Jorge Ben
Wanda Sá
Nara Leao
Oscar Castro Neves
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Some interesting photos included in the packaging, which feature a young Flora Purim and Toquinho, neither of whom seemingly participated in the recording, but they sure do look pretty
01 – Onde Está Você (Oscar Castro Neves / Luvercy Fiorini) – Alaíde Costa
02 – Garota de Ipanema (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes) – Zimbo Trio
03 – Samba Medley | Gosto Que Me Enrosco (J. B. da Silva “Sinhô”) Agora É Cinza (Alcebíades Barcelos “Bide” / Armando “Marçal”) Duas Contas (Garoto) Bossa na Praia (Pery Ribeiro / Geraldo Cunha) – Paulinho Nogueira
04 – Tem Dó (Baden Powell / Vinicius de Moraes) – Ana Lúcia
05 – Consolação (Baden Powell / Vinicius de Moraes) – Rosinha de Valença
06 – Chove Chuva (Jorge Ben “Jorge Benjor”) – Jorge Ben
07 – Desafinado (Tom Jobim / Newton Mendonça) – Wanda Sá
08 – Maria Moita (Carlos Lyra / Vinicius de Moraes) – Nara Leão
09 – Berimbau (Baden Powell / Vinicius de Moraes) – Oscar Castro Neves
As the liner notes explain, this concert was recorded less than two months after the military coup that plunged the country into twenty-plus years of repression and censorship. Brazil already having undergone its share of rapid power shifts across the first half of the twentieth century, a lot of people still thought (or hoped) it was a temporary state of affairs. (Actually the generals who took over the country promised to hold elections after they had the situation ‘under control’, which of course never happened except in the most artificial of ways years later). It is surprising to read in these notes how this show was not only sold out but — being that the Paramount only held about 2000 people or so — that people were breaking the glass in doors and windows to force their way in! ! Anyway, the music here is excellent and has some real rarities. Alaíde Costa, still the most underrated of the bossa nova chanteuses, opens the recorded set. Zimbo Trio, led by bassist Luiz Chaves, run through a ripping version of ‘A Garota de Ipanema’ that makes me forget how tired I am of hearing that song — I could be mistaken but I believe that they were the first bossa-jazz trio to play an instrumental version of the tune… Paulinho Nogueira provides a solo acoustic guitar medley of tunes that probably goes on for too long. I have a couple of Nogueira’s albums on vinyl and I like him well enough, they are enjoyable, but he often comes across as a diluted and derivative version of Baden Powell or sometimes João Gilberto (when he sang) combined, without the inspiration or innovation of either of those two. He did however bring a different type of finger-picking style to the way he played samba that is different from Baden.
A nice thing about this record is that we get some of the less famous bossa nova singers who haven’t been canonized into musical sainthood like their brethren, names like Ana Lúcia, Rosinha da Valença, and Wanda, whose records can be hard to track down. Jorge Ben’s live version of “Chove Chuva” is slower and more jazzed-out than the album version, and its quite a treat given how early in his career this is. Note that this track was NOT included in the 2-CD set of rarities that was part of the boxset ‘Salve, Jorge!’ from 2009. Nara Leão is amazing as always singing Maria Moita, and the sound quality on this track is amazing. In fact the whole record sounds great but this one stands out for some reason. The album closes with ten minutes of Oscar Castro Neves’ group giving a majestic treatment of “Berimbau” that includes a full orchestral arrangement in the middle. Too bad all the musicians are uncredited, especially since the guitar sounds.. familiar. Almost like it might be Baden Powell. Who played on a lot of albums uncredited. Hmmm…

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João Donato – A Bad Donato (1970)

joão donato
joão donato

João Donato
“A Bad Donato”
Released 1970 on Blue Thumb
This reissue 2004 Dubas Music (Brasil)

1 The Frog (A Rã) 2:37
2 Celestial Showers 2:36
3 Bambú 2:20
4 Lunar Tune 4:56
5 Cadê Jodel? (The Beautiful One) 2:07
6 Debutante’s Ball 3:00
7 Straight Jacket 3:27
8 Mosquito (Fly) 2:59
9 Almas Irmãs 1:53
10 Malandro 2:32

‘ “A Bad Donato” was an attempt to break into the contemporary overseas market. I wanted to be successful and bossa nova wasn’t my thing anymore, it was too much singing — João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim were all working closely with lyrics. Frank Sinatra had recorded their songs. Yet, my music didn’t fit into any genre, or if it did it was jazz that wasn’t such a commercial success. Jazz musicians were moving more into popular music, such as Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery, and they were starting to play to big audiences. Fusion came along and my record was something like that, a fusion of Brazilian music with jazz rock and electronica.’

“I don’t play acoustic piano on this record at all, just the keyboards. At the time, music was very raw, noisier. The Beatles were happening, shouting out their lyrics, and Jimi Hendrix … who shouted with his guitar. And I made the noisiest record I can ever remember making.”

–João Donato, 2004, liner notes

João Donato – organ, piano
Ernie Watts, Jack Nimitz, Bill Hood, Don Menza – reeds
Pete Candoli, Conte Candoli, Jimmy Zito – trumpets
Jimmy Cleveland, Ken Shroyer – trombone
Bud Shank – flute
Oscar Castro Neves – acoustic guitar
Warren Klein – electric guitar
Chuck Domanico – bass
Mark Stevens, Paulinho Magalhães, Dom Um Romão – drums
Joe Porcaro, Emil Reichards – percussion

All songs by João Donato
Arranged by João Donato and Eumir Deodato

Produced by Emil Richards
Recording engineer – Hank Cicalo (A&M)
Mixing engineer – Gary Kellgren (The Record Plant)
Photography and design – Tom Wilkes & Berry Feinstein (Camouflage Productions)

This record has so accumulated so much respect among the “rare groove” crowd that it is no longer particularly rare or known. As the quotes above show, this could be looked at an effort by Donato to “cash in”, so to speak, but with lovely results. Having been approached by the label Blue Thumb to make any kind of record he wanted, he felt encouraged to update his sound and gave him a bunch of cash to go buy new electronic instruments and contemporary albums to contextualize them. The only old tune on here is the first one, ‘The Frog (A Rã)’, which had been a hit for Sergio Mendes and would be recorded quite a few other times (including by Gal Costa on an album he arranged for her, ‘Gal Canta’). The rest of the material is written for the session. Also unique is that he wanted to have “two of everything” — drummers, guitarists, bassists… The two-bass idea didn’t work out, however. Donato chose to use a bunch of musicians from Stan Kenton’s orchestra, in particular Bud Shank who had helped João out considerably after his move to the United States, along with Brazilian luminarias like Dom Um and Oscar Castro Neves. They brought Eumir Deodato in after the sessions had already begun, and João is right to point out that this collaboration precedes ‘Thus Sprach Zarathrustra’ by two years but basically sets the blueprint for it. And the closer you look and listen, the more it is obvious that this album is not at all about ‘cashing in’, as much as jazz purists would have called this album a sell-out. Donato was taking his cues from what interested him in contemporary music while dealing with the perpetual musical wanderlust he has always demonstrated. When he was not collaborating with some of the most significant figures of musical hybridities in the second half of the twentieth century (Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Eddie Palmieri and Dizzy Gillespie for starters) Donato was constantly pioneering trends and then abandoning them for new pastures while others made them into successful and lucrative genres. From when he essentially invented bossa nova on the accordian (inspiring João Gilberto), inaugurated bossa-jazz combos, or making one of the adventurous early jazz-funk-rock/fusion albums in ‘A Bad Donato’, he was always one step ahead of just about everyone. And in all this electric career his playing and arranging style has always been inimitably his own and warmly recognizable. Every track on this album is intense even when offset by sunny jazz-pop sensibilities. The two-drummer approach lends an almost ominous quality to certain moments much like double-tracked drums can achieve. Personally I would like to have heard what some these tunes sounded like with only one drummer (Dom Um Romão, principally) just to hear the difference, as sometimes I wonder if its a touch ‘too much’ having two — although, as is the case with many a classic album, I don’t really think I would want it any other way. Not much point in picking highlights since this short record is a winner from start to finish, but lately I have been particularly fond of ‘Celestial Showers’, the appropriately-titled ‘A Lunar Tune’, and the percussion-heavy ‘Debutante’s Ball’.

It is nice that the reissue CD prompted João Donato to write new liner notes reflecting back on this album which. It is a drag that they couldn’t find some outtakes or bonus tracks from the session, however — since the original album clocks in at a mere 28 minutes of music. This is the first official release of the album on CD.