Candeia – Luz da Inspiração and Axé (1976-78)

 photo LuzDaInspiracaoCD_zpsa2a597cb.jpg
 photo axe_zps869ce97e.jpg

                  
CANDEIA
Dose Dupla (2 on 1)
Luz da Inspiração (1976) and
Axé! Gente Amiga do Samba (1978)

LUZ DA INSPIRAÇÃO
1977 Atlantic/WEA

1 Riquezas do Brasil (Brasil poderoso)
(Waldir 59, Candeia)   
2 Maria Madalena da Portela
(Aniceto)   
3 Olha o samba sinhá (Samba de roda)
(Candeia)   
4 Vem menina moça
(Candeia)   
5 Nova escola
(Candeia)   
6 Já curei minha dor
(Padeirinho)   
7 Luz da inspiração
(Candeia)   
8 Me alucina
(Candeia, Wilson Moreira)   
9 Falso poder (Ser ou não ser)
(Candeia)   
10 Era quase madrugada
(Casquinha, Candeia)   
11 Cabocla Jurema
(Candeia)   
12 Pelo nosso amor
(Cartola)   

AXÉ! GENTE AMIGA DO SAMBA
Candeia   
1978 Atlantic/WEA

1 Pintura sem arte
(Candeia)   
2 Ouro desça do seu trono
(Paulo da Portela)   
Mil reis (Candeia-Noca)

3 Vivo isolado do mundo
(Alcides Malandro Histórico)   
Amor não é brinquedo (Candeia-Martinho da Vila)

4 Zé Tambozeiro [Tambor de Angola]
(Vandinho, Candeia)   
5 Dia de graça
(Candeia)   
6 Gamação
(Candeia)   
Peixeiro granfino (Bretas-Candeia)
Ouço uma voz (Nelson Amorim)
Vem amenizar (Candeia-Waldir 59)

OMITTED FROM CD VERSION – 7 O invocado
(Casquinha)   
Beberrão (Aniceto do Império-Mulequinho)

______________________________________________________________

Dia de Graça
Hoje é manhã de carnaval (ao esplendor)
As escolas vão desfilar (garbosamente)
Aquela gente de cor com a imponência de um rei, vai pisar na passarela (salve a Portela)
Vamos esquecer os desenganos (que passamos)
Viver alegria que sonhamos (durante o ano)
Damos o nosso coração, alegria e amor a todos sem distinção de cor
Mas depois da ilusão, coitado
Negro volta ao humilde barracão
Negro acorda é hora de acordar
Não negue a raça
Torne toda manhã dia de graça
Negro não se humilhe nem humilhe a ninguém
Todas as raças já foram escravas também
E deixa de ser rei só na folia e faça da sua Maria uma rainha todos os dias
E cante o samba na universidade
E verás que seu filho será príncipe de verdade
Aí então jamais tu voltarás ao barracão

It’s the 13th of May, a holiday in Brazil commemorating the abolition of slavery in 1888, when Princess Isabel found it in her benevolent, saintly heart to “free the slaves.”  Commemorations only work well when you exclude the inconvenient, which in this case would involve decades of debt peonage, landlessness, discrimination, and systemic racism shielded by a self-serving myth of so-called ‘racial democracy’ (“Brazil does not have a race problem, it has a class problem…”).  It is inconvenient for commemorations to pay attention to the harassment of people of color simply for being in the “wrong place” (like a shopping mall), to the militarization of the slums to make sure that people “know their place,” or if that still doesn’t work, vigilante citizens chasing and beating a teenage petty thief, stripping him naked and then chaining him to a lamppost with a bike lock.  Inconvenient that all of these last items have happened in the 21st century, in spite of provisions in Brazil’s 1988 constitution that make racism and racial discrimination a crime punishable by prison time, but which is of course never enforced.  It’s also probably best not to think about the voluminous documentation of forced slave labor and human rights abuses in the remote interior of the country (mind you, as an occasionally pedantic American historian insisted to me once, this is “not the same as the chattel slavery” of the transatlantic slave trade.. She’s right, but she was also kind of missing the point). 

So with all that in mind, a blog post of music by Candeia might be better suited for the holiday commemorating the death of Zumbi of Palmares rather than this patriotic flag-waving, parade-holding one.   After all Candeia did found his own samba organization called Grêmio Recreativo de Arte Negra e Samba Quilombo.  The song “Dia de Graça” is a gorgeous little composition, whose lyrics (cited above) trace a hopeful, somewhat utopian vision that messes with the classic “inversion” theme of carnival that is a beloved subject of erudite analysis from Bakhtin to Roberto DaMatta to that annoying book by Alma Guillermoprieto.  That well-trodden debate tended to be framed as:  Is the upside-down, burlesque and irreverent world of carnival – where the poor and dispossessed could dress and act like aristocrats or royalty –  a kind of social critique made by those whose voices were historically silenced, or was it a kind of ‘steam valve’ to release the bottled-up tensions of a hierarchical society to prevent them from erupting into genuine chaos and disorder.   Candeia’s poem, however, is from the point of view of the people who participate in the courtly procession of the samba school, which has roots stretching back to the black brotherhoods of Our Lady of the Rosary and the coronation ceremonies of the Congo Kings of the colonial period.  My ‘free’ translation with no attempt to maintain meter or rhyme, hence laid out as a paragraph here:


It’s carnival morning in all its splendor, the samba schools are going to parade in their elegance; these people of color with the majesty of kings are going to stride along the concourse (hail Portela!). Forget our troubles and suffering that we’ve lived through, live the happiness that we dream of all year long, give our hearts, happiness, and love to everyone with no regard for their color.  But when the illusion is over, poor thing, the black man returns to his humble shack.  Black man wake up, it’s time to wake up.  Don’t deny your race.  Make every morning your day of grace and freedom.  Black man don’t be humiliated and don’t humiliate anyone else, all of the races were also once slaves.  Stop being a king only in the pageant and make your Maria a queen for all days.  Sing samba in the universities, and see that your son can be a true prince in real life, and then you will never again have to return to that humble shack.

Samba has no shortage of bittersweet  songs about carnival, but I can’t think of too many that also sneak in jarringly direct negations of the supposed inferiority of black people with a line like “todas as raças já foram escravas também.”  It’s a we-shall-overcome expression of racial uplift clothed in the silk and velvet of Louis the XV.

——————————–

“Dia de Graça” is from Candeia’s greatest album, “Axé – gente amiga de samba”  recorded shortly before he died.  He was a samba purist in the era of the commercialized spectacle that would culminate in the building of the Sambadrome, disillusioned with the direction of the samba schools were taking.  His father was a flautist who played choro and was part of Portela’s first comisão da frente. In his own words, Candeia was something of an intermediary between the generations, bridging the two Paulos – the original Paulo de Portela, and the great Paulinho da Viola.  You can see both Candeia and Paulinho (although not at the same time) in this amazing short film by Leon Hirszman called Partido Alto

The first half of this film centers around Candeia holding court from his throne of a wheelchair, giving a didactic demonstration of the partido alto style, its base in improvisation and similarity to Northeastern repente or embolada, different ways to sing it and dance it.  Check out the posters from Senegal on the walls behind them, which are very possibly from the first Festival of Black Arts held in Dakar in 1966 which had a big Brazilian contingent.  The second half, “In the house of Manacéia” captures as well as any film can the informal cauldron of creativity at a Sunday lunch of feijoada and samba with the old guard, seemingly extending quite long into the evening.  Paulinho, in the only narration in the film placed at the very end, talks about how from a very young age he saw partido alto as a type of communion, a participatory rite in which everyone could enter in their own way of improvising.  He remarks how “today” (i.e. the latter half of the 70s), samba had so many external obligations, emphasizing the “spectacle” at the expense of the sambistaReturning to the partido alto was a way to stay grounded in samba’s authentic roots.  The concept of “authenticity” is one that has preoccupied me on this blog and in other writing that I don’t put here.  Typically, along with my fellow travelers, I am preoccupied with the way elites have created and sustained the notion of an “authentic” form of culture, excluding much in the process, at the service of one or another ideology (both conservative and revolutionary).   What I’ve been interested in lately is the different ways that the idea of “authenticity” is used by participants themselves of a given form of cultural expression as a way to safeguard against the cooptation of outsiders.  Of course this gets hopelessly complicated when we have to consider state interventions that designate “patrimony,” and partido alto received that official recognition by IPHAN in 2007.  Journalist Lena Frias points out on the back cover of “Axé” that Candeia launched his Samba Quilombo foundation without any reference to the “whitening” of the art form that was a polemic at the time, and cites lyrics to show that he wasn’t interested in excluding anyone from the world of samba based on skin color.  A valid observation, but it doesn’t contradict in any way that Candeia felt pretty strongly about defending the black, Afro-Brazilian roots of the art form.

 When I first did some blog posts of Candeia records I was mildly chastised by a French blogger friend for not having written more at length about the greatness and importance of this important artist.  Naturally this discouraged me from posting anything else about Candeia for the better part of two years – What is it with these French dudes and their impressive 5000-word posts about samba, ain’t nobody got time for that!

Anyway, it is a non-trivial travesty that the Brazilian recording industry (and/or its multinational overlords) let this album stay out of print for decades.  Too add insult to injury, when Warner finally did reissue this album, as part of a double disc set including both of his Atlantic records, they left off the final track for no reason that I can discern.  Possibly an issue over publishing rights, but it could also just as likely be pure negligence or sloppiness on their part.  This was sort of a budget release (R$30 when it came out, now going for  R$20), but doesn’t even bother with even a blurb of text from Tarik de Souza, let alone actual liner notes.  I hate to praise EMI for anything but their budget series of 2-em-1 CDs from the early 00’s did much better in this regard.  It also fails to note the participation of other great sambistas like Dona Ivone Lara, Manaceá, Clementina de Jesus, and Aniceto de Império who all sing on different tracks.  Seriously, none of these people get mentioned anywhere on the CD.   I will say one good thing about this reissue – the remastering is quite nice and a huge improvement over the garbage reissues that the label Discobertas put out.

Which reminds me that I’ve yet to offer a single word about the other album in this set, Luz da Inspiração from 1976.  It is a fine album in its own right,  overshadowed by Axé but a very different record in a lot of ways.  Opening with the samba enredo of “Riquezas do Brasil”, it also has some first-rate offerings in the partido alto style – “Maria Madalena de Portela,” “Olha o samba, sinhá,” and “Vem menina moça.”  There are slower tunes too, almost samba-canção, like “Me alucina” and the title song whose arrangements have flavors of the Golden Age of samba (and, incidentally, a lyric about slaves transformed into kings).  The tune “Nova Escola” seems like it had his new foundation Quilombo in mind.  A few tunes have a more ‘samba de asfalto’ style like the work of Paulinho da Viola or João Nogueira, and then there’s the spare spiritism of “Caboclo Jurema.”

“Luz de Inspiração” is a more stylistically diverse album than “Axé” but also less cohesive as an artistic statement.  “Axé” really shows Candeia firing on all cylinders, with writing partners spanning his entire lifetime as a sambista, from Paulo de Portela to Martinho da Vila.  In fact the album deserves a post all to itself, but I will either leave that to the French, or perhaps I will make another one using a vinyl needledrop since it has ALL THE SONGS ON IT for fuch’s sake…

This blog post doesn’t really come around full circle to 13 de Maio or anything like that.  It’s a day for parades and for getting drunk.  Freedom is never “granted” by princesses or politicians.  Everyone knows that.

Os Partideiros – Sambas do Partido Alto (1970)

 photo 01-Front_zps12915230.png
 photo 02-back_zps667e3e8b.png

OS PARTIDEIROS
Sambas do Partido Alto
1970 Beverley  BLP 80382
Originally released on Copacabana Records
Mono recording

“Partido alto e o samba de roda, improvisado e levado em tempo médio.
Com o reqeubrar das cabrochas vai até o sol raiar.
É acompanhado de pandeiro, agogô, reco-reco, prato de louça etc
Neste LP atuam os maiores partidieros das escolas de samba tais como:

Da Mangueira:  Xangô e Preto Rico
Do Salgueiro – Geraldo Babão e Roberto Ribeiro
Do Império Serrano – Silas de Oliveira, Edgard e Jorginho
Da Portela – Cabana e Casquinha”

PORTELA

1. A Paz do Coreção  (vocal – Cabana)
2. Barracão Número Seis  (vocal – Cabana)
3. Iaiá Sambou  (vocal – Casquinha)

IMPÉRIO SERRANO

4. Na Água do Rio  (vocal – Silas)
5. Que Samba É Esse  (vocal – Jorginho)
6. Canela Fina  (vocal – Edgard)

SALGUEIRO

7. Lola Crioula  (vocal – Geraldo Babão)
8. Te Dou Pancada  (vocal – Os Partideiros)
9. Velhos Tempos  (vocal – Roberto Ribeiro)

MANGUEIRA

10. Eu Vi Quem Foi  (vocal – Preto Rico)
11. Recordação De Um Batuqueiro  (vocal – Xangô da Mangueira)
12. Partido da Remandiola  (vocal – Xangô da Mangueira)

Coordinated by Moacyr Silva
Production assistant: Waldomiro João de Oliveira
Recording technician:  Norival Reis
Recorded at Continental Rio studio

Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.


————————————-

“Todo batuqueiro gosta de um bom
partido alto
Seja ele lá no morro ou na
cidade, no asfalto.”
Cascinha, Iaiá sambou

“Quem não é de samba / é melhor se despedir…”
Roberto Ribeiro, Velhos tempos

A solid and ceaselessly propulsive album of partido-alto from singers and composers of four of Rio’s prestigious samba schools:  Portela, Império
Serrano, Salgueiro, and Mangueira.  Of particular note is that the album features several singers here who would have successful recording careers during the 70s but had yet to record LPs under their own name – Xangô da Mangueira, Jorginho do Império, and especially Roberto Ribeiro would all grow in stature as the decade went on.  Also some excellent contributions from Cascinha, Geraldo Babão, and Silas de Oliveira.  A fun trivia fact about Silas – he had been in the Brazilian army and was on the passenger ship Itagiba traveling from Rio en route to Olinda (where he was stationed) when it was torpedoed by a German submarine, an incident which directly led to Brazil’s entry into WWII.  Lot’s of people died; obviously Silas de Oliveira survived, and I for one am glad.

With each of the samba schools only offering up three choice compositions, you can imagine that they don’t disappoint.  The mighty Portela starts things off with “A Paz de Coração,” sung by Cabana in what could serve as a didactic lesson on how to conduct a perfect partido alto.  Casquinha’s “Iaiá Sambou” is a classic, with it’s story of broken high-heel shoes and dancing, as well as a shout-out to Clementina de Jesus, who “in spite of her age, still seems like a young woman.”  The lyrics also give a snapshot narrative of partido alto coming down from the hills, o morro (today simply referred to as favelas, after Rio’s historic Morro da Favela), to the center of the city, reflecting samba’s historical trajectory from “marginal” to ubiquity and acceptance by the elite.  It has two beautiful verses in sequence, the first one quoted above saying that every musician (drummer, specifically) loves a good partido alto and it doesn’t matter where it is (seja no morro ou asfalto);  He follows this by singing that partido alto in the morro is a thing totally natural, but to have one in the city is almost radical.  To my ears this communicates something that, while perhaps seeming superficially a contradiction, is an intentionally two-headed, ambiguous message. That for the musicians, it didn’t matter where they played, as long as the music was good; but for the city’s elite who lived downtown, samba was still a novelty with overtones of excitement and even danger, and not something natural.  The idea confirms something Donga once famously said, but also adds a different shading to it.  Donga had said (and I’m paraphrasing, because I am essentially lazy) that the notion that samba was something solely created or originating in the hills was a myth: wherever there was a party with a group of people playing samba music, they were there, no matter if it was on the morro or in the business district.  Not to belabor the point, but these expressions were kind of challenging the way samba was sometimes portrayed as inhabiting a world apart, ‘a black thing’ of the slums, that was slowly allowed to proliferate through the city perhaps by the benevolence of a newly-enlightened elite.

For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I am particularly fond of the tunes from Império Serrano.  They start out with Águas Do Rio which features Silas on vocal, who is better known as a composer of famous samba-enredos, in particular in partnership with Mano Décio da Viola – who was, incidentally, the father of Jorginho who takes over the vocals on the next tune.  “Que Samba É Esse” is wonderful and in fact beats the version recorded by Xangô da Mangueira on his album “O Rei de Partido Alto” a few years later.  Note the name-checking that goes on, including João da Baiana and Martinho da Vila.  I love the way he drags out certain words in phrases, inserts pauses and emphasizes the accented syllable of certain words to give the effect of falling slightly behind the beat. Listening to him sing is like watching a Slinky undulate down a flight of stairs:

 Tendo viola afinada
Um surdo na mar…cação
Aí a mulata levanta poeira do chão
Fica bom, fica bom!

Serrano Império continues to kick up dust and agitate the dance floor, levantando poeira into their final tune “Canela Fina,” cooking up a slower-paced partido alto written and sung by Edgard Cardoso Barbosa, about whom I know nothing.

The sweet-voiced Geraldo Babão starts out Salgueiro’s selections with “Lola Crioula.”  Like Silas de Oliveira, Babão also composed some famous samba-enredos like “Chico Rei” and “A História do Carnaval Carioca” in the 1960s.  Like many partido altos the lyrics are a variation on a single verse, this time once again echoing the theme of “from the morro to the city,” this time for carnival:  Lola crioula na passarela (Vem ver, vem ver) ; Sacudindo com tudo que é dela (Vem ver, vem ver!) / Todo ano ela desfila / Representando a favela / A moçada compra ingresso / Pra ver o gingado dela “tem dendê, tem dendê  as cadeiras na nega tem dendê”.

The song “Te Dou Pancada” is a catchy bit of reprehensible misogyny that is better left uncommented upon, if truth be told.  I find it kind of ironic that it is the one track here that does not credit any individual for the vocal (leaving it only as “Os Partideiros”) almost as if nobody wanted their name on it.   Salgueiro redeem themselves, however, with the lovely Velhos Tempos, written by Aurinho da Ilha and interpreted by Roberto Ribeiro who manages to swagger with saudade while remembering the old days of Praça Onze, a location that was kind of ground zero for carioca samba.

Mangueira’s songs are all excellent but that kind of goes without saying.  The first is from Preto Rico, one-time Diretor de Harmonia and composer of the sambas like “Velha baiana” and “Mangueira em tempos de folclore.”  This is followed by two songs from Xangô da Mangueira who followed Preto Rico as Diretor in Mangueira.  I sang Xangô’s praises on another post but I will reiterate what a badass he was here.  “Recordação de um Batuqueiro” is one of his famous sambas, played here a little faster than it would be on his first LP.  “Partido de Remandiola” doesn’t appear on any of Xangô’s albums that I have and this might be it’s only appearance on record.  Both tracks are excellent although Xangô’s vocal is a bit muffled, either a technical issue with the recording or maybe he just wasn’t as comfortable in a studio yet as he would be in a few years.

Speaking of studios and lapsing into technobabble for a moment, my copy of this is a Beverly reissue of the Copacabana release.  Almost certainly it was a 1970s reissue, and I believe Beverly was owned by Copacabana and was sort of their budget-line reissue imprint.  You might notice some tape wow-and-flutter on the first few tracks, which is a bit disheartening – to think that only a few years down the road, the master tapes were already borked.  Or, perhaps, the tapes were damaged before even the first pressing, I don’t know ‘cus I haven’t heard an original.  Also, although this is a mono recording, this Beverly is not a true mono pressing: when I attempted a ‘fold down’ for this digitalization, it resulted in some ugly phase cancellation and the lost of just about all the upper-frequency transients.  So, better to leave it in ‘false stereo’.

flac button

24bitpassword/senha: vibes

Xangô da Mangueira – Rei do Partido Alto (1972)

Photobucket

 Xangô da Mangueira
O Rei do Partido Alto
Released 1972 on Copacabana (CLP 11701)
Reissue 2011 Discos Cobacabana-EMI

1. Moro na Roça
2. Quando vim de Minas
3. Se o Pagode é Partido
4. Cheguei no Samba
5.Que Samba é Esse
6. Se Tudo Correr Bem
7. Pequenininho
8. Recordação de um Batuqueiro
9. Quem não te Conhece é que te Compra (Tiro no Escuro)
10. Arigó
11. Diretor de Harmonia
12. Olha o partido

Que samba esse que acabou de chegar?
É partido-alto, mas é pra quem sabe improvisar

A great record by one of the under-heralded sambistas, Xangô da Mangueira aka Olivéirio Ferreira.  Every track is a winner, and this has been one of the most-played samba records in my stash since I got it, often getting played twice in a row which is something I NEVER do.   A friend of Paulo da Portela, he passed through the samba schools of Portela, Lira do Amor (now defunct) and Mangueira.  This record has probably the biggest concentration of Xangô’s better-known compositions that he recorded in one place.  Well-known because they have been recorded by the likes of Clara Nunes, Martinho da Vila, Elza Soares, Beth Carvalho, Roberto Ribeiro and others since the 1970s heyday of “samba de raiz.”  The record lopes along in an old-school pagode, roda de samba vibe and is one of the best partido-alto records you’re likely to hear.

Xangô cultivated a style that was, in his own words, “bem
sacudido, bem jongo,” that is to say laying down a good solid groove: animated, danceable, strongly rooted in the batucada.  The first voice you hear on the record doesn’t actually belong to him, but to Jorge Zagaia, his singing partner on  three of the partido alto tunes here:  Mora Na Roça, Pequenininho, and Diretor de Harmonio, which Zagaia also wrote in homage of his friend.  Scholars and even sambistas don’t have a clear-cut definition of the subgenre in any way that can be condensed into a paragraph, but all agree that it has a long pedigree, going back to the Bantu-language presence in Brazil and the sambas de umbigada, jongo, and the lundu, existing in some form or another as a distinguishable dance and music when samba first urbanized in the early twentieth century.  The name itself connotes an “elite” of samba, something you have to be damn good to even attempt, so you had best be prepared before you enter into the roda de samba.  It’s key distinctive traits were improvised verses with a repeated group chorus or refrain, a refrãozinho really, sung in direct response and typically changing to accommodate the theme elaborated by the lead singer.  Sometimes you  have more than one singer taking the lead, which along with the element of improvisation places partido-alto in a continuum with northeastern traditions like the repentistas or emboladores

 There were set compositions in the style in the 1930s from the likes of Noel Rosa, Donga and Pixinguinha.  According to some of its best practitioners, partido-alto had changed considerably by the 1970s, with Aniceto of Império Serrano saying “what we’re all singing today is a lesser thing (samba menor) and we are just calling it partido alto.”  His traditionalism was probably a bit overstated for effect – on the best of the 1970s examples, you can still get the sense of spontaneity and call-and-response.  But there is no doubt that the limitations of the record business, and even the medium of electronic sound reproduction itself, give us only a small taste of what went on in those old rodas de samba.  To paraphrase Aniceto again: partido-alto had a set time to start, but no set time to end.  It could go on and on without a break until eventually the energy runs out.. Then someone will start it up again with a different melody and theme.  You get a good sense of this watching the tragically brief Hirzman documentary “Partido Alto”, which has finally received a restoration (so I can finally ditch my copy transferred from an old VHS tape).   In fact listening to Candeia hold court in the first part of that short film is probably the best class on partido-alto you could wish for, notwithstanding his cara brabo.  Interested people would also do well to listen Candeia’s albums that have a couple extended cuts of partido-alto, and perhaps most especially the first record made by the group Partido em 5 (which also featured Candeia).   

A good number of the tunes on Rei do Partido-Alto all begin with a similar cavaquinho riff, and it doesn’t take much imagination to hear how, with a little variation in rhythm, most of these songs could have been strung together and most likely were at one point.  But while there may be some artifice in squeezing that experience into a three-minute composition, you won’t hear any complaints from me about gems like “Diretor de Harmonia.”  Xangô was in fact the director of harmony for the Mangueira samba school, a role of no small consequence:  the first office-holder of Diretor de Harmonia was none other than Cartola.  

             Although written by Zagaia it works as autobiography and a bit of braggadocio (Eu sou o samba em pessoa) .  Other songs here take the same approach, with concise declarative lines placing the singer inside the universe of samba:  “Já cantei muito samba / Já foi batuqueiro / E na roda de samba / Foi diretor de pandeiro” (in Recordação de Batuqeiro).  There are so many great verses scattered around the album that evoke a lifetime seduced by samba, its physicality while lived out daily at every opportunity:  “Se o pagode é partido/ Ela conta comigo/ Eu vou lá/ Eu vou em casa buscar

meu pandeiro/ Eu sou partideiro/ Não posso faltar.”  And later,  “Senhora dona da casa / me dê licença pra entrar / Fui em casa buscar meu pandeiro / Sou partideiro / não posso faltar.”  Remembering hanging out with Donga and João da Baiana.  Or going out for a night of samba with a girl on your arm and a desire to “show these guys what I’m made of”

Sem meu tamborim não fico
Sem minha cabrocha não vou
Quero mostrar a esses caras
Quero mostrar quem eu sou

(from Cheguei no samba)

This is the convivência of samba that Xangô da Mangueira so capably communicates; the sort of false-cognate in English “conviviality” doesn’t really get to it, because its not just about a festive atmosphere but about the intimacy of social relations and familiarity of people, many of whom earn their livelihood at jobs they don’t care much to talk about, because what they really for is this, the nightlife of music and poetry and friendship that characterized these scenes.   Xangô was a retired security guard by this point; Candeia had been a policeman, a job which left him in a wheelchair for life; Nelson Cavaquinho had been in the Policia Militar, apparently not a very good policeman either, prone to losing himself in local bars during his shifts and losing track of the battalion’s horses.  When you hear sambistas recount their lives, they may tell stories about the different jobs they’ve held but you rarely get the sense that they identified with them much – their identity was constituted in the botequim and the roda-de-samba, in the hours of leisure when their creative energy was allowed free play. 

Probably the biggest ‘hit’ here is “Quando Vim de Minas,” which became immortalized by Clara Nunes.  Xangô was a native carioca but Clara was, of course, from Minas Gerais so the song is almost an anthem for her.  An unforgettable melody and refrain, and lyrics that  invoke images of the slaves put to work in diamond and gold mines who smuggled out gold dust under their fingernails or in religious statues.  It’s the kind of ambiguity that give samba and other kinds of popular music an edge of critique and subversion. 

Xangô da Mangueira returned to performing and recording for a while before he passed away a few years ago at the age of 85.  He recorded a CD that was sold through a website set up by someone in his circle, maybe his family.  And we are lucky enough to have a ‘depoimento’ in the form of an interview-performance (ala MPB Especial format) that was filmed at the Múseo do Estado in the neighborhood of Catete, Rio.  This is a cool place, by the way, if you ever have the chance to visit it; It also has a movie theater showing Brazilian and international independent films.  (One of the things I really like about Rio is the number of independent movie theatres, all of them located conveniently close to Metro stations.  Something a lot of cities in Brazil sorely lack — Recife, hello?)  I’ve linked to the hour-long film HERE.  It’s not exactly riveting stuff but worth a look if you are enjoying this record.  Xangô’s voice is considerably more rouca or hoarse, and he has to teach his backing musicians a few numbers on the spot.   He tells some good stories, about how he gained his nickname, dispelling the appearance of him being some formidable pai-de-santo by relating how he received the name while working in a textile factory and there was a day when a guy was just giving out nicknames to anyone who didn’t have them.  He talks about his first tentative experiences singing samba on the last train leaving the downtown area, where all the sambistas typically met up to commute back to their homes in the periphery or in the morros, when each person would take turns singing.  He talks about sambas roots in improvisation, and in marginality; of working and socializing around Rua de Santana and Praça Onze.   And of advice he got when he first assumed an official position in a samba school:  “There are two things about samba: education and humility,” a value placed on knowing your art form, of a kind of sophisticated worldliness, coupled with the respect for the different roles in a samba school and the people who fill them, the pastores and the musicians, without which carnival would be impossible.  Well it seems Mr. Ferreira had plenty of these things.  He also recalls that when he went to meet the directorate of Mangueira the
first time, they gave him a “test” in improvising, to show if he was up
to their standards.  He then assumed the job of Diretor de Harmonia and
later on became one of their “intérpretes” or lead singers.

I hope you enjoy this addictive record.  I think I listened to it at least four times just while writing this blog post.

in 320 kbs

MIRROR 1 //  MIRROR 2 ///

in FLAC

MIRROR 1 // MIRROR 2

Candeia – Samba de Roda (1975) reissue

Photobucket
Photobucket

SAMBA DE RODA
Candeia
1975 Tapecar SS-007
2011 Reissue Discobertas (DB-081)

1 Brinde ao cansaço
(Candeia)
2 Conselhos de vadio
(Alvarenga)
3 Alegria perdida
(Candeia, Wilson Moreira)
4 Camafeu
(Martinho da Vila)
5 Sinhá dona da casa
(Candeia, Netinho)
6 Acalentava
(Candeia)
7 Seleção de Partido Alto:
Samba na tendinha (Candeia)
Já clareou (Dewett Cardoso)
Não tem veneno (Candeia-Wilson Moreira)
Eskindôlelê (Candeia)
Olha hora Maria (Folclore-Adpt. Candeia)

8 Motivos folclóricos da Bahia:
a) Capoeira: Ai, Haydê (Folclore)
Paranauê (Folclore-Adpt. Candeia)
b) Maculelê: Sou eu, sou eu (Folclore)
Não mate homem (Folclore-Adpt. Candeia)
c) Candomblé: Deus que lhe dê (Folclore)
Salve! Salve! (Folclore-Adpt. Candeia)
d) Samba de roda: Porque não veio (Folclore-Adpt. Candeia)

——————————–
I hesitated on sharing this here for a long time. Why, you ask? Isn`t this a wonderful classic album from the genius Candeia? Yes, yes it is — but giving this reissue any wider publicity is like polluting the waters. Finally I decided that, as a public service, I should post about it – with this caveat: I strongly urge all readers DO NOT BUY THIS reissue under any circumstances, I don’t care how cheaply you find it in your local shop.

Another essential samba album that has been essentially ruined by a reissue that makes it barely listenable. I am not exaggerating. Our blogger friend Dr. Funkathus has opined that I am something of an obsessive over about audio and sound quality. That may be so, but this reissue disproves the commonly spoken fallback excuse of “It’s the music that matters in the end.” Because, honestly, I will give ten dollars to anyone who can make it through this first track without a) cringing or b) checking your stereo system connections or c) wondering if you are listening to a low bitrate mp3. OK so I won’t give you ten dollars because I am flat broke at the moment. THIS album, which I picked up simultaneously with the other two Candeia reissues on the Discobertas label, is what prompted me to bring them all back to Livraria Cultura and ask for a refund on the basis that they were defective and should not have been released this way. The store clerk thought it was a slightly unorthodox request, but that store is famously awesome and took them back anyway. I hope they sent returned them to the label with an angry note but, alas, they probably didn’t. If Discobertas had any integrity they would do a product recall on these, because they are seriously, seriously substandard. These releases have stripped them of any legitimacy as a label and put them in category of shadowy semi-legit / outright bootleg labels like the defunct Radioactive label. Candeia must be rolling over in his grave, and his family must be really hard up for cash to have licensed the rights over these people.

This album deserves a better write-up than this. But it also deserves a better reissue.

It is Candeia in full bloom and at the peak of his powers as a songwriter and performer — a peak that would last until the end of his short life and his final posthumous album, Axê. Dominated by his original compositions but also carefully chosen covers like the humorous “Conselhos de vadio” (Alvarenga) and “Camafeu” from Martinho da Vila which has all the melodic trademarks of that composer.

The album is saturated with the sound of samba’s roots in Afro-brazilian religious traditions (such as but not exclusively Candomblé), incorporating instruments like the berimbau and capoeira rhythmic structure. But the show-stopping centerpiece of this album is without any doubt the 11-minute selection of Partido Alto tunes which gives a taste of how this stuff was performed in a relaxed live setting, something more fully explored on an album called Partido Em 5 that I will be also be sharing here soon…

1975 was a momentous year for Candeia. Disenchanted with the direction of the established samba schools, he founded “Grêmio Recreativo de Arte Negra e Escola de Samba Quilombo” with Wilson Moreira and Nei Lopes in Rio’s suburbs, to reassert samba’s roots in Afro-Brazilian traditions. One of his songs, “O Mar Seranou” was recorded by Clara Nunes and was the leading hit single of her best-selling album, ‘Claridade.’ And, with all that going on, he also recorded THIS ALBUM.

It is much better to have this album in your collection than not to. But even a half-assed vinyl rip on the net would probably be less abrasive for your ears. And apparently this was issued on CD once before in the 1990s although I have never come across a copy.

in 320 kbs em pe tree


in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

password in comments