Chico Buarque & Ennio Morricone – Per Un Pugno Di Samba (1970)

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Chico Buarque & Ennio Morricone
Per Un Pugno Di Samba
Originally released as RCA VICOR (LSP 34085), 1970
Reeissue 1993, BMG/RCA (74321945712)

01 – Rotativa
02 – Samba E Amore
03 – Sogno Di Un Carnevale
04 – Lei No, Lei Sta Ballando
05 – Il Nome Di Maria
06 – Funerale Di Un Contadino
07 – In Te
08 – Queste E Quelle
09 – Tu Sei Una Di Noi
10 – Nicanor
11 – In Memoria Di Un Congiurato
12 – Ed Ora Dico Sul Serio

Produced by Sergio Bardotti

I believe the first time I heard this record was due to my friend Justin Thyme over at his blog. I was very charmed by it and after blogging about Chico’s debut LP the other day, I felt like I wanted to draw some attention to this gem. It was recorded by Chico during his self-imposed exile in Italy, and witnesses a kind of dream-pairing with famed arranger and composer Ennio Morricone. The new orchestrations and arrangements by Morricone add a deeply baroque element to the songs, with several featuring a pipe organ — possibly the last instrument I would expect from a Buarque album from this period, second only to a blazing distorted guitar solo. Along with lush choral harmonies and Buarque`s lyrics sung in Italian (translated by producer Sergio Bardotti), all these elements lend themselves to making this one of the most curious items in Chico’s vast discography. But as interesting as these tracks are to listen to for the person already familiar with the originals, none of them possess the emotional weight of the those original recordings, giving the whole album a feeling of an elaborate, well-intentioned experiment. The careful crafting of the music by these respective masters prevents the album from drifting into merely a “novelty”, but I can also understand why the album is not one of Chico’s better-known works from this period. Sometimes the arrangements become cloying and overbearing, like in Funerale Di Un Contadino (Funeral de um lavrador), in other instances they are delightfully different (Sogno Di Un Carnavale / Sonho de um carnaval). This latter tracks segues beautifully into Lei No, Lei Sta Ballando (Ela Desatinou), which is probably the most avant-garde moment of the whole album, with a lone female voice in the left channel singing a counter melody that transforms the track and lends a dissonance not found on other Chico Buarque albums until his momumental Construção.

The liner notes are ample but unfortunatley in Italian, which I don’t read, so I can’t tell you much about them. It is unfortunate that the record label did not provide a Portuguese translation (at least from the lavish boxset from which this edition comes). Fans of either Chico or Ennio will definitely want this album and it is well worth tracking down. Neophytes to either of them would be best served by exploring other areas of their discographies before delving into this one. It is beautiful, immensely creative, and is not to missed, but its cumulative power depends in large part on a familiarity with the original records from Chico Buarque.

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  1. password:

    vibes

  2. Many many thanks!!!

    ~Faith

  3. Firstly, I'll say that I adore Morricone. Having scored for film over 500 times deserves my respect! This is totally a failed project in some respects.
    Ennio is brilliant, just not here. As brilliant as he is, he misses the clarity & brevity of the Brasilian originals. The Brasilian arrangers are much more in step with the clarity of Chico's song-writing style. To get the most out of this set it might be easier view it as a beautiful failed experiment. To be truthful, I lean more toward accessibility and the originals are 100 times more accessible then this. I think Nino Rota's compositional style might have suited Chico's songs more then this pairing. In the end, this still has some merit as an experiment. Morricone is always tasteful & respectful of the material that he's handling, he's just a little of out of step with the tempo & pacing of MPB. In defense of "Chico Buarque de Hollanda Vol.1", 27 minutes for 12 songs is closer to the true pacing of MPB.

  4. Strangely, this connects to that guy Joe Sixpack over at Slipcue. If a genius like Ennio Morricone can't quite seem to slip into the essence of the true pacing of Brasilian song-writing/arranging, then what chance does a guy like Joe Sixpack have? You'd really have to have a couple a hundred discs under your belt before you can really start to wax poetic. That, and you really do need to understand Brasilian popular song on it's own terms, not on North American terms. I'm from North America and would never compare the two cultures on the same terms. Brasilian song and its melodies are informed by a different rhythm structure then American song. I remember reading a review by Joe about Quarteto Em Cy saying he thought that their stylings were saccharine (too sweet). If you don't understand the importance of choral singing in Brasilian song, then this might not be the kind of song structure for you. It's like saying I like Samba, I just don't like all the cuica & cavaquinho.

  5. Megauploads being a bugger, tried this 6 days in a row, never completes, hearing this all over…shame, thanks though!

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