Nara Leão, Paulo Autran, Tereza Rachel, Oduvaldo Vianna Filho LIBERDADE, LIBERDADE by Flavio Rangel and Millôr Ferndandes
Musical direction by Oscar Castro Neves with Roberto Nascimento on guitar, Ico Castro Neves on string bass, Carlos Guimarães on flute, and Francisco Araújo on drums. Vocal chorus comprised of Ângela Menezes, Maísa Sant’Anna, Sônio Márcia Perrone, and Roberto Quartin Pinto.
Released 1966 on Forma. Recorded by R. Cardoso, produced by Gebara/Quartin. 2013 reissue remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla ——————————
Hino da Proclamação da República
Marcha da Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
Acertei no milhar
Eu não tenho onde morar
Com que roupa
Estatutos da gafieira
Té o sol raiar
Nobody knos the troubles I’ve seen
If you miss me at the back of the bus
Jota dos três imrãos
Cara al sol
Rumba la rumba
Exatação a Tiradentes
Marcha da Quarta-Feira de Cinzas
Hino da Proclamação da República
So, I recently got my hands on the new Nara Leão boxset. I have been working my way through it slowly, savoring it, and it is a lot of stuff. I’ve decided to share some of the less common offerings first. Last week we had the record 5 Na Bossa with Edu Lobo and Tamba Trio. These week brings something probably more obscure. Some records are obscure for a good reason. This is one of them. It would be hard to find a more tedious piece of heavy-handed mid-60s “engaged” material than this. All that is missing is a rousing rendition of “L’Internationale” or at least “Kumbaya.”
The Brazilian theater and MPB have long had a symbiotic relationship. Some day I might try to research and write a book about it. For now, suffice it to say that in general theater people rub me the wrong way. Maybe it was the mockery I received in that script-writing class I once took as a teenager, leaving me predisposed to dislike theatre people for the rest of my life. This isn’t to say that I can’t appreciate a well done performance or the merits of a particular dramaturg or actor. I just don’t want to end up at the cast party afterwards.
This stage play features Paulo Autran, who I am sure was a very nice fellow. I have nothing against him. A veteran of Shakespeare and Brecht, he at least tries to bring the pathos of both to this production that is very much a product of its times. A couple of years after starring in this play, Autran would feature in Glauber Rocha’s amazing film Terra Em Transe. Scripted and directed by Flávio Rangel and Millôr Fernandes, “Liberdade, Liberdade” is historically important for being one of the first examples of ‘protest theatre’ in Brazil when it debuted in 1965, a year after the military coup but with the worst yet to come. In fact by the time this record came out in ’66 it was prohibited to perform it on stage. A great deal of the play is a patchwork of excerpts from such global freethinkers as Socrates, Martin Luther King, and Jesus. Subtlety is not its strong suit. I am not going to attempt a critical appraisal on whether the play succeeds or fails at its aims, how so or in what measures, because ultimately the whole thing is just very dull. Even the attempts at humor fail to actually lighten things up and seem kind of pedantic. The songs included amidst the lefty soap boxing are rarely played or sung for more than a single verse and chorus. So unlike Nara Leão’s similar hybrid of theatre and ‘música engajada’, the “Show Opinão”, this one just doesn’t hold up well to multiple listens. It doesn’t help things that for the CD edition, no attempt to index tracks was made, meaning we have one continuous audio track of 48 minutes. So forget just trying to find the musical snippets. This is all a bigger shame because there are some killer compositions strewn about from the likes of Noel Rosa, Baden Powell, Vinicius, Caymmi, Billy Blanco, Carlos Lyra and others. The music seems to have been performed off-mic too and comes out rather muffled. (One odd technical note, the album jacket – at least the one featured on the reissue – lists this as a mono recording but it is actually in stereo, albeit mostly just occasional hard panning.)
If you are dying to hear Nara Leão sing in English or can’t wait for Brazilian interpretations of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” then this album tem sua cara, you need look no further. Actually the (partial) rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime” is pretty cool.
If you are researching that tumultuous period between the military coup of March 31, 1964 and the implementation of the AI-5 (Institutional Act Number 5) in ’67, this record will probably be of great interest to you. If you are tuning in to hear the inimitable Nara Leão, it will likely be a footnote.
In response to Le Porc Rouge’s question about the label Forma (below in the comments section, where everyone should stop in for a visit now and then), I attempted to answer in the comments but failed due to size constraints. I have updated this post with the following information. My response, written as a comment directly to him:
Porco, I didn’t really know anything about the label either, other than that the amazing Moacir Santos’ “Coisas” is stupidly rare in Brazil even on CD. But I did some searching for you and found a decent succinct write-up and what appears to be a nearly complete discography. I took the liberdade of doing a quick free translation .. Hell if I had more of these titles, one of us should start a discog.page with credit to this guy. His blog post is HERE. The head honcho Roberto Quartin also has an entry at the Dicionário Cravo Albin which is probably the best online resource for Brazilian music in general. But this guy Rodrigo’s post is more succinct (it’s too bad he didn’t keep blogging). Here it goes:
someone proposes to study the album covers of Brazilian music from the decade
of the 1960s, they prefer to talk about the label Elenco of Aloysio de
Oliveira, and forget about Forma. Both
record labels played an important part in the modernization of Brazilian music,
and were acquired by Phonogram (later Polygram, today Universal) in the
created in 1963 by a young carioca named Roberto Quartin (1943-2004) in
parternship with Wadi Gebara. Until
1969, the label released more than twenty albums, some of which became historic
for the highly experimental level of their production and the attention to
technical detail on the records. It was
also responsible for debuting albums by great talents in our music, like
Quarteto Em Cy, Eumir Deodato, and Victor Assis Brasil.
On the 3rd
of February 1965, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo published the following
At the end
of 1964, a new recording company started up in Brazil with the objective to
accelerate the technical advance of Brazilian music that’s been happening in
recent years. Its name is Forma, its
base is Rio de Janeiro, and its owner is Roberto Quartin. In the pursuit of the above mission, the
label sought to put together a stable of top artists, to the point that they
adopted the slogan: “The representatives)of Brazilian music are in top Form!” But these aces could be both established
artists or new faces, people who have never before recorded. Hence the first releases on Forma are discs that
showcase the already well-known Eumir Deodato and Luís Carlos Vinhas, but also
draw our attention to an excellent new find:
the Quarteto em Cy.
following decade, Forma continued its activity for a few years under the
administration of Phonogram. It released
the first recordings of Gonzaguinha and Ivan Lins, products of the university
song festivals at the beginning of the 70s.
Quartin relocated to the United States and continued his work as one of
the best researchers of the career of Frank Sinatra, even becoming his personal
friend, with authorization to produce albums of unreleased material.
In his last
years of life Quartin was committed, along with Universal, to the reissue and
remastering for CD of Forma’s complete catalog.
(written by Rodrigo Cunha)
LPs released by Forma
1964 – “Inútil Paisagem”, Eumir Deodato (FM-1)
1964 – “Novas Estruturas”, Luis Carlos Vinhas (FM-2)
1964 – “Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Sérgio Ricardo (FM-3)
1964 – “Quarteto em Cy”, Quarteto em Cy (FM-4)
1964 – “Esse Mundo É Meu – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Sérgio Ricardo e Lindolfo Gaya (FM-5)
1965 – “Bossatrês em Forma!”, Bossa Três (FM-6)
1965 – “Chico Fim-de-Noite Apresenta Chico Feitosa”, Chico Feitosa (FM-7)
1965 – “Coisas”, Moacir Santos (FM-8)
1965 – “Ana Margarida”, Ana Margariba (FM-9)
1966 – “Som Definitivo”, Quarteto em Cy e Tamba Trio (FM-10)
1966 – “Forma ’65”, Diversos (FM-11)
1966 – “Liberdade Liberdade, de Flávio Rangel e Millôr Fernandes”, Nara Leão (FM-12)
1966 – “Dulce”, Dulce Nunes (FM-13)
1966 – “Os Afro-Sambas de Baden e Vinicius”, Baden Powell e Quarteto em Cy (FM-16)
1966 – “Desenhos”, Victor Assis Brasil (FM-17)
1966 – “Tempo Feliz”, Baden Powell e Maurício Einhorn (100VDL)
1966 – “Quinteto Villa-Lobos”, Quinteto Villa-Lobos (101VDL)
1966 – “A Viagem”, Mitchell e Ruff (102VDL)
1966 – “Rosinha de Valença Ao Vivo”, Rosinha de Valença (103VDL)
1966 – “Forma 66”, Diversos (104VDL)
1966 – “Vinicius: Poesia e Canção Vol. I”, Vinicius de Moraes (105VDL)
1966 – “Vinicius: Poesia e Canção Vol. II”, Vinicius de Moraes (106VDL)
1968 – “O Violão É… Tapajós”, Sebastião Tapajós (107VDL)
1968 – “Musicanossa”, Diversos (108VDL)
1968 – “O Conjunto de Roberto Menescal”, Roberto Menescal (VDL109)
1968 – “Samba do Escritor”, Dulce Nunes (VDL110)
1969 – “Brasil Ano 2000 – Trilha Sonora do Filme”, Rogério Duprat (VDL112)
1969 – “O Avarento, de Molière”, Procópio Ferreira (VDL113)
1969 – “Sebastião Tapajós e Sua Guitarra Cósmica”, Sebastião Tapajós (VDL114)
1969 – “Big Parada”, Orquestra Tropical (VDL115)
1970 – “Terço”, O Terço (VDL116)
1970 – “Agora”, Ivan Lins (VDL117)
1971 – “Som Livre Exportação”, Diversos (VDL118)
1971 – “Deixa o Trem Seguir”, Ivan Lins (VDL119)
1971 – “Som Livre Exportação Nº 2”, Diversos (FE1019)
1971 – “Muita Zorra! ou São Coisas que Glorificam a Sensibilidade Atual”, Trio Mocotó (FE1020)
I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE 1972 Alston Records (SD 33-388)
I Love The Way You Love 3:20 I’ll Love You Forever Heart And Soul 3:40 I Found That Guy 3:35 All Your Kissin’ Sho’ Don’t Make True Lovin’ 2:35 If You Love Me Like You Say You Love Me 3:10 Clean Up Woman 2:40 I’m Gettin’ Tired Baby 2:40 Pure Love 2:20 Ain’t No Sunshine 3:20 Don’t Let It End This Way 2:50 Let’s Not Rush Down The Road Of Love 2:54
Backing Vocals – The Reid Singers Bass – David Brown, Edmund Collins, Ron Bogdon, Snoopy Dean Design – Drago Drums – Ivan ‘Nick’ Marshall, Jimmie Lee Harrell, John ‘Duck’ Sandlin, Robert Fergeson, Robert Johnson
Guitar – James Knight , Jess ‘Beaver’ Carr, Snoopy Dean, Willie ‘Little Beaver’ Hale Horns – Memphis Horns Piano, Organ – Arnold ‘Hoss’ Albury, Benny Latimore, Bobby Birdwatcher Piano, Organ – Clarence Reid
Rhythm arrangements by Little Beaver and Clarence Reid Strings and horns arranged by Mike Lewis
Produced and engineered by Willie Clarke Additional production by Clarence Reid Liner Notes – Willie “Moon Man” Bacote Photography By – Bruce Mac Callum Back cover design by Drago
———————- 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 (for 16-bit). Tags done with
Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
* My copy of this LP is not pristine.. But it probably still sounds
better than any recent CD versions, and it has that nice warm vinyl
thing. The overall sound of this record, mix-wise, is kinda weird
anyway (see below).
This is a start-to-finish gland slam of an album for Betty Wright. Although she was only 18 or 19 years old when this album was released, it
was *not* her first record – that would be “My First Time Around” released when she was only 14. I don’t know what accounts for the long
break, I think she was finishing high school or something. Anyway she definitely doesn’t sound like a teenager, but a woman wise in the ups and downs of life and love. It kind of
blew my mind when I found this out. I mean I knew she had started out young, but I didn’t realize she was literally just a kid.
So, the music. This is mostly straight-up funky southern soul, with a lot of Miami-area musicians. Alston Records would become TK Records in a few
years. The record jacket has no session information on it, probably because they would have had to pay the type-setter more than they had in
their budget. You can tell from listening to it that it sounds like it was recorded at a bunch of different sessions, and a glance at the
credits with the insane number of bassists and drummers confirms that.
There are some weird cameo appearances here – one of the drummers is Johnny Sandlin, later of Capricorn Records in Georgia, and one of the keyboardists is Benny Latimore later, um, of the band Latimore. This LP seems to have been patched together from material recorded between 1970 and 1972. “Pure Love,” ,”Clean Up Woman,” “I Love The Way You Love,” and “I Found That Guy” (a remake of The Jackson 5’s “I Found That Girl” ) were all released between 1970 and the release of this LP in 72. And for a patchwork quilt, the material all hangs together really well. The arrangements by guitarist Little Beaver and Clarence Reid are fantastic. The fidelity is weird in places, even when the actual mixes are all consistently good.
Little Beaver (real name Willie Hale) and Reid wrote most of the material between the two of them. Producer Willie Clark gets writing credits on everything that isn’t a cover song here, which makes me kind of suspicious that maybe he just added some cowbell and insisted on a credit. Just kidding, there is no cowbell on this album!
If you are collecting cover versions of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” like I am (there are dozens!), this is one is a good addition to your collection. Holy crap listen to that bass guitar line! How did they get that tone? They kind of sweeten up the “I know, I know, I know…” part, and it works. Variety is the spice of life. “If You Love Me Like You Say You Love
Me” is the one big stylistic shift as Betty takes on Northern Soul and serves it up righteously. But really this whole record is a reminder of why I am in the end a Southern Soul lover at heart. Also, although “Let’s Not Rush Down The Road Of Love” is an original composition, you might recognize what the band is playing during the intro part where Betty speaks over it – it’s a note-for-note
stolen arrangement from Isaac Haye’s “Walk On By.” It’s no “Ike’s Rap” but its pretty neat.
You know, since this post started out with me talking about how damn young Betty was here, I can’t resist saying something contemporary, against my better judgement. Lately there has been a lot of flap in the news about a certain Disney pop star who can’t keep her tongue in her mouth. I dunno, I think she had been a mouseketeer or something, I’m not interested in the slut-shaming nonsense that seems to have been provoked from mostly white, mostly American people. I am not interested in whether she is setting an example for young girls. But I am interested in pointing out this – I do not find Miley Cyrus the least bit sexy. What do I find sexy and inspiring? Talent. That’s why Ms. Cyrus and the dozens more just like her will never hold a candle to Betty White’s flame.
5 NA BOSSA Edu Lobo / Nara Leão / Tamba Trio 1965 Philips 632.769 L 2013 Remaster
1 – Carcará (José Cândido, João do Vale) 2 – Reza (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo) 3 – O trem atrasou (Paquito, Vilarinho, Estanislau Silva) 4 – Zambi (Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes) 5 – Consolação (Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes) 6 – Aleluia (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo) 7 – Cicatriz (Zé Keti, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho) 8 – Estatuinha (Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Edu Lobo) 9 – Minha história (Raymundo Evangelista, João do Vale) 10 – O morro não tem vez (Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)
Recorded live at the Paramount Theater, São Paulo
Remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla at Digital Mastering Solutions
Well there isn’t a tremendous amount to say about this brief live record. Solid performances from everyone involved, although the recording itself is less than prestine and seems to have been made worse by questionable remastering that now makes the album feature clipped samples and very obvious noise reduction artifacts… Why do I keep buying CDs just to hear myself complain when I know they’ll screw them up? Well this otherwise pretty rare so there’s one reason.
Tamba Trio sounds fantastic, as usual, and the two cuts they have to themselves here are nice and long showcases. Nara is a bit uneven, unfortunately. Her imperfect intonation was always part of her charm, but in this live setting – inside a large auditorium-style theater and no stage monitors (being 1965) – her pitch is more off than usual. In fact “Cicatriz,” a song that goes outside her vocal range to begin with, is a downright painful listen. She sounds excellent singing with Edu Lobo on Aleluia, though. Sr. Lobo just celebrated his 70th birthday, so it’s a particularly good time to enjoy this rare live recording of him in his youth. The liner notes thank Aloysio de Oliveira (the man behind Elenco) for loaning him out for this recording. He sings one of my favorite compositions of his too, “Reza.”
It’s hear! The fifth installment of Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour.
Listen on Soundcloud or download the FLAC or 320 file for your audio player of choice and take it on the road.
Track list will be posted in a week or so because I like surprises and so should you.
Donations toward a Soundcloud Pro subscription are accepted! Right now I got a month-to-month thing going with them because I sadly can’t even afford to put up for the whole year. Free accounts mean I have to keep deleting these podcasts when there is something new to host.
The Three Degrees – You’re The One
Bill Doggett – Make Your Move
Odaír José – Nunca Mais
Chanson – Don’t Hold Back
Georges Plonquitte & Cie - Marie
Los Mirlos – Cabalgando Con Ella
Jamelão – Timbó
Ataulfo Alves e Suas Pastores – Quem me deve me paga
Ataulfo Alves e Suas Pastores – A cadência do samba
BT Express – Do You Like It
Albino Gorilla – Going To A Go-Go
Bob & Marsha – It Ain’t Me Babe
Billy Stewart – Summertime
Eliana Pittman – Ladainha
João da Baiana & Pixinguinha – Caboclo do Mato
Anjos do Inferno – Brasil Pandeiro
The Eloise Trio – Cocoanut Woman
Swamp Dogg – Synthetic World
The Natural Four – Free
Bettye Crutcher – So Lonely Without You
Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound – Que Me Lo Den En Vida
Gilberto Gil & Chico Batera – Ha ha ha
Gilberto Gil (with Dominguinhos) – Eu Só Quero Um Xodó
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Maria Três Filhos