Jackson do Pandeiro – Os Grandes Sucessos de Jackson do Pandeiro (1975) 24-96khz vinyl


Jackson do Pandeiro
“Os Grandes Successos de Jackson do Pandeiro”
Released 1975 on Tropicana / CBS Records (01320)
[which was also Columbia – Epic – Sony in Brazil…]

1. Morena Bela
(Juarez Santiago / Onildo Almeida)
2. Tum Tum Tum
(Ari Monteiro / Cristóvão de Alencar)
3. Casaca de Couro
(Rui de Morais / Silva)
4. Lamento Cego
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Nivaldo da Silva Lima)
5. Forró De Surubim
(Antônio Barros Silva / José Batista)
6. Mané Gardino
(Ari Monteiro / Elias Soares)
7. Cantiga Do Sapo
(Buco do Pandeiro / Jackson do Pandeiro)
8. Tem Mulher, Tô Lá
(J. Luna / Zé Catraca)
9. Penerou Gavião
(Jackson do Pandeiro / Odilon Vargas)
10. Sina De Cigarra
(Delmiro Ramos / Jackson do Pandeiro)
11. Chu Chu Beleza
(João Silva / Raimundo Evangelista)
12. Forró Em Campina
(Jackson do Pandeiro)

Tracks 1, 10, 11, and 12 are in stereo
Track 2 through 9 are in mono

This is a rather generic compilation of Jackson’s material released on the CBS subsidiary Tropicana in the mid-70s, without any indication of the provinence of any of the material included on it. It has all the tell-tales of a contractural obligation album, which in the case of Jackson is much less of a straight-forward thing than the phrase suggests. I know much less about his life than I would like (and am still waiting to find myself a copy of his biograpy, O Rei do Ritmo), but one bit of wisdom I’ve collected over the years is that Jackson had a nasty habit of entering into business deals with a record label while still under contract to another.

Thus, around the mid-70s we see Jackson leave CBS/Sony and begin recording for smaller or independent labels like Chantecler/Alvorada or Continental – however, CBS continued to release anthology after anthology of his material, leading me to the impression that he still owed them some albums…

My guess is that, with this particular release called “Os Grandes Sucessos” (The Greatest Hits..) which in fact lacks pretty much all of his biggest hits, they were trying to promote some of his newer material included here by capitalizing on some of his earlier, albiet lesser-remembered hits (many of them released as 78 RPM`s on another US-owned label, which were collected and shared HERE although the links were taken down so quickly I have been too spooked to put up new links). Jackson’s discography is so confusing, and the plethora of labels he recorded for so baffling in number, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the executives Tropicana (and their conglomarate corporate overlords) were counting on this chaos in order not to have to pay out on royalties — there are composer credits here, but absolutely nothing on the publishing rights. A little fishy. And though any single-LP collection of Jackson do Pandeiro is going to lack some favorites, there are obvious glaring omissions here of ANY of the recordings that were synonomous with him as a `household name.` So what we get is a mixture of his lesser-known hits and some songs that I don’t think were ever hits at all — namely, material from recent CBS releases like the LP`s “Sina de Cigarra” and “Tem Mulher, Tô Lá.” All of Jackson’s discography on vinyl is frustratingly rare — and even more frustrating, badly represented on compact disc for someone who represents such a huge part of Brazil’s musical patrimony – that I want to make it clear I am not making a critique of those early 70s albums from Jackson. Because in fact I still have yet to hear them! In that sense, I would have been happier if this had been strictly a collection culled from those early 70s discs, rather than a haphazard, somewhat random stroll through his career.

All that being said, this is still Jackson do Pandeiro and ipso facto a truly enjoyable listen. It includes some of my favorites from him like “Tum-tum-tum,” “Cantigo do sapo” (the best song ever about improvising frogs), and “Lamento cego.” And the newer material is also high-caliber stuff.

Some technical notes of interest for those who care… The chaotic nature of this weird collection presents some challenges for somebody wanting to do a decent digitalization of it. The album mixes songs recorded and mixed in MONO (the majority here) with song in stereo, all of them mastered at different maximum volumes, and seemingly all thrown together without much attention to detail. My solution involved a change from my usual workflow for vinyl digitalization. The first part, the actual vinyl transfer, is identical to the usual; it’s in the editing and post-processing that things get weird:

Vinyl original pressing -> 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 ->

-> For tracks 2 THROUGH 9, a second pass in Click Repair solely to use its Stereo->Mono fold-down feature
-> Checking for aditional blemishes in Audition again, and comparing to “false stereo” source for differences

-> Normalizing the amplitude of each track, individually, to 0 decibels.

I’ve been skipping the step of normalizing on a lot of my recent vinyl rips, because I believe one of the great things about vinyl/analog is how much you can turn up the volume on a system before you start to hear distortions, and normalizing everything to 0db kind of defeats this pleasure to my ears. However, the tracks on this compilation are so all-over-the place in terms of their overall levels, I think I’ve actually made an improvement over the original vinyl mastering (or should I say, lack therein).

dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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Ary Lobo – Ary Lobo (1962)

Ary Lobo
“Ary Lobo”
Released 1962 on RCA-Victor (BBL – 1172)
Reissued 2004, “Essential Classics” series (82876641002)

1. Moça de hoje
2. Minha promessa
3. Eu vou pra lua
4. Movimento do Cidade
5. Se o passado voltasse
6. Zé Negreiro
7. Mulher de saia justa
8. Planeta plutão
9. Baião do Acre
10. Pedida a São Jorge
11. É Cosme e Damião
12. Garganta de cera

—————————-

This is a particularly strong album from Pará native Ary Lobo (Gabriel Eusébio dos Santos Lobo). With experience as a radio presenter while serving in the army, Lobo relocated to Rio where he also worked in radio and began making records in 1958 interpreting other composer’s material. By the time this album was released in 1962 he had five LPs and had become a songwriter in his own right, and a top-notch one at that. His style was heavily influenced by Jackson do Pandeiro and even though he adds his own twists and personal “toque”, Pandeiro’s masterful shadow looms over just about everything here. His repertoire had come to mostly feature the regional styles of the Northeast, singing about the quotidian challenges of life in Recife (Movimento da cidade), or of the northeastern migrants to the southeastern cities of Rio or São Paulo in “Minha Promessa.” In this latter song the Cearense protagonist tells how he made a promise to Padre Cícero, swearing that if luck should come his way in Rio he would return to his home in Juazeiro do Norte. Everything turns out well for the narrator in the song, which was rarely the case for the migrants looking to trade their hard luck for a better life in the cities of the industrialized southeast, giving the song a tone of either tongue-in-cheek irony or a hopeful prayer, depending on your interpretation.

This record contains the first song Ary Lobo ever wrote, “Eu vou pra lua”, which was written and first recorded in 1960. (I am not sure if that recording was used for this Long Player or if it was rerecorded for this release..). Brilliant, clever, and catchy as hell, the Jackson do Pandeiro influence is very heavy here in both the arrangement and his vocal phrasing — in fact the first time I heard it, I thought it *was* Jackson do Pandeiro – but the song is still all Lobo’s. The lyrics use the romanticism of Sputnik-era dreams of colonizing space as a solution to earthly social problems as a way to fit in some biting social satire in under three minutes (2:56 to be exact..). I wish I had time to translate the lyrics to English for the anglophiles in Flabberland but, alas, I do not. But as a basic summary I can say that our singer is sick of hunger, crime, inflation and “uneven development” (sorry, that’s my inability to resist social-science jargon… the phrase is “O progresso daqui a carestia” or “Here, progress is expensive…”), and resigning himself to disinterested apathy (“It’s no longer worth it to even criticize / Nobody believes in politics / Where the people live in agony”). He then goes on to imagine a utopian life on the moon free of bureaucracy where there is no lack of water, electricity, hospitals or schools. Oh yes, and where a woman gets sentenced to ten years in jail for cheating on her husband but her ‘back door man’ doesn’t suffer (a bit of light male chauvinist humor tacked onto the end of the tune). Of course now we know none of these things could ever happen since even The Muppets couldn’t colonize space, or even make a good film about it.

 

Eu Vou Prá Lua
Eu vou morar lá
Sair do meu Sputnik
Do Campo do Jiquiá…

Já estou enjoado aqui da terra
Onde o povo a pulso faz regime
A indústria, roubo, a fome, o crime
Onde os preços aumentam todo dia
O progresso daqui a carestia
Não adianta mais se fazer crítica
Ninguém acredita na política
Onde o povo só vive em agonia

Na lua não tem
Nome abreviado
[a bunch of acronyms*]
Nem contrabando
De mercadoria
Lá não falta água
Não falta energia
Não falta hospital
Não falta escola
É fuzilado lá
Quem come bola
E morre na rua
Quem faz anarquia

Lá não tem juventude transviada
Os rapazes de lá não têm malícia
Quando há casamento é na polícia
A moça é quem é sentenciada
Porventura se a mulher for casada
E enganar o marido a coisa é feia
Ela pega dez anos de cadeia
E o conquistador não sofre nada

* Lobo cleverly mocks Brazil’s acronym fetish by rhyming a bunch of them in rapid succession here. The lyrics posted in numerous places online are erroneous in this part of the song, having apparently been taken from a cover version from Zé Ramalho which changed them, no doubt in an effort to make the song more ‘up to date.’ Which is fair enough, I suppose: the acronyms on the original recording seem mostly taken from institutions and bureaucratic agencies from the Vargas and Kubitschek era like COHAB and IPSEP (which was both an agency and a neighborhood, still very much existing, in Recife). He rattles them off too quickly for me to figure out, especially since I suspect a few of them no longer exist… perhaps someone out there can help set the record straight?

The album also features other notable hits like “Moça de hoje” and “É Cosme é Damião”, along with others I am quite fond of like “Zé Negreiro” and “Pedida a São Jorge”. Most of the songs were written by various pairings of Luiz Boquinho, Ary Monteiro, and Ary Lobo himself, which makes for a cohesive experience of a recording on which there are no bad or uninteresting tracks.

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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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