Henricão – Recomeço (1980)

Recomeço (1980)
Label: Eldorado
Genre : Samba

Só vendo que beleza (Marambaia)
Sons dos carrilhões
Sou eu
Saravá umbanda
Está chegando a hora
De cupim
Não faça hora
á é madrugada
Meu crime
Meu grande desejo

Composer credits include:

Rubens Campos, Henricão; Rubens Campos, Dedé, João Pernambucano, J. Alcides, Penaloza e Juan de Dios Felisberto Vitor Gonçalves, and others

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Henrique Felipe de Costa. Yet another sambista largely forgotten by many and who never made much money from his work. The first black Rei Momo of Brazilian Carnaval; a founder of the ‘Vai Vai’ samba school of São Paulo; the man who discovered the talented singer Carmen Costa; a important figure in getting Nelson Cavaquinho started on his path of samba, cowriting one of Nelson’s first songs; and a composer who began writing in the 1920s, sung on radio programs and recorded a bunch of 78’s, and has had his songs recorded by Elza Soares, Elis Regina, and of course Carmen Costa, who also appears on this album for the song “Carmelito.” Henrique is also responsible for transforming the Mexican tune “Cielito lindo” into “Está chegando a hora” which is now song at the end of parties, dances, futebol games, carnavais.. but nobody seems to remember Henricão.

Henricão had not recorded any music since 1956 before making this album at the instigation of a reporter who went in search of him while writing on a piece on the fiftieth anniversary of the Vai Vai samba school. He found the 330-pound Henrique living in a tiny apartment and working as a used car salesman at the age of 72. And, thankfully for us, he convinced Henricão to make an album — after first getting him back on stage singing some duets with Carmen Costa and recording a radio program where he sang and was interviewed about his life. His voice may not be earth-shattering on this album, but is honest – the real deal – and he definitely sounds in his element, comfortable and relaxed, and the songs are all lovely; arranged, recorded, and produced in the immaculate standards of the Eldorado label, responsible for the cream of the crop of samba during the late 70s and early 80s. The result is a lovely, subtle, laid-back album. The slow march of Andorinha has nothing less than a euphonium as its lead instrument, a choice that Henrição insisted on. The duet with Carmen Costa on “Carmelita” is worth the price of admission alone. Henricão seems to have worked mostly in partnerships, most notably with Rubens Campos, and all the songs here were composed as such. This album contains an interesting piece, “Sons dos carrilhões”, which is an instrumental ‘choro’ by João Pernambuco (contemporary of Pixinguinha) to which Henricão wrote some lyrics. It is also worth pointing out that although he was born in Rio, Henricão lived most of his life in São Paulo — that city once termed the ‘graveyard of samba’ by the hyberbolic and rather arrogant Vinicius de Moraes. The title of the album, “Recomeço”, would insinuate the renewal of a musical career for Henricão, or perhaps a more literal “starting over.” Spiritually and emotionally perhaps that is what this was for ‘Big Henry’, a purging of old wounds and bitterness and the opportunity to leave us with a document and registry of his talents as a sambista. As far as this writer knows, he never recorded again.

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