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

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.

in 320 kbs em pee tree


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