Novos Baianos – Vamos Pro Mundo (1974)

baianos

1 Vamos pro mundo (Galvão – Pepeu Gomes)

2 Guria (Galvão – Moraes Moreira)

3 Na cadência do samba (Paulo Gesta – Ataulfo Alves)

4 Tangolete (Galvão – Moraes Moreira)

5 América tropical (Pepeu Gomes – Moraes Moreira)

6 Chuvisco (Pepeu Gomes – Moraes Moreira)

7 Escorrega sebosa (Paulinho Boca de Cantor – Galvão – Moraes Moreira)

8 Ô menina (Galvão – Pepeu Gomes – Moraes Moreira)

9 Um dentro do outro (Jorginho – Pepeu Gomes)

10 Um bilhete pra Didi (Jorginho)

11 Preta pretinha no carnaval (Galvão – Moraes Moreira)

One look at the album cover, and you know that all is not well here…..

As somebody who was previously only familiar with their first few albums, one of them being the “most important Brazilian album” according to Brazilian Rolling Stone, I have to say that this album leaves me frustrated, if not quite cold.

It is sad to admit this but it took almost a whole listen to realize what is sorely missing from this record — Moraes Moreira! Although he has writing credit on it, he is not playing or singing on the album.

To give you the succinct low-down: This feels like HALF a great album to me, which is what makes the non-great half so frustrating. Literally half the record is instrumental, and while they are undoubtedly all talented players, this material seems largely inspired to me, as if they had run out of songs and just needed to fill up the other half o the record. But if you like jamming-for-the-sake-of-it type stuff, this album could make your day, who know?

The first four songs are all excellent, particularly the second track Guria which is simply gorgeous. Baby Consuelo is in fine form on these and her energy only increases my desire to make out with her in 1974. The fourth track Tangolete sees the Baianos taking up their rockier side, with Paulo Boca de Cantor singing. From this point on, things get more and more uneven. The instrumental ‘America Tropical’ sounds the band doing their best Santana impression, followed IMMEDIATELY by another instrumental (whose sequencing idea was *that*?), the acoustic choro-flavored “Chuvisco.” The next two tracks are delicious — the jazzy post-bossa acoustic laid backness of Escorrega Sebosa winds up with a little coda of samba de roda (hey i made a rhyme!), and thes stylized samba canção of ‘Ô Menina’ once again makes me pine for nutty Baby Consuelo. Then, if you are like me, you will find yourself turning the album off after this track as the last 12 or 13 minutes takes a serious nosedive into mediocrity. Two more BACK TO BACK instrumentals (really now, what were they thinking?), complete with dueling guitars and a gratuitous drum solo …. Zzzzzzzz. Um Dentro do Outro is the more interesting of the two, slightly funky, slighly progged-out ensemble playing; but the second, Um Bilhete para Didi, is just irritating to me, although it does have what appears to be a bowed bass solo in the middle of it. I remember hearing this track as an Mp3 years ago and thinking it was pretty cool, but at this point I… just don’t. And then the clincher — an abominable version of Preta Pretinha played in hyperdrive trio electrico style, here called “Preta Pretinha no Carnaval”.

I wish I knew the story about why Moraes Moreira has writing credits on half the songs (even the lackluster instrumentals) but then left the band for a while. In any event, it does confirm his place at the center of what made the magic happen. For even when this album is good — and I do think the highlights I’ve mentioned here ARE quite good – they still lack a certain energy, cohesiveness, and inspiration that they had going earlier. Of course by 1974 the hippie lifestyle was wearing down a lot of bands, so the Baianos aren’t exactly an exception.

This album, on the whole, confirms my belief that when (non-jazz) bands start putting drum solos on their studio albums, they are basically running out of ideas…

Still this is a worthy addition to any Brazilian music collection and especially anyone who likes Novos Baianos.

Novos Baianos – Vamos Pro Mundo (1974) in FLAC LOSSLESS

Novos Baianos – Vamos Pro Mundo (1974) in 320kbs mp3

Photobucket

Nara Leão – O Canto Livre de Nara (1965)

nara leao
nara leao

NARA LEÃO
O Canto Livre de Nara
1965, Philips #632.748
CD reissue, 2002 Japan release (courtesy of Kung)

Nara Leão was a very busy woman in the 1960s. After all it is not easy being The Muse of Bossa Nova. By 1965, however, she was broadening the scope of her work to incorporate “musica engajada,” a type of protest folk music that was gaining momentum in the wake of the 1964 military coup and the dictatorship that followed and would endure for twenty years. The first song, Corisco, is from the film Deus e Diabo na Terra do Sol released the previous year, a film directed by Glauber Rocha, who co-wrote the song.. Probably the pinnacle of the Cinema Novo movement, and certainly its best-known offering, this song would have been an immediate cultural reference point to the students, artists, and intellectuals that were following Cinema Novo. The song was the main theme for the character of the same name, a lieutenant of the bandit Lampião. Lampião has honorary status as Brazil’s equivalent of Robin Hood, a bit of a hyperbolic comparison since Lampião wasn’t quite as discriminating in, um, dispensation of vigilante justice. In fact he was as feared by the rural poor as he was by the wealthy landowners of the northeast Brazilian backlands, and it was only during and after the Brazilian military pursued and hunted his gang that he became an icon of peasant resistance. Brazil had just changed from being a monarchy to a Republican government. For a variety of complicated reasons – including the fact that the monarchy ended slavery in Brazil (the last place in the Western Hemisphere to do so) as one of its last official acts – the fall of the monarchy was not quite the occasion to celebrate that one might imagine. In fact there was a growing sense among the rural poor that they were getting a raw deal, and the early years of the Republic saw an efflorescence of various kinds of protest, unrest, revolts, millenarian movements… Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol deals with all of this, including a direct reference to the “colony” of Canudos led by messianic itinerant preacher Antônio Conselheiro, a place which promised redemption to thousands of rural poor seeking a release from the stranglehold of sharecropping and other types of tenant arrangements left in the wake of slavery. Canudos grew to somewhere in the area of 35,000 people, and concerned the new government enough for them to send the military to put a stop to it — which, eventually and after several attempts where the army was embarrassingly beaten back — they eventually did. With a bloody and brutal massacre which became an emblem of the “order and progress” that was, no matter how you want to analyze it, built upon the blood, sweat, and brutality of a slavocratic system.

Why is this important to a Nara Leão album in 1965? Because the story of Canudos is known by all Brazilians. It is part of the curriculum of the school system. Euclides da Cunha immortalized it in his book Os Sertões, an instant classic that went into numerous reprintings almost immediately and was translated into English by the 1940s. The story of Lampião, his lover Maria Bonita, and their band of merry madmen is equally party of the cultural fabric. When Glauber Rocha made these two scenarios a central part of a film released in 1964, he was doing so for a reason. I am no film scholar, but his lens captures visually and narrates both the optimism for change and the anguish of seeing it thwarted. Repeatedly. Cyclically. In Rocha’s narrative, the cattle rustler Manuel is done wrong and taken advantage one time too many by a wealthy ‘coronel’ or rural boss, and he murders him during a fight over his pay. He flees with his wife to the “Holy Mountain”, the analog of Canudos mentioned above. That, well.. that doesn’t work out so well either, and he ends up seeking refuge once more, this time with what is left of Lampião’s band, now led by his lieutenant, the rather ill-tempered and erratic Corisco (also an actual historic figure). The song that follows Corisco’s character throughout the film is an unfolding variation on one musical theme, really. Also titled elsewhere, “Perseguição” (Persecution), the lyrics alternate between a coronel’s command to “deliver Corisco” to answer for his crimes and a peasant’s refusal to do so. The song contains the memorable lines of prophecy, repeated elsewhere in all manner of songs, films, books — “O sertão vai vira o mar, e o mar vai vira sertão” — The desert will turn into the sea, and the sea will turn to desert.

Nara Leão was not randomly choosing this song to open up her album. She had thrown in her lot with the “música engajada” crowd, best typified in the work of Geraldo Vandré, Zé Keti and João do Vale. She had participated in a show with Keti and João do Vale that was also released on record in 196, and their material dominates this record. This new protest music was drawing on the musical traditions of forró, xote, and baião. Deeply northeastern in melodic and rhythmic structure, and alongside the rather long ‘Fisherman’s Suite’ of Dorival Caymmi, the inclusion of this material in Nara Leão’s repertoire makes it pretty clear that we are no longer solely dealing with the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon here. The final song is an anonymously authored tune in the public domain, a song sung by holy men and women in the northeast who would make their livelihood from praying day and night , which Nara mixes with a stanza from the modernist-yet-archetypically-Northeastern poet João Cabral de Melo Netto.

Don’t believe me? The liner notes from Ferreira Gullar write of Nara consciously pursuing and deepening the road she had set out on with her ‘Opinão’ album, of augmenting her role as a singer with that of interpreting “the problems and aspirations of her people.” He writes of Nara wanting to use her voice to “bring… to the largest possible number of people, a contemporary undrestanding of the Brazilian reality, that she feels and identifies in the compositions of Caymmi, of João do Vola, of Zé Keti, of Edu Lobo, of Vinicius and of many others.” According to Gullar, Nara was interested in communicating through song a form of discussion, of dialog with a public. In 1965, the dreams of the post-Kubitschek Brazilian left for a more just society had not yet faded. Both the ideas of “dialog” and even of “a public” to have it with still seemed plausible.

“To sing of love and of life, the love that belongs to all as life does. To sing of solidarity, of peace, and of liberty. Nara discovered that it is possible and it is necessary to make into a reality the idea that all men are equal and that, as a singer, she can contribute to this. And Nara contributes to this as much when she sings of the suffering of the landless peasant, as when she interprets an old samba love-song. Because, to bring together these themes seemingly so different, she teaches us, in the knowledge of her youth, that love, peace, labor, and liberty are synonymous with life.”

Oh, and the music? Yes, well, that is pretty damn good too. The populist vanguardisms are tempered by lean ensemble work, laying out a jazz groove for Nara to carry on her work of conscientização. The band is led by the ubiquitous Luiz Eça, best known for being at the heart of the Tamba Trio. Also helping out with musical coordination is Dori Caymmi. The lineup looks like this:

Luiz Eça – piano
Bass – Bebeto
Drums – Ohana
Flute – Bebeto
Guitar – Dor
i Caymmi
Backing vocals – Peter and his voice orchestra…

Nara Leão – O Canto Livre de Nara (1965)
in 320 kbs
in FLAC LOSSLESS

Carlos Lyra – Saravá (1970)

Photobucket

CARLOS LYRA
“Saravá”
Originally released on RCA, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico) MKL/S-1839, in 1970

1 Vacilada (Carlos Lyra)

2 ¿Quien te manda? (Carlos Lyra – Vinicius de Moraes)

3 Para no decir adios (Walmir Ayala – Carlos Lyra)

4 Solo tu no vienes (Carlos Fernando Fortes – Carlos Lyra)

5 Balanceo (Carlos Lyra)

6 Tristeza (Haroldo Lobo)

7 El jacal (Gianfrancesco Guarnieri – Carlos Lyra)

8 Paz sin amor (Nelson Lins e Barros – Carlos Lyra)

9 Viene del amor (Nelson Lins e Barros – Carlos Lyra)

10 Lugar comum (Francisco de Assis – Carlos Lyra)

11 Samba de la bendicion (Saravá) (Baden Powell – Vinicius de Moraes)

From the back cover

Recorded in Mexico in 1970 and released only now for the first time in Brazil, “Saravá” includes some of the most beautiful songs of Carlos Lyra, like “Também Quem Mandou”, “Feio Não É Bonito” and “O Bem do Amor,” together with the swing-influenced “Até Parece” and “Sambalanço”. Alongside these are inspired recreations of “Tristeza,” the Haroldo Lobo and Niltinho classic, and of “Samba de Benção,” from Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes, in a Castillian version prepared by Lyra himself.

Produced by Rubén Fuentes
Released originally in 1970
Reissue produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro (Jazz Station Productions)

Musical director: Magallanes
Production assistant: Enrique Okamura
Sound Engineer: Carlos Castillo
Photo: L.Isaac
———————————————–
Remastered by Carlos Freitas and Jade Pereira, Classic Master SP, using Sonic Solutions, No Noise, Cedar and Manley equipment

Front cover photo taken from a vinyl copy kindly lent by Carlos Lyra!!

——————————-

The liner notes tell of a Mexico City that had blossomed into the unofficial “capitol of Brasil” by way of the number of musicians living and working there. Names like Luiz Eça (leading a band calling A Sagrada Família that included Joyce, Nelson Angelos, Novelli, Vitor Manga, Rose and more), O Tamba 4, Luiz Carlos Vinhas and Bossa 3, Leny Andrade, Pery Ribeiro, Osmar Milito, Breno Sauer, Ely Arcoverde and the groups “Alegria Alegria” and Brasília 71.” Add to this list famous bands like Vox Populi and Anjos do Inferno that passed time there, and João Gilberto who came to spend a ten days in 1969 with Chico Batera and his wife Miúcha, and ended up staying two years, and you get the idea of how active the scene was. 1969 even saw the First Festival of Brasilian and American Music with participants like Milton Nascimento, Eumir Deodato, Airto Moreira and Bola Sete.

——————
“In Mexico, the people were crazy for bossa nova, which had already gone out of fashion in Brazil,” tells lengendary bassist Manuel Gusmão, contributor to records by Jorge Ben, Flora Purim, and Dom Um Romão. “The market for work in Rio and São Paulo was horrible, as much in terms of recording sessions as in shows. To make things worse, the festivals were on the decline, with bossa substituted by the Jovem Guarda and by Tropicalismo on the new TV programs. There was the terror of AI-5 (see note), and many people wanted to get out of Brazil for a variety of reasons. So when we discovered the interest of the entrepreneurs and businessment and the Mexican public for our sound, there was a huge migration of artists,” explains Gusmão, who lived for four years in Mexico, playing with local musicians and leading his own trio, with Edison Machado on drums and Moacir Peixoto on piano.”
————————-

The ’empresários’ (which I’ve translated as businessmen and entrepreneurs) were the owners of the many lush hotels that were featuring bossa nova and Brazilian artists. Into this stew enters Carlos Eduardo Lyra Barbosa, one of the original luminaries of bossa nova, who had toured Mexico with Stan Getz previously. Upon taking up residence in Mexico, Lyra found plenty of work — writing jingles for TV commercials, working as an announcer and translator during the 1968 Olympics, writing soundtracks for close to ten short films, and working various theatrical productions. He even met his future wife there, the North American singer Katherine “Kate” Lyra (…notes don’t give her maiden name..)

Carols Lyra was invited by RCA Mexico to record this album. He wrote nine of its eleven compositions, and was accompanied exclusively by Mexican musicians. You might notice some confusion on the back cover regarding the fact that the songs were given different titles in Spanish than their original names in Portuguese. For example “Sambalanço” becomes “Balanceo” (not too hard to figure out) and “Feio Não É Bonito,” recorded on Nara Leão’s first album in 1963, becomes “El Jacal”, which is very hard to figure out by titles alone…

This is a remarkably sweet and mellow album, a rewarding listen from the first moment to the last. The playing is great, the empathy for bossa nova from the Mexican musicians would convince any listener they are Brazilian, and the songs are wonderful. The harpsichord and scat singing that open up the first track Vacilada grab your attention immediately, as does the funky vibrato-laden organ. My favorite track from the whole album comes early with “Quem Té Manda?” The melody is unforgettable, and orchestrations deepen the richness, the epitomy of love-as-escapism that in a big way characterized bossa nova. It was this escapism that drew criticisms from Brazilian musicians during the mid-70s in the wake of the right-wing dictatorship: bossa nova began to be called “alienated” and “false consciousness,” as many artists began to move away from the romanticism of bossa and into more political and socially-engaged material. This is completely understandable given the political persecution and stripping of political and civil rights, the exiles, the disappearances and imprisonments. But in thinking about the paradise-in-exile created by the bossa nova musicians flocking to Mexico City, perhaps it pays to recall the words of Mr. Ché Guevara who said, “At the risk of sounding ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love.”

(Translator’s note: Institutional Act 5 of late 1968, which severely heightened the level of repression and violence of the military dictatorship that had begun with the coup of 1964)”
————————————–

Lyra would later briefly return to doing some work in advertising, writing jingles and licensing the cover photo of this album for a product endorsement.

Photobucket

Joyce – Visions of Dawn (1976)

joyce visions

1. Banana
2. Clareana
3. Metralhadeira
4. Nacional Kid
5. Tudo Bonito
6. Suite: Part 1-Memorias Do Porvir Suite: Part 2. Visões Do Amanhecer (Visions Of Dawn)
7. Suite: Part 3: Carnavalzinho (Little Carnaval)
8. Jardim Dos Deuses
9. Chegada

Release info wrote:
‘Visions of Dawn’ is the original ‘lost’ Brazilian acid-folk album recorded in Paris in 1976. This stunning, previously unreleased project by three Brazilian music legends has now been rescued and set free by Joe Davis’ Far Out Recordings. Led by the sharp lyrics and gorgeous, expressive voice and guitar of Joyce the trio is completed by the expert musicianship of her close friends Nana Vasconcelos (percussion) and Mauricio Maestro (electric bass, vocals, guitar and producer) who were both crucial in creating this masterpiece. These beautiful, hazy and understated recordings, which took place among the charming artistic 1970s Paris scene, offer a unique chance to sit in on the original jamming sessions of tracks that later became Brazilian cult classics. With Andy Votel’s stunning psychedelic designs dripping from the cover the Paris 1976 project is utterly essential.

joyce visions2

“These pictures were taken in 1976 when my partner Mauricio Maestro and I (left) had recently arrived in Paris. We recorded an album there with our friend Nana Vasconcelos (Right), who then lived in France. We were ready for new adventures.
‘Visions of Dawn’ – in the language of Barack Obama – is taken from the Suite of our 1976 disc. For the album to be more psychedelic would be impossible. This is not a Joyce album this is a work of three heads.” – Joyce, 2009

joyce visions3

Thanks to Kung for hooking this up!

I am still exploring this new release and thus am running short on pithy remarks. It is a very lovely piece of unreleased work. However it should be noted that Joyce’s own commentary quoted above, “For the album to be more psychedelic would be impossible,” well…. that is a wee bit overstated. With that kind of pronouncement you might expect a visit from Roky Erickson or the Electric Prunes, showing up in the studio to come lay down some mind-melting lysergic juggernaut in the middle of the album, but alas the reality is much less psychotropic. And thank the lord for that, because these days the Elevators and the Prunes tend to just give me a headache anyway. In fact the first half of this album, while textured, gorgeous, well-written and typically well-executed, is much less adventurous than her 1972 record with Nelson Angelo (also found here). The experimentalism cometh forth on the long song-suite (divided into tracks 6 and 7 on the CD) that contains some pan-dimensional wordless singing from Joyce and Nana Vasconcelos’ ayahuascan percussion. Mauricio Maestro — on bass, vocals, and guitar – is the least well-known of these three. He is all over this record, providing a foundation in a way. He would go on to form the band Boca Livre with Zé Renato a few years later. There are two early versions of songs that would later be rerecorded — and not changed terribly much either — “Banana” and “Clareana.” Both of them became hit songs, leading me to wonder why this record never saw the light of day.

So I am enjoying this new/old record quite nicely, thanks to Kung. My comments above are not so much criticisms as just fair-warnings to those who might get overly-excited about the hype. “Acid-folk” is a hot-button flavor-of-the-week for the indie set, and let’s be straight here — Paid music journalists, being the spineless vermin and vultures that they are, will generally repeat whatever the record label’s promo packet they got in the mail has to say, without too much modification or independent research. I suspect the label, US-based Far Out Recordings, wanted to generate the sort of giddy feelings that were generated when Os Mutantes “lost” album Technicolour, also recorded in Paris, was released earlier this century. Well, they were both recorded in Paris, and unreleased for around thirty years. The comparison ends there. We are all very lucky that this inexplicably unreleased gem has been uncovered, it should please pretty much anyone who has been frequenting this blog for a while. Enjoy!

“Visions of Dawn” link taken down by request, but you can find it here.

Song sample — the first two parts of the enchanting “visões do amanhecer” trilogy.

Nara Leão, Chico Buarque, Maria Bethania – Quando o Carnaval Chegar (1972)

nara chico

Nara Leão, Chico Buarque, and Maria Bethania
“Quando o Carnaval Chegar”
Original film soundtrack
released in 1972
This pressing Universal/Mercury 04228264112

1 Mambembe (Instrumental)
(Chico Buarque)

2 Baioque (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Maria Bethânia

3 Caçada (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Chico Buarque

4 Mais uma estrela

(Bonfiglio de Oliveira – Herivelto Martins)
Interpretação: Nara Leão

5 Quando o carnaval chegar (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Chico Buarque

6 Minha embaixada chegou (Assis Valente)
Interpretação: Maria Bethânia / Nara Leão

7 Soneto (Instrumental)
(Chico Buarque)

8 Mambembe (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Chico Buarque

9 Soneto (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Nara Leão

10 Partido alto
(Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: MPB-4

11 Bom conselho (Chico Buarque)
Interpretação: Maria Bethânia

12 Frevo (Tom Jobim – Vinicius de Moraes)
Interpretação: Chico Buarque

13 Formosa
(J.Rui – Nássara)
Interpretação: Maria Bethânia / Nara Leão

14 Cantores de rádio (Alberto Ribeiro – João de Barro – Lamartine Babo)
Interpretação: Chico Buarque / Maria Bethânia / Nara Leão

Film Credits

Ficha Técnica:
Título Original: Quando o Carnaval Chegar
Gênero: Musical
Duração: 98 min.
Lançamento (Brasil): 1972
Distribuição: Livio Bruni
Direção: Cacá Diegues
Roteiro: Cacá Diegues, Hugo Carvana e Chico Buarque
Produção: Cacá Diegues, Zelito Viana e Mapa Filmes
Música: Chico Buarque
Fotografia: Dib Lutfi
Figurino: Fernando Bede
Edição: Eduardo Escorel

Elenco:
Chico Buarque de Hollanda (Paulo)
Nara Leão (Mimi)
Maria Bethânia (Rosa)
Hugo Carvana (Lourival)
Antonio Pitanga (Cuíca)
Ana Maria Magalhães (Virgínia)
José Lewgoy (Anjo)
Elke Maravilha
Wilson Grey
Luiz Alves
Odete Lara
Vera Manhães
Scarlet Moon
Joaquim Mota
Zeni Pereira
—————————————————-

I don’t know much about this film, or the involvement of Nara, Chico, and Maria in it. I do know that Nara Leão was married to Carlos Diegues during this time. They all acted it in, and there were appearances by other notables like Odette Lara. Chico is credited with helping out on the script (he’s a renowned novelist too at this point, for those who don’t know). In fact this is essentially a Chico Buarque record. It contains other material released elsewhere. Particularly noteworthy is the unbelievably catchy “Partido Alto” which is the stand-out track for me, the one that sticks in your memory. Performed by the group MPB-4, it was in fact written by Buarque.

I did, however, find this synopsis of the film:
—————————————————————————————
O empresário de um grupo de cantores sem sucesso, lhes consegue um contrato para que se apresentem em homenagem a um rei que chegará à cidade para o Carnaval. Discussões internas, romances inesperados e defecções impedem que o espetáculo se realize. Mas os artistas voltam a se juntar, apresentando-se em shows mambembes.

Flabber translation:

The manager of a group of unsuccessful singers secures a contract for them to present a show in homage to a king when he arrives to the city for Carnaval. Internal debates, unexpected romances, dissent and defections impede the realization of the show. But the artists come together and join as one, and put on spectacular minstrel shows.

————————————————————————————-

Hmmm…. Haven’t seen this film, but it sounds like it belongs to a long tradition of films with great soundtracks (Superfly, The Harder They Come, Shaft, any Quinten Tarantino film): the music is the high point, and perhaps the only reason to see it.. I could be wrong though, maybe someone who has seen it can correct me. But one thing is certain, it seems like they were having a good time on the set…

Meet Chico Buarque, international man of letters…
chico dude

*Flabbergasted Vibes does not condone the use of illicit mind-altering substances.

Nara, Chico, and Maria – Quando o Carnaval Chegar (1972) in 320kbs

Nara, Chico and Maria – Quando o Carnaval Chegar (1972) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

senha / pass in comments

Paulinho da Viola – 2 for 1 (1971)

Photobucket

Record #1 called Paulinho da Viola released in 1971

01 – Perder e ganhar
02 – Sol e pedra
03 – Dona Santina e Seu Antenor
04 – Para um amor no Recife
05 – Mal de amor
06 – Depois da vida
07 – Moemá Morenou
08 – Oculos Escuros
09 – Cuidado, teu orgulho te mata
10 – Lenço
11 – O acaso não tem pressa
12 – Um certo dia para 21

Paulinho da Viola – Vocals, guitar, cavaquinho
Flute and Clarinet: Copinha
Rhythm and percussion: Elton Medeiros, Marçal and OScar
Drums: Elizeu, Juquinha
Bass: Dininho
Trombone: Norato
cornet: Maurilio

Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical director and orchestrator: Lindolfo Gaya
Technical director: Z.J. Merky
Recording technicians: Jorge and Nivaldo

Cover photo: Geraldo Guimarães

Record #2 called Paulinho da Viola released in 1971….

13 – Num samba curto
14 – Pressentimento
15 – Para ver as meninas
16 – Nas ondas da noite
17 – Filosofia do samba
18 – Consumir e viver
19 – Lapa em três tempos – Abre a janela
20 – Coraçao
21 – Minha vez de sorrir
22 – Reclamação
23 – Abracando Chico Soares
24 – Vinhos finos… cristais

Paulinho da Viola, 1971 #2
Musicians uncredited but probably much the same as #1, except who played te harpsichord!!
Produced by Milton Miranda
Musical director: Lyrio Panicali
Arrangements and orchestration: Maestro Gaya
Technical Director: Z.J. Merky
Recording engineers: Jorge ann Nivaldo

Cover photo: Marisa Alves de Lima

*************************************************************************************

I’ve been wavering back and forth on whether to share this here. Not because of the music – these two records are absolute classics, no problems there! But I do not know who mastered these 2-for-1 Paulinho pressings, and to my ears this is definitely NOT the work of Peter Mew at Abbey Road, who gave such a loving treatment to Paulinho’s catalog in the mid 90s as well as others like Milton Nascimento’s classic records (the good ones..) and non-Brazilian but personal favorite Kevin Ayers. Although music freaks and audiophiles are prone to disagreement over remasters, I find Peter Mew’s work to be some of the best out there, very gentle, maintaining dynamic range, and doing very LITTLE to the original recording. To my ears this 2-for-1, while it doesn’t sound terrible, sounds harsher and more compressed than Mew’s work in general and his work with Paulinho in particular. The careful listener will notice some distortion and modulation in places, and that is a sure sign of an assembly-line style rush job. So, I have been meaning to replace this disc with the individual releases. But not knowing who did the mastering for certain on THIS pressing has kept me from doing that — whoever it is, they are not credited.

BUT — as many of you are now probably saying to yourself, for @#$%’s sake its the music that matters, right? But of course. Even Charles Gavin couldn’t mess up these records (although I’m sure he would give it his best shot). Two records released in 1971 showing Paulinho at the height of his powers, still young and drinking at the font of the Portela samba school. “Pelo Amor em Recife” is one of his best-known compositions; I was lucky enough to hear him perform it IN Recife (well, Olinda actually, but they’re literally connected to each other). With other classics like “Mal de amor” and “Oculos escuros,” there is not a dull moment on this album. “Moemá morenou” is another classic, a samba-de-roda penned with his friend and frequent partner Elton Madeiros. This whole record is more of a classic, straight-up samba recording, and to speak more of production – everything is clear as a bell, especially Paulinho’s voice which is like crystal but does not dominate the balance, rather sitting nicely just barely on top of the instrumentation.

The next album from 1971 is a bit more of an elaborate affair. Immediately you know you are in different territory when you hear the chiming notes of a harpsichord tinkling your samba. Even if you detest harpsichord (I have heard of such people, although I do not quite understand hating an entire instrument), you have to credit Paulinho for a characteristically modest innovation and expansion of his sonic palette. A lot of this record has some post-bossa nova ensemble arrangements that make the record perhaps more “modern”-sounding than his release from earlier in the year, although hinted at on that record with the track “Cuidade, teu orgulho te mata” (Be careful, your pride will kill you…) . “Para ver as meninas” is yet another amazing samba-canção ballad, with what appear to be castinettes in the right channel yet are more likely to be somebody playing a box of matches (samba is excellent at improvising anything around your house into a percussion instrument) and — yet again — harpsichord in the left channel playing modal variations on the melody. This song was, unfortunately, covered by over-rated chanteuse Marisa Monte, but don’t let that keep you away. It is a great song. “Filosofia do samba” is a very famous composition by Candeia (another Portela luminary) and here Paulinho gives it a more than worthy interpretation, perhaps the best version committed to tape. “Consumir e viver” sees Paulinho moving into Samba-Rock territory, something of a rarity to hear him approaching a song with a swinging backbeat worthy of any Jorge Ben (that is Jorge Ben from the mid-1960s; by 1973 Ben had moved on to making amazing records with esoteric lyrics about alchemists and aliens..). “Reclamação” also works the same ground, although a bit more on a heavy bossa nova tip. The material on this second album is on the whole not as strong and memorable as the first, but then that is sort of an unfair comparison — this first album from 1971 is one of the high points of his entire career. one strange thing I noticed, even if you start this disc at track 13 (where the 2nd of the two begins), by the end of it you may find yourself with listening fatigue. Again, this is a direct consequence of the mastering, and further evidence that it was not Peter Mew’s work… I’ll get to the bottom of this mystery yet!