Jackson do Pandeiro – Sua Majestade, O Rei do Ritmo (1960)

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Jackson do Pandeiro
“Sua Majestade – O Rei do Ritmo”
Copacabana records, 1960

1 Forró em Caruaru (Ze Dantas)

2 Cabo Tenório (Rosil Cavalcanti)

3 O canto da ema (João doVale – Alventino Cavalcanti – Ayres Vianna)

4 Sebastiana (Rosil Cavalcanti)

5 Cremilda (Edgar Ferreira)

6 Coco de improviso (Alventino Cavalcanti – Edson Menezes – Jackson do Pandeiro)

7 Xote de Copacabana (José Gomes)

8 A mulher do Anibal (N. de Paula – Genival Macêdo)

9 Um a um (Edgar Ferreira)

10 Coco social (Rosil Cavalcanti)

11 Falsa patroa (Geraldo Jacques – Isaías de Freitas)

12 O crime não compensa (Eleno Clemente – Genival Macêdo)

This long-player, which by all appearances seems to be a collection of the many singles put out by Jackson do Pandeiro in the decade or so before 1960, quite a few of them on 78s. Save Chiclete com Banana, most of his biggest hits are here, and it’s an incredibly fun listen. It is also one of the only releases from him you will find on CD besides a few anthologies. This is at least partly do the fact that Jackson recorded for at least four or five different labels during his career, and a lot of his output was in the form of singles. Hopefully someday there will be a boxset deserving of this huge figure in Brazilian music. Along with Luiz Gonzaga, he is a master of the genre of forró, but also known for his interpretations of ‘samba de coco’ — traditionally a type of samba found in the sertão or backlands of Pernambuco and Paraíba, accompanied by hand-claps and group call and response singing, but reinvented by Jackson into an ensemble setting. The guy just oozed musicality out of his pores. The style of syncopation he injected into his music is credited with transforming Brazilian music, changing the way musicians and composers were rhythmically approaching their material. I can believe it.

Whereas, Luiz Gonzaga – the undisputed king of the baião ballad and sort of the ambassador of forró “pé de serra” style – was in a way more of a curator of the rich, musical and cultural heritage of the northeast (my opinion, feel free to dispute it), Jackson do Pandeiro was forging new sounds and textures, or as the music-writers’ cliché would have it, “pushing the boundaries” of the genre(s). This is not meant to be a dig against Luiz Gonzaga: I adore him and his musical legacy, but there is a real way in which that legacy has become almost a stand-in for the culture itself, and Gonzaga was deliberately “reinventing tradition” to promote a previously devalorized part of the country. But Jackson, man, Jackson do Pandeiro was as ‘modern’ as any bossa nova, as charismatic and tempestous a stage presence as any rocker. Even if he wasn’t jumping around the stage, his performances would leap off of it and into your consciousness.
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Why does Almira look so scared and horrified?
I’ll tell you.
It’s because Jackson do Pandeiro was an unstoppable rhythm machine. And, he was dancing right next to her.

Here is a bio of Jackson do Pandeiro from cliquemusic, translated by yours truly for your enjoyment:

BIO from CLIQUEMUSIC, translated by Flabbergast

Born in the interior of Paraíba, his first wish was to play the accordion. But since that instrument was very expensive, his parents gave him a pandeiro (tambourine). His mother was a singer of coco, and played the zabumba and ganzá. At 13 years-old he moved with his family to Campina Grande, where he worked at odd jobs and began to pay attention to the singers of coco and the guitar-playing minstrals at the open markets and fairs. It was in this city where his first stage name emerged, Jack, influenced by North American Westerns that he would watch at the cinema. In the 1940s he moved on to João Pessoa, where he played in cabares and on radio stations. Much later he went to Recife, Pernambuco, and it was there at the Rádio Jornal do Comércio that he definitively adopted the name Jackson do Pandeiro. In 1953 he recorded his first hits: “Sebastiana” (Rosil Cavalcanti) and “Forró em Limoeiro” (Edgar Ferreira). Three years later he married Almira, who would become his partner during performances. In the same year they moved to Rio de Janeiro, and Jackson was contracted by Rádio Nacional, where he was a popular and critical success for his way of singing baiões, cocos, rojões, sambas, and marchinhas of carnaval. His influence is felt still today in artists that have rerecorded songs that Jackson made famous, like “O Canto de Ema,” recorded by Lenine (*Flabber note: much better version recorded by Gilberto Gil on Expresso 2222… But I don’t like Lenine at all, he makes me cringe..), “Na Base de Chinela,” by Elba Ramalho,” “Lágrima” by Chico Buarque, or “Um a Um” pelos Paralamas do Sucesso.** An inspired composer and instrumentalist of rare talent, he popularized other classics of Northeastern music, like “Chiclete com Banana” (Gordurinha/Almira Castilho), “Xote de Copacabana” (José Gomes), “17 na Corrente” (Edgar Ferreira / Manoel Firmino Alvez), “Como Tem Zé na Paraíba” (Manezinho Araújo / Catulo de Paula), “Cantiga do Sapo”, “A Mulher do Aníbal”, “Ele Disse” (Edgar Ferreira) and “Forró em Caruaru” (Zé Dantas). In 1998 he was the honored figure at the 11th Prêmio Sharp de Música (Flabber note: I don’t know what this event is…)

** Flabber note: A glaring omission from this list by cliquemusic — “Sebastiana” was recorded by Gal Costa on her 1968 album, and its one of the wildest renditions of anything associated with Jackson do Pandeiro.

*** An even more glaring omission is Gilberto Gil’s version of CHICLETE COM BANANA, which is still performed by him frequently. Along with O Canto de Ema recorded by Gil on Expresso 2222, these songs were my first exposure to Jackson.

**** Flabber note: This brief bio also does not mention that Jackson became involved with the same religous sect, Cultural Racional, that had Tim Maia recording his wonderfully looney masterpiece(s) of funk in 1975. The album of Jackson’s where the Racional philosophy gets reflected most is titled “Alegria Minha Gente” from 1978 and as far as I know has never received a CD release.
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HAVE A LOOK AND A LISTEN!!!

SEBASTIANA – A fantastic song, also great for practicing your vowel sounds (and sometimes epsilon)

CHICLETE COM BANANA

This clip of “Chiclete Com Banana” is a rather odd piece compiled by someone wanting to make a statement about the Americanization of Brazilian culture, splicing in old footage of films and carnaval and cartoons. It may or my not have something to do with cineaste Jose Nelson, I don’t know, I can’t figure it out.. I like it though. And keep an eye out for a George Bush playing percussion!

Clip of a documentary made by TV Cultura — sign the petition to get this shown in full!

And more — A Globo documentary (using some clips from the TV Cultura one, incidentally), just the first bit

Vinicius & Toquinho / Toquinho & Vinicius (1974) 320kbs

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1 Como é duro trabalhar (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

2 Samba da volta (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

3 A carta que não foi mandada (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

4 Triste sertão (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

5 Carta ao Tom 74 (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

6 Canto e contraponto (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

7 Samba pra Vinicius (Chico Buarque – Toquinho)

8 Sem medo (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)9 Samba do jato (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

10 As cores de abril (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

11 Tudo na mais santa paz (Toquinho – Vinicius de Moraes)

I hope this entry to Flabbergasted Vibes brings some joy to your weekend. This is a fantastic record from start to finish from a duo that could do no wrong during the early 70s. The album starts out with the best use of a Moog on a bossa nova song, Como é duro trabalhar. If you speak or read any Portuguese, the lyrics are as brilliant as you might expect from Vinicius de Moraes. “The Letter That Was Not Sent” is a fine example of piece that stands alone as poetry just fine, but comes alive with music. The two tracks I’ve included as samples are particular high points for me. “Triste Sertão” is some of the funkiest post-bossa nova you will ever hear, with a slightly-gritty Fender Rhodes jamming away under the fingers of who I suspect is João Donato. “The Colors of April” is one of those perfect compositions of Vinicius and Toquinho that tend to run through my head for hours and hours after hearing it. If there is anything annoying going on here, its that RGE tended to not credit musicians on many of these records. Aside of Donato, I can only guess at what other heavy-hitters are probably playing on these sessions. Definitely Chico Buarque is singing on his own composition with Toquinho, Samba pra Vinicius. Anyone who has more detailed information please leave a comment.

Alaide Costa – Afinal (1963) 320kbs

Alaide Costa – Afinal (1963) 320 kbs
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SONG SAMPLE

Insensatez (Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)

A insensatez que você fez
Coração mais sem cuidado
Fez chorar de dor
O seu amor
Um amor tão delicado
Ah, porque você foi fraco assim
Assim tão desalmado
Ah, meu coração quem nunca amou
Não merece ser amado

Vai meu coração ouve a razão
Usa só sinceridade
Quem semeia vento, diz a razão
Colhe sempre tempestade
Vai, meu coração pede perdão
Perdão apaixonado
Vai porque quem não
Pede perdão
Não é nunca perdoado
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This is a marvelous record from start to finish. It is nice of RGE to feature the original album cover art, but it would be much nicer if they could reproduce it in a way that was legible. Lots of liner notes that look interesting as well as complete lyrics. The players (I had to squint much to get this, so please appreciate!):
Piano – César
Guitar – Theo
Bass – Naba
Drums – Hamilton
Vocal chorus on track 2 and — Trio Seleno
Arrangements – Gaya

I was never on a first-name basis with these chaps but apparently the Brazilian listening public of 1963 was.. Or maybe not. Either way there is excellent playing throughout, very sensitive to the dynamics of Alaide’s voice. There are also uncredited musicians on here, playing xylophone, sax, trombone, flute and probably a few other instruments I am forgetting. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have, it has brightened my days of late. It is truly beautiful.

1. Afinal
2. E Agora?
3. Natureza
4. Cadê O Amor
5. Ouvi Tua Voz
6. Igrejinha
7. Insensatez
8. Estorinha
9. Tristeza De Amar
10. Manhã Chegou
11. Rimas De Ninguém
12. Como Eu Gosto De Você

Paulinho da Viola – Foi um rio que passou a minha vida (1970)

PAULINHO DA VIOLA – Foi um rio que passou em minha vida
1970 (EMI 852504 2 )

1. para não contraria você ( paulinho da viola )
2. o meu pecado ( zé keti )
3. estou marcado ( paulinho da viola )
4. lamentação ( mauro duarte )
5. mesmo sem alegria ( paulinho da viola )
6. foi um rio que passou em minha vida ( paulinho da viola )
7. tudo se transformou ( paulinho da viola )
8. nada de novo ( paulinho da viola )
9. jurar com lágrimas ( paulinho da viola )
10. papo furado ( paulinho da viola )
11. não quero vocé assim ( paulinho da viola )
faixas bônus ( cd )
12. sinal fechado ( paulinho da viola )
13. ruas que sonhei ( paulinho da viola )

This is a fabulous record, with everything you would expect and nothing less from the inimitable Paulinho da Viola. Great musicianship, flawless songwriting, Paulinho’s voice (like butter!). It starts with a song, it ends with another song, it has highlights, it has a cool album cover, it is recorded really well, it is mastered by the masterful mastering engineer Pete Mayhew at Abbey Road, ba ba ba ba yadda yadda yadda, you get the idea.

What I REALLY wanted to write about was one of the bonus tracks on here, ‘Sinal Fechado’, released as a single.

I thought about providing a straight translation of it, but it would be hard to do it justice in any language but its own. The lyrics are simple, really, with scant repetition, arranged as a dialogue between two people in alternating lines. The idea is beautifully simple – two former lovers who have not seen each other in ages, running into each other on the street at the same corner. One of them (let’s say, a man – it’s never specified) is about to cross the street, and they have only a moment to talk before the traffic light changes. He apologies for not having more time to converse, “Forgive me, but hurry is the soul of our times…” [literally, ‘business’] The other implores him not to worry about it, she too has to run. When will you give me a call? We need to catch up. Next week I promise, maybe, we’ll see each other. Who knows? It’s been a long time… Yes, it has been a long time.
“I had so many things to say, but I disappeared in the dust of the streets.”
“I too had much something to say, but the memory hid from me.”
Please, call me, I need to
Drink something, quickly.
Next week….
The signal…
I’ll look for you…
It’s going to change, it’s going to open…
Promise, don’t forget, don’t forget…
Goodbye

As it’s presented this way, this is a stirring vignette of romance and estrangement, love and distance. The lyrics play off the halting arpregiated and rather dissonant chords of Paulinho’s guitar that run through the song, punctuated only briefly by syncopated chords more familiar to samba and bossa nova. The string arrangements accent the tension, weaving a second melody that feels like a third voice in the dialog, the unspoken subtext. Extremely powerful, the song manages to feel both stark and warm at the same time. It terms of structure and execution, it’s quite different from Paulinho’s usual styles of writing, creating the suspicion that this is more than just another melancholic love song among many. The entire piece also works as a metonym for the feelings of Brazilians held under the heel of the military dictatorship (which grew considerably more oppressive in the same time Paulinho was writing this song, after the passing of Institutional Act No.5 that decimated political rights and civil liberties). Looked at from that perspective, everything becomes multivalent and laced with double-meaning. This was a technique used by many Brazilian songwriters – Chico Buarque most famously – to evade the censorship to which all popular music at the time was being subjected. A certain grim satisfaction was attained by fooling the authorities, a joke at their expense in a way – and if any questions or doubts were raised by the censorship board, the composer could simply respond, “It’s a love song, that’s all.” Throughout the seventies, songwriters adopted this as a deliberate technique – however I am not sure if that’s what Paulinho da Viola was doing here. In many ways it’s a tired and academic question, to look for the ‘hidden meaning’ of a work of art. Part of the magical quality of so many varieties of song is the refusal to spell things out, to assign hard and fast correspondences to word, tone, context, hard facts… I am not interested in robbing the composer or the listener of that magic. But I think it’s safe to say that many listeners in 1970 heard this song with ears informed by the political and social oppression that was becoming more and more part of daily life. The song was covered a few years later by Chico Buarque on the record “Meus Caros Amigos,” and later by Elis Regina on “Tranvsersal do Tempo” as part of a show that was rife with this shuttling back and forth between the emotions of interpersonal relations and political realities. They are not, after all, discrete phenomenon. People loved and lost and married and had children all the while that people were being “disappeared” in Brazil, in Chile, in Argentina… Just as the unjust war in Iraq has affected so many lives for six years and counting, or the inexcusable massacres in Gaza leave scars on our eyes. People move on and live their lives and find ways to nourish their spirit, attempting dignity no matter how ignoble the situation, putting energy into their families, their work, their art. “Hurry is the soul of our times,” indeed, but songs as perfect as ‘Sinal Fechado’ make you stop, and listen.

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Vinicius & Odette Lara (1963)

All compositions by Baden Powell & Vinicius de Moraes
Arrangements by Moacir Santos

1. Berimbau
2. Só Por Amor
3. Deixa
4. Seja Feliz
5. Mulher Carioca
6. Samba Em Prelúdio
7. Labareda
8. E Hoje Só
9. O Astronauta
10. Deve Ser Amor
11. Samba da Bênção
12. Além Do Amor

Credits: Arranged By, Conductor – Moacir Santos
Liner Notes – Ruy Castro
Artwork By [Cover] – Cesar G. Villela
Artwork By [Original Covers Courtasy] – Caetano Rodriguez
Other [Lyrics Research] – Luiza Reis
Other [Tape Archives] – William Tardelli
Photography – Francisco Pereira
Producer [Assistant] – José Delphino Filho
Producer [Manager] – Peter Keller
Producer [Production Director] – Aloysio De Oliveira
Recorded By [Recording Engineer] – Norman Sternberg
Remastered By [Restored & Adapated From Original Lps] – Cilene Affonso
Remastered By, Edited By – Carlos Freitas , Jade Pereira
Vocals – Odette Lara (tracks: 2 to 8, 10 to 12) , Vinicius De Moraes (tracks: 1, 3, 5 to 7, 9 to 11)
Written-By – Baden Powell , Vinicius De Moraes
Notes: Recorded in 1963 at studio Rio Som S.A.
Originally released on the brazilian Elenco Label, 1963.
Remastered and edited at Classic Master, São Paulo in July/August, 2003.

THIS ALBUM can be a little uneven at times but it very much worth having. It has been sitting on my fileserver so long that people were starting to find it and DL even though there were no links to it anywhere, so it’s about time I made a post!!!

Milton Nascimento – Milton (1970) 320 kbs

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Milton Nascimento
“MILTON”
Released in 1970 on EMI/Odeon
Remastered at Abby Road in 1994

Milton Nascimento tends to get a bad rap these days among music connoisseurs. Much of that is his own doing: since he became an international jazz-fusion star in the late 1970s, his records just became worse and worse. Another reason why “jazz-fusion” is often synonymous with the Devil’s work. Satan may torture music snobs with Britney Spears or Pink when they arrive in his fiery domain, but when the Prince of Darkness wants to just chill out and relax with some of his demonic underlings, he puts some jazz-fusion on the box. Trust me on this.

In a way, that all started with Milton’s first album for A&M (Courage) produced by Rudy Van Gelder and featuring Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, Airto, Eumir Deodato and others, but his work really becomes ‘fusion’ in his second album for A&M, recorded seven years later in L.A. and featuring Wayne Shorter, Hancock and Airto again. That record is actually not that bad in itself (it’s also not that good), but only once you’ve appreciated WHY all those American heavyweights of jazz were so interested in Milton in the first place. The key to that question lay in his records released in Brazil in the interim between 1969 and 1976. Most of that second A&M record was comprised of songs he had already recorded and released in Brazil, but with new arrangements and occasionally English lyrics. This 1970 effort is the first of the influential albums where Milton finds his voice. (The one LP between ‘Couragem’ and 1970’s Milton sees him searching for something new but artistically stumbling in the process..)

Backing him up on this record is the psychedelic/progressive band Som Imaginario, a group of musicians from the mountainous interior state of Minas Gerais. Many of these guys — Wagner Tiso, Toninha Horta, Robertinho Silva among them — would go on to be central to Milton’s ‘corner club’ band that would record the amazing “Clube da Esquina” album. This record is essentially gestating the ethereal vibe that would culminate in that landmark — rock numbers tinged with Brazilian funk; languid, pastoral pieces fringed with psychedelic flourish and soaring arrangements; at times sparse, at times grandiose; and all of it capped with Milton’s angelic voice heard here for the first time as it would come to make him famous — rooted in the Baroque gold-leafing of his church-choir boyhood, as someone once said, “In Milton’s voice, you can HEAR the mountains.” The statement is spot on. There is a melancholy in his tone and phrasing, but also a enveloping warmth, a permanence and solidity in the face of tectonic change. A nostalgia for that to which there is no returning. Saudades.

There is something unmistakable in Milton’s melodies, in the intervals he chooses to express the layered complexity. It’s this that makes his compositions immediately recognizable no matter who is performing them — case in point is Elis Regina, his most important interpreter, she recorded a ton of his songs, and all of them stand out as high points on her records. Unlike some of his contemporaries (Caetano or Gil, for example) a lot of his lyrics are really nothing special. But the vibe he and his fellow Mineiros created on these records from 1970 to 1976 was unmatched and, in my opinion, deserving of much more attention than they’ve received, overshadowed as they were by the iconic Tropicalístas based in São Paulo. Caetano Veloso remarks in his memoir Verdade tropical about a conversation he and Gilberto Gil had on the eve of their exile from Brasil, where they reflected that Milton Nascimento was the most important thing happening (after themselves, of course…) in Brasil’s musical world at the time, that he was deepening what they had begun. This may be taking too much credit for himself, as Caetano is wont to do. I think of Milton and the Clube da Esquina crowd as having been working on something different, something perhaps more ‘Pan-Latino’ in its vision, as we’ll see in his subsequent albums that I hope to share here soon. But the compliment still stands.

The songs here are not quite as developed as the ones that would come together on ‘Clube da Esquina’ but they still make for a very solid listen and one of my favorite albums from 1970 in Brasil. If the haunting ‘Durango Kid’ does not grab you, or the beautiful ‘Pai Grande’ which begins quietly enough but soon becomes nearly unhinged swell of acoustic of reverb-laden percussion, organ, recorder, and Milton’s voice rising above the din. This is probably the high point of the record for me, and hints at the experimentation that we’ll find on his Milagre Dos Peixes record a few years after this, but in a more accessible form. The album as a whole is very similar to Nelson Angelo & Joyce’s album from 1972 – very relaxed and dreamy but with more of a sense of urgency to it.
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Note that tracks 10-13 are bonus tracks not on the original album.

Milton Nascimento – Milton (1970) in 320 kbs

Milton Nascimento – Milton (1970) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO.. Available as soon as I find my EAC backup. The original is locked in my bunker in the Kaymans.