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.

Baden Powell – Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell

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Deve Ser Amor – 3:54
Choro Para Metronome – 3:00
Adágio – 3:07
Berimbau – 3:03
Samba Em Prelúdio – 3:30
Chanson D’hiver – 2:27
Samba Triste – 3:33
Berceuse A Jussara – 2:37
Prelude – 2:54
Euridice – 3:05
Bachiana – 4:10
Garota De Ipanema – 2:59

AMG Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: 2005
Recording Date: 1964
Label: Universal Music France

Baden Powell (git)
Alphonse Masselier (b)
Arthur Motta (dr)
Silvio Silveira (perc)
Paul Mauriat and his orchestra
Francoise Waleh (vcl on “Samba Em Preludio”)

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1964 cover

Linernotes wrote:
Brazilian music is, as its country which is 16 times as big as France, diverse, varied, surprising, subtle and simple all at the same time. This music only asks, as Brazil, for regognition and love. With this album, which is the first he releases in Europe, the guitarist & composer BP presents us a complete palette of his musical world. From African rythms to his personal perceiving of classical european composers, and through delicate reminiscence of melodies from the Antilles, to negro american jazz accents: BP reminds all these influences on his guitar.

He’s 27 years old. Born in Rio. He played since 8 y.o. After having studied in Rio academy, where he improved his style and learned composition, he started like many other, in clubs with little rythmic entities. He eventually showed up in several Tv & radio broadcasts, and his compositions became very popular. He teamed with Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menescal for work and tours in several big cities in Brazil. He recorded with Herbie Mann and Jimmy Pratt just before his departure to the US. After some concerts in the Village Vanguard, his friend and poet Vinicius de Moraes made him come to Paris in the late of 63. He gave recitals and tv shows: Living room, musicorama etc… Asked for his guitaristic influences he answers: Segovia, Van Eps, Django are people that are part of the musical world i love. With this record you’ll be able to discover samples from this musical universe.

Here are the themes: DEVE SER AMOR: was recorded using play back device. Baden first recorded the rythmic part with the bass & drums. Afterwards he recorded the melody. The same process was involved with BACHIANA.
CHORO PARA METRONOME is quite a challenge. The choro which was originally an improvisation over folkoric patterns, turns here into a guitar piece. The metronome replaces the whole rythm section. Fitting perfectly with this souless rythm, BP shows here its astounding technique.

The Albinoni ADAGIO and the Bach PRELUDE so seduced the guitarist, that he did want to give a respectful homage to these composers by playing these two pieces.
BERIMBAU is the name of a musical instrument looking like an arc, which is used in the Capoeira. This is a dance which partly look like wrestle, and is done by Nordeste youth, especially in the Bahia area. It is undoubtly of African inspiration.

SAMBA EM PRELUDIO is made of two distincts melodies. Baden plays the first which is in turn played by the orchestra. Then the guitar plays the second theme, and then the two parts are played together, and taken by cello and Francoise Waleh’s voice. CHANSON D’HIVER is the first song that Baden wrote when he came to Paris in December 63.

SAMBA TRISTE opens on a very dark climate and dramatic first part, then the repetitive rythm takes over and leads to the conclusive chords. BERCEUSE A JUSSARA is a delicate composition, dedicated to his little niece “Sobrinha” Jussara. EURIDICE is a Vinicius de Moraes composition, which illustrates the Orphee myth. BACHIANA is a piece written with, once again, Johann S. Bach in mind. GAROTA is a new composition from Tom Jobim and Vinicius. Baden takes it as a basis for a free improvisation, with a complete command on the instrument.
Jacques Lubin, 1964.

Scott Yanow, AMG wrote:
When it was originally released in 1964, this set of music was a bit of a hit, selling over 100,000 copies. Brazilian guitarist-composer Baden Powell was working regularly in France at the time and he is joined on various selections by a French rhythm section and an orchestra. There are also some unaccompanied guitar solos. Listened to over four decades later, much of the music comes across as being overly sweet, safe and sleepy. Powell plays well enough, but the lack of mood variation and the unimaginative arrangements are unfortunate. Since the guitarist rarely gets beyond the melody, the overall results are pleasant background music, nice but predictable. [Universal reissued Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell on CD in 2005.]

This RIP and PRESENTATION courtesy of the almighty KUNG. I only uploaded this for him because he’s busy, and I’m still rebuilding my machine to do new rips and scans. This is essential listening, enjoy!!

Elis Regina – Em pleno verão (1970) 320 Abr

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Elis Regina
Em pleno verão
Released 1970 on Philips
LINK HERE

I much prefer Elis performing MPB material than her bright, brash take on bossa nova. This record really marks a new chapter in her trajectory. All of records are more than worth listening to and having, but this is as good a place to start as any. Enjoy this gem from the woman widely regarded as Brazil’s greatest singer.

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Review from Dusty Groove
One of the greatest records ever by this amazing Brazilian singer! This hard-to-find session from 1970 is a perfect bridge between Elis’ early bossa work and her later albums as a sophisticated pop singer — and it’s got a wonderfully lively feel all the way through, with loads of uptempo numbers that have a great great groove! Erlon Chaves handled the arrangements — and his style takes off from the marvelous work that Roberto Menescal did on Gal’s albums from 1969, with lots of breezy orchestrations, and nice jazzy patches of instrumentation. Titles include “Ate Ai Morreu Neves”, “Vou Deitar E Rolar”, “Bicho Do Mato”, “Nao Tenha Medo”, “These Are The Songs”, “Frevo”, “Fechado Pra Balanco”, and a version of Joyce’s “Copacabana Velha De Guerra”
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Gilberto Gil – Refavela (1977) 320kbs

Gilberto Gil
Refavela (1977)
320 kbs

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This is a highly underrated album, a result of Gil’s trip to Lagos with Caetano Veloso. Caetano recorded “Bicho”, also a classic, but this record holds its own against it any day. In my opinion, this is the last of Gil’s records that you can truly call a “classic.” It’s groundbreaking stuff that presages “world music” but the production values here are still nice, warm, and analog (no Peter Gabriel “Real World studios” sounding stuff here!).

Contains complete artwork!!

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Review by Philip Jandovský

Unlike his friend and fellow Brazilian musical legend, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, through the years, has had a strong tendency to follow the temporary shifts in styles and trends that occur within popular music. Because of this the music of Gil usually has sounded very up to date when it was released, but often his recordings haven’t at all aged as gracefully as the timeless music of Caetano Veloso. The tracks on many of the albums of Gilberto Gil have also been of very uneven quality. Refavela is clearly one of the exceptions to this rule. Heavily inspired by traditional African and Afro-Brazilian sounds and rhythms, the songs on this album have aged very well indeed. The title of the album, Refavela, of course, refers to the slum quarters found in the large Brazilian cities, which are called favelas. Among the more famous songs on this album are the beautiful title track, “Refavela,” the funky “Babá Alapalá,” and the Afro-Brazilian rhythmic “Patuscada de Gandhi” and “Ilê Ayê.” There is also a cover of Tom Jobim’s “Samba do Avião.” Refavela is, without doubt, one of the most consistent and probably the best of all albums recorded by Gilberto Gil.

Nelson Angelo & Joyce (1972) 320 kbs

Nelson Angelo e Joyce
Released as Odeon SMOFB 3734 in 1972
Reissued in 2006 on Discos Mariposas, Argentina

This is a beautiful, haunting album. It captures the dreamy, wistful saudades of the Clube da Esquina album with its bucolic, pastoral stroll tinged with psychedelia. And no wonder — it features a great deal of the same people. Nelson Angelo wrote a lot of stuff on that record, along with Ronaldo Bastos and Marcio Borges, both represented here too. In all the hipster attention to Brazilian music that erupted since the late 90s, most attention has been payed to the Tropicalistas, a scene involving mostly Baianos working in São Paulo and then spreading to Rio. The Clube da Esquina hailed from Minas Gerais and gets sort of neglected, in spite of Milton Nascimento’s later fame as a ‘cross-over’ jazz-fusion-pop sensation. Between 1970 and 1976 this group of musicians all played on each other’s records and created some of the most effecting, textured sounds coming from anywhere in the world. I can’t recommend this enough, for fans of the Nascimento/Lo Borges “Clube da Esquina” record, for fans of Joyce’s body of work, for fans of Brazilian music in general, and just for lovers of other-worldly music from the early 70s! It’s short and sweet, and so is this description — I wish I had the time, or the words, worthy of this record. But it’s been ‘in the cue’ for a while and I just want to share it already…

Note: I made full art scans of this record, but I did it a long while ago at some resolution higher than 600 dpi, which means the art folder is 190MB… Most people don’t care that much, I think. If anybody really wants it, leave a comment and I’ll upload it and/or resize them down to 300 dpi for more manageable size (but you’ll have to wait about 3 weeks…)