Jorge Ben – Jorge Ben (1969) [Salve, Jorge! Boxset]


JORGE BEN
1969
Philips (R 765.100 L)

This reissue, Salve Jorge! Boxset, 2009
The Dusty Groove America pressing of this album from only a few years ago is on the blog HERE for your comparison. I have the original Philips pressing but without artwork (copy from a friend made a few years ago) if anybody is dying to compare all three pressings…

One of Jorge Ben’s best albums. The liner notes on the new reissue refer to it as a ‘comeback album’ — what they don’t tell you is that its also a ‘coming back to the Philips label’ album.. Ben had recorded one album for the United Artists label in 1967, O BIDU – SILÊNCIO NO BROOKLIN, that is not featured in this boxset for that very reason — which is really unfortunate since this boxset would otherwise be a complete document of his output up to 1976… I believe that Jorge Ben was in some kind of contractual dispute (such as disagreement on the terms of a new recording contract) that caused him to record for UA, but I’m not actually sure.

Regardless, ‘comeback’ notwithstanding, this is an amazing album, proving again that — just like his debut album — Jorge Ben was at his best when recording his own songs. EVERY track on this is his own. It is also remarkable and noteworthy that while other albums made by those more closely associated with Tropicália (e.g. any of the records made by Gilberto Gil, Caetano, or Gal in 68 or 69) contain little material that those artists would continue to perform (with some major exceptions scattered about…”Baby”, or “Aquele Abraço” for example), this album is packed with songs that continue to form staples of Jorge Ben’s repertoire.

This highlights one of the things I admire most about Jorge Ben — throughout the classic phase of his career, he could change elements of his stylistic approach while always retaining the ‘essence’ that was unmistakably Jorge Ben. Albums that are as different as they could be in terms of execution, approach, production — compare “Samba Esquema Novo”, this album, “A Tábua de Esmeralda”, and “África Brasil”, for example — never actually represent dramatic departures in Jorge Ben’s style of composition or playing. And I think this is a wonderful and remarkable thing. The notes on the boxset (sparse as they are, unfortunately) get things right when they demonstrate that in a very important way, Jorge Ben was always on the fringes of what was accepted as ‘serious’ music by the critics of his day — too much rock and jovem guarda for the bossa nova crowd, too much swing in his samba, too much funk in his feijoada. And in spite of critics he continued to be popular and to influence the music made by those artists more celebrated as ‘serious’, like the Tropicalístas, for whom (like Nara Leão) he was sort of an honorary member, a fellow-traveler whose career preceded the efflorescence of that movement and stood a bit further away from its center.

1 Crioula
2 Domingas
3 Cadê Teresa
4 Barbarella
5 País tropical
6 Take it easy my brother Charles
7 Descobri que eu sou um anjo
8 Bebete vãobora
9 Quem foi que roubou a sopeira de porcelana chinesa que a vovó ganhou da baronesa?
10 Que pena
11 Charles, Anjo 45

with Trio Mocotó and Os Originais do Samba

Arrangementes – José Briamonte, Rogerio Duprat (on “Descobri que eu sou um anjo” and “Barbarella”
Recorded at Scatena (São Paulo) and C.B.D. / Philips (Rio) studios
Recording technicians: Ary Carvalhaes, Célio Martins, Didi, Stélio Carlini, and João Kibelestis
Cover: Albery
Photo: Johnny Sálles
Layout: Lincoln
Violão: Jorge Ben
Produced by Manoel Barenbein

2009 Reissue mastered by Luigi Hoffer at DMS Mastering Solutions
Texts by Ana Maria Bahiana

mp3 icon

password: vibes

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

Jorge Ben – Jorge Ben (1969) 320 kbs ABR

Photobucket

Jorge Ben
‘JORGE BEN’
1969 Philips

1. Criola
2. Domingas
3. Cade Tereza
4. Barbarella
5. Pais Tropical
6. Take It Easy My Brother Charles
7. Descobri Que Eu Sou Um Anjo
8. Bebete Vaobora
9. Quem Foi Que Roubou A Sopeira De Porcelana Chinesa Que A Vovo Ganhou Da Baronesa?
10. Que Pena
11. Charles, Anjo 45

This is an essential album from Jorge Ben and (until just this year!) has been rather scarce to track down. NOTE ** This rip comes from the original Philips CD pressing and not from the one on Dusty Groove’s label. ** I will probably get the latter in the near future and I could post it here, but I recommend everyone give their money to Dusty Groove America anyway because they are the GREATEST RECORD STORE OF ALL TIME and deserve it. They’ve been very picky about what music they reissue, exercising their world-famous exquisite taste — but I’d love to see them reissue more goodies so give them your $$ and help ’em out!

All of Jorge Ben’s material up through the late 70s is golden, but this period of 1969-1976 was especially fruitful. This album marks a new chapter in his discography, considerably broadening out his sound pallete. His records of the mid-70s (A Tábua de Esmeralda especially) would get slightly more experimental than this one, but this album contains the track “Descobri que eu sou um anjo” (I discovered that I am an angel), which surely ranks as Ben’s strangest composition yet still manages to groove. Incidentally, I saw Caetano Veloso perform this track as an encore during his last tour — it was the highlight of the show for me, since his new record was rather lackluster and he was being backed the Brazilian equivalent of U2 in 1990 (this is not a compliment, FYI). But to come back on stage and play this “deep cut” for an American audience 95% of which wouldn’t recognize it — well, I forgave Caetano for the misguided ‘rocker’ persona he’s been flauting lately. This Jorge Ben record ought to be as famous and ubiquitous as Caetano’s 1969 “white album”, or other gems from 69 like Abbey Road. It’s a milestone and always a pleasure.

(from Dusty Groove dot com)

A samba soul masterpiece from Jorge Ben — one of the most brilliant records to come out the fertile late 60s Brazilian scene — and an incredible album that works with the psychedelic flourishes of Ben’s contemporaries and a deeper undercurrent of soul & funk! This is one of the most amazing early Jorge Ben LPs, recorded at the end of the 60s, when Jorge was singing with a stone-cold soul sound. The sharp, tight arrangements by Rogerio Duprat & Jose Briamonte made tracks like “Pais Tropical”, “Take It Easy My Brother Charles”, and “Que Pena” immediate classics — while the percussion and rhythms of Trio Mocoto provide a good part of the unique backdrop. The album is a mix of funky samba, soaring Brazilian soul, and sweeping orchestrations that give the whole thing a jazzy finish — and it’s some of the best work that Jorge Ben ever recorded! Other tracks include “Criola”, Cade Tereza”, “Domingas”, “Barbarella”, “Quem Foi Que Roubou A Sopeira” and more.

(From Wikiepedia)

“In 1969, Jorge Ben released his self-titled album amid the excitement of the cultural and musical Tropicália movement. The album featured Trio Mocotó as his backing band, who would go on to launch a successful career on the back of their association with Ben. The album was noted for “País Tropical,” one of his most famous compositions, although it would be Wilson Simonal who would take his recording of the song to the top of the charts in Brazil that same year. Instead, the song “Charles, Anjo 45″, also from the self-titled album, would become Ben’s biggest self-performed chart hit of the year.”

(From Slipcue dot com… Incidentally I think he’s wrong in his interpretation of the manacles but that’s neither here nor there…)

Jorge Ben “Jorge Ben” (Philips, 1969)
An excellent album, with some of his catchiest songs, many of which often make it onto best-of compilations. Wildly inventive, syncretic, experimental pop music, ranging from San Francisco-sound psychedelia to spaghetti western schmaltz, and deep, heavy samba-soul. The album is both soulful and playful, as when he sings the last half of one song in a funny voice, with his nose pinched shut, or when the string section veers into bent-note atonality. The album art shows Ben with the emblem of the Flamengo futbol team on his guitar, and broken manacles on his wrists — the latter presumably a powerful statement about the military dictatorship which was running the country at the time, and actively trying to repress the tropicalia movement. One of his best records… definitely worth tracking down!