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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gordurinha - Chicletes Com Banana from 78rpm & Súplica Cearense LP - Continental (1959) Phonodisc (1987)

Chicletes Com Banana may be THE most famous song by Jackson do Pandeiro. The writing credit lists Almira Castilho, who was Jackson's wife. I do not believe that she was a songwriter, however. Jackson used Castilho as his pen name before they split up. The other writer listed is Gordurinha. His career was short and basically ended around the time of the Brazilian military coup in the early 1960s. Gordurinha's version is far less famous, but equally fantastic. Fortunately, the original 78rpm has been re-released on a number of compilations like the one below. While the LP is not rare, it is scarce outside of Brazil and well worth picking up.



Gordurinha - Súplica Cearense LP - Phonodisc (1987)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cajú e Castanha - Pensei Que Não Pensava from Sensação Estranha - Copacabana (1982)

Embolada, or street rap, pre-dates baião and forró as an art form in Brazil. Typically, two performers with pandeiros stake out a spot to busk on the street. They trade humor and good-natured barbs towards each other and the crowd that has gathered around them. Recorded embolada can be acapella (with pandeiros) or with a full band, like Pensei Que Não Pensava. This album has both styles. Cajú e Castanha, who began as street performers when they were children, are one of the most successful duos to cross over into the recording studio. 

This particular LP, and the song featured here, encapsulates EVERYTHING that I hate about vinyl. The quality control at Copacabana for this album clearly wasn't great. They probably overused stampers and didn't check the test pressings. At any rate, I had to buy 3 perfect looking copies of Sensação Estranha before I got one that didn't skip on Pensei Que Não Pensava. Groan. 


Cajú e Castanha - Pensei Que Não Pensava from Sensação Estranha - Copacabana (1982) 


Cajú e Castanha - Sensação Estranha - Copacabana (1982) 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jackson do Pandeiro & Almira - Vem Amor from São João Alegre - Philips (1962)

Vem Amor is, yet again, proof of the genius of Jackson do Pandeiro. If you know forró, you know Jackson. If you don't, welcome to a world of joy. Jackson do Pandeiro and a crew of talented folks, including Philips rostermates and collectible artists João Mello and Moura Junior, appeared on this one-off Philips compilation called São João Alegre in 1962. It is every bit as rare as albums by any of the aforementioned artists. It also happens to include fantastic songs by Jackson and Moura Jr. that only appeared here. While artists in the US and Europe had a b-side or two, the Brazilians had a knack for tucking some of their most amazing songs on compilations and compactos. Folks on the cover are dressed for the harvest, or São João, festival. 

Jackson do Pandeiro & Almira - Vem Amor from São João Alegre - Philips (1962)


São João Alegre - Philips (1962)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Azulão da Bahia / Jackson do Pandeiro - Minha Zebelê from Nossas Raizes - Alvorada (1974) & Tráz Elas Prá Cá - Tropicana Cantagalo (1975)

Jackson do Pandeiro often creates definitive interpretations of forró material through his brilliance with rhythm, melodic variation and arrangement. Minha Zebelê is an exception. I prefer Azulão da Bahia's recording from one year later. Even through a somewhat thin mix, Azulão da Bahia manages to find a melodic edge, energy and joy in the song that surpasses Jackson do Pandeiro's. 

Azulão da Bahia - Minha Zebelê from Tráz Elas Prá Cá - Tropicana Cantagalo (1975)



Jackson do Pandeiro - Minha Zabelé from Nossas Raizes - Alvorada (1974)



Azulão da Bahia - Tráz Elas Prá Cá - Tropicana Cantagalo (1975)

Jackson do Pandeiro - Nossas Raizes - Alvorada (1974)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Luiz Wanderley - Turista Baiano & Mané Baiano from E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler / 78rpm (1961)

Luiz Wanderley - Turista Baiano & Mané Baiano from E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960s) & 78rpm (1961)

Luiz Wanderley's powerful voice and excellent tunes have aged well. Like the shift from boogie woogie / rhythm and blues into rock music in the 1950s in the United States, Northeastern Brazilian music began to coalesce the sound of baião, xaxado, côco, embolada, arrasta-pé, xote and forró into one blanket genre called forró. It should be noted that although the entire form is called forró, forró is actually a separate rhythmic style from the other categories in the genre. 

Luiz Wanderley entered at the right time. From 1952 to 1963, Wanderley released nearly 30 78rpm singles. Wanderley's internet discographies are somewhat incomplete. Some claim that he stopped recording in 1967, although an undated Caravelle LP seems like it may have been recorded somewhere between '67 and 1970. 1970 seems to be the likely release year based on the LP label.

Like Gordurinha, Borrachinha, Jackson do Pandeiro and Genival Lacerda, Luiz Wanderley mixed flamboyant performance and humor in his music. Turista Baiano and Carolina (which I will feature in a future post) are two of my favorite tunes by any forró artist. 

Wanderley also followed Ary Lobo, Moura Junior and Jackson do Pandeiro by branching off into samba in the early 1960s before returning to forró. I have never solved the mystery of why many of the major artists shifted to samba briefly, but it is logical to assume that forró may have been going through a decline in popularity at that moment and the more versatile folks needed to pay the bills.

The LP, E Seus Grandes Sucessos, on Rosicler is a scarce collection of great 78rpm records from his early days. The LP is not from 1961, but was likely released in the late 1960s.


Luiz Wanderley - Turista Baiano from E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960s) & 78rpm (1961)



Luiz Wanderley - Mané Baiano from E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960s) & 78rpm (1961)




Luiz Wanderley - E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960s)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Carmelita - Cuidado Menina & Forró De Pé De Serra from Recordação - Cantagalo (1969)

Ah, the wonderful Carmelita (not to be confused with the also wonderful Carmélita Alves). Her recording career was seemingly short-lived, with this single LP and several appearances on Cantagalo compilations. Her legacy, though, is gold. Recordação is a gorgeous LP with a slew of excellent tracks. My personal favorite, which may also be one of my favorite tracks of all time in the genre, is Cuidado Menina written by Durval Vieira. The track has a graceful elegance and phrasing which is similar to Pedro Cem by Sacy (my previous post). Some artists in the late 60s got a fairly shaky deal in terms of production. In this case, the man behind the desk was Pedro Sertanejo who lent his "Dr Art = Direção Artística" production skills to some of the best albums of the 60s and 70s. Having Pedro behind the board was a lucky break for virtually every artist that worked with him.

Carmelita - Cuidado Menina from Recordação - Cantagalo (1969)



Carmelita - Forró De Pé De Serra from Recordação - Cantagalo (1969)




Carmelita - Recordação - Cantagalo (1969)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sacy / Saci - Pedro Cem (rojão) from Salve-Se Quem Puder Tem Saci No Pau-De-Arara - Odeon (1960)

Pedro Cem, by Saci (also spelled Sacy) is one of the greatest songs ever recorded. I don't mean only forró or Brazilian music. Pedro Cem is hard to top in any language from any country. It is stunning that it was recorded in 1958, given the nearly perfect recording. Although much of Saci's music is strong and ranks amongst the best from the late 50s and 1960s, Pedro Cem touches on a kind of magic that is hard to achieve. The production, singing, phrasing and recording are stellar. I listed the release year as 1960, but the exact release year is contested. The record is also extremely rare. Sadly, this song has hardly been heard.

Some additional information thanks to Samuel Machado Filho from my YouTube post:

Pedro Cem was written by Júlio Ricardo (pseudonym of João Rodrigues de Lima) and Wernecy Pinto. Pedro Cem was recorded on December 4, 1958. The song was released by Odeon on 78 rpm in March 59 under number 14436-A, matrix 13172. I have seen copies of the compacto, but I have never seen a surviving version of the 78rpm in any condition.


Sacy / Saci - Pedro Sem (rojão) from Salve-Se Quem Puder Tem Saci No Pau-De-Arara - Odeon (1960)
Sacy / Saci - Salve-Se Quem Puder Tem Saci No Pau-De-Arara - Odeon (1960)
forró star Sacy / Saci