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Monday, October 20, 2014

Forró On CD - Brazil Classics 3, Ary Lobo, Marinês e Sua Gente, Luiz Gonzaga, Jackson do Pandeiro, Genival Lacerda, Jacinto Silva & Os 3 Do Nordeste

Forró On CD

ForróLPGringo is 2 years old!

I discovered forró about 7 years ago. If forró got the royal treatment on CD, like 60s and 70s rock has in the US and UK, I probably never would have started this blog. Alas, there is a dearth of information about this great genre and, most importantly, vintage forró music, in general, is heavily underrepresented in digital form. The almost total lack of availability of forró on CDs led me to seeking the original vinyl. Hopefully, my archiving efforts will turn a few people onto this great music. That said, a few artists have some noteworthy CDs worth snatching up. In fact, some of these CDs are as scarce as the vintage vinyl.

Brazil Classics 3 - forró

I am eternally grateful to Luaka Bop and David Byrne for this compilation. I recently discovered that this was released on vinyl in a few countries. My copy comes from Brazil, but it was also issued in Germany. Although it does not feature the cream of every featured artist's catalog, it was a fine enough starter to peak my interest.

Brazil Classics 3 - forró CD and vinyl LP

Ary Lobo

Ary Lobo was amazing and his work sounds as incredible today as it was the day it was recorded. Ary's 2 major labels in the 50s and 60s were RCA and Cantagalo. Nothing from Cantagalo, his late 60s label, has been reissued. Of Ary Lobo's RCA catalog, 5 random albums out of 9 were reissued. Although it's a shame that his entire RCA catalog did not get re-released, which includes many compactos (singles and EPs) that were not on the LPs, the CDs that were released sound fantastic. The Brazil Popular compilation includes random songs from his RCA catalog and a few tunes released by Lobo in the 1970s.

RCA period:
  • 1958 - Último Pau de Arara - RCA (10" LP) - never reissued
  • 1958 - Forró com Ary Lobo - RCA (LP)
  • 1960 - Aqui Mora o Ritmo - RCA (LP) - never reissued
  • 1961 - Cheguei Na Lua - RCA (LP)
  • 1962 - Ary Lobo - RCA (LP)
  • 1963 - Poeira de Ritmos - RCA (LP)
  • 1964 - Forró em Calcaia - RCA (LP) - never reissued
  • 1965 - Zé Mané - RCA (LP)
  • 1966 - Quem é o Campeão? - RCA (LP) - never reissued
Ary Lobo - História De Um Órfão from Poeira De Ritmos - RCA Victor (1963)


Ary Lobo on CD
Marinês E Sua Gente

Marinés also has a vast catalog. She was lucky enough to record for 2 of the best major labels in the 60s and 70s, RCA and CBS. Some songs from her fantastic CBS period have ended up on random CD compilations like Maxximum. Her RCA catalog, with the exception of the first LP she recorded after leaving Sinter and some compactos (singles), were beautifully reissued on CD.

RCA period:
  • Marinês e Sua Gente (1960) RCA LP - never reissued
  • O Nordeste e seu ritmo (1961) RCA LP
  • Coisas do Norte (1963) RCA LP
  • Siu, siu, siu (1964) RCA LP
  • Maria Coisa (1965) RCA LP
  • Meu benzim (1966) RCA LP
Marinês e Sua Gente RCA catalog on CD
Luiz Gonzaga

It is unsurprising that Luiz Gonzaga has gotten the best CD treatment, since he is effectively the king of forró and baião, credited as launching the genre. Although his RCA CDs were reissued with versions of the original artwork, his EMI Odeon work has appeared on a few random compilations. I still haven't picked up all of his work on CD, although what I have found sounds excellent. Again, bravo to RCA for taking the time to do this well.

Luiz Gonzaga on CD
Jackson do Pandeiro

Poor Jackson. Arguably, the most influential forró artist has appeared on multiple weird compilation CDs. Some of the CDs are quite good. 20 Super Sucessos has a shite cover but is a decent overview of his CBS years. 50 anos de ritmos seems like it would be comprehensive based on the title, but it only features his earliest pre-1962 Copacabana work. Although those songs are fine, it's arguable that his 1960 Philips through 1970s CBS period was better. The Jackson and Jacinto Silva Brasil Popular compilation is great... except it only features 13 songs. It short-changes Jackson, Jacinto and the buyer. It's worth buying for the Jacinto Silva songs alone, who does not have any other reissues. As far as I am aware, there are no legitimate reissues featuring any of Jackson's original albums with artwork.

Jackson do Pandeiro on CD

Elino Julião, Messias Holanda, Trio Nordestino, Os 3 Do Nordeste, Genival Lacerda and Zenilton

The Brasil Popular Os 3 Do Nordeste, 20 Super Sucessos and A Popularidade de Genival Lacerda CDs are great and well worth hunting down. Most of the other compilations don't serve the artists particularly well. Generally speaking, I hate the Raizes Nordestinas series. For some reason, those are almost always disappointing.










Elino Julião, Messias Holanda, Trio Nordestino, Os 3 Do Nordeste, Genival Lacerda and Zenilton on CD

Friday, October 10, 2014

Manuel David - La Ficou & Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Manuel David - La Ficou & Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Maraca is a tiny, but legendary, Brazilian label from the 1960s. They primarily released promotional forró compactos (45rpm sized records that play at 33 1/3). What makes Maraca exceptional was their exemplary roster of artists. Joci Batista, Manuel David and Elino Julião all found greater success later. In addition to the more well known artists, Maraca also released a fair number of more obscure, but equally high quality, records.

Manuel David's sound is somewhat reminiscent of Luiz Gonzaga's, in the best possible way. Manuel's name is spelled 3 different ways on the sleeve and record: Manoel on the cover, Monoel on the reverse sleeve and Manuel on the record label. He must have had an enemy in the design department.

Manuel David - La Ficou from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)



Manuel David - Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)


Manuel David - Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Forró began the slow integration with disco and funk around 1976. This sometimes yielded some interesting work. Raimundo Soldado seemed to try his hand at every type of dance music in the book on his albums, but his forró songs were standouts. Minha Terra Natal has whispers of xaxado, but the modern drum kit in the mix is a precursor of forró that dominated the 80s and can sometimes still be found in mixes today. Sometimes those experiments were great, but more often than not, it flattened out the music with a click track robbing it of its groove. This song is an exception.

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)


Raimundo Soldado - Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé & 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé & 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

I am delighted to feature another Genival Lacerda LP on forróLPgringo. Este é Cobra Do Norte is one of the only forró releases on Polydor. It's a remarkably rare LP, issued once in 1966 and never exported.

Like many forró stars from the 60's, including Luiz Wanderley, Jackson do Pandeiro, Gordurinha and Borrachinha, Lacerda seemed to have an all-around entertainer appeal, mixing humor and music. Lacerda even released a comedy album in the late 60s with Lúcio Mauro.

This was common to music of the time, even for acts in the US and the UK. Before the age of stony, image-consciousness, groups didn't mind sidelining as humorists as part of the show. When the Beatles began, they often appeared in comedy / musical variety shows, both on television and on stage. Perhaps because they wanted to be seen as serious musicians and not comedians or actors, this "unfashionable" period of live variety performances has been quietly suppressed. Very little evidence survives because they rarely performed this way after 1964. It's hard to imagine a rock act appearing in skits in the middle of a set these days. 

Although I haven't seen any clips of Genival performing onstage at this period, you can find great footage of Luiz Wanderley, Jackson do Pandeiro and Gordurinha mugging it up for the cameras. Lacerda made a career for himself by getting sillier as time passed. As a result of the success of his 1975 breakthrough hit: Severina Xique-Xique, much of the Lacerda's music recorded past 1976 focuses more on getting a laugh than truly giving Jackson do Pandeiro a run for his money. 

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)



Genival Lacerda - 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)



Genival Lacerda - Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis, Estória Da Sereia, Terra Do Acarajé & Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis, Estória Da Sereia, Terra Do Acarajé & Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

Linguagem De Nóis is a big, bold, stunning album from José Bezerra e suas cantigas. The 1968 album is almost entirely unknown outside of circles that trade forró vinyl. Fans of 60s Ary Lobo, Saci, Jackson do Pandeiro and Osvaldo Oliveira should love this. In fact, I would swear Arua was Oliveira on vocals if I didn't know. Like most 60s forró, the LP is ridiculously rare. It was released once in small numbers, was never sold internationally and was not reissued.

Forró from the 60's has a distinct sound to it, especially from the aforementioned artists. It has a sense of sophistication and cool missing from recordings from the 70s and beyond, as if this forró belonged in a lively supper club uptown with white-gloved ladies, tablecloths and tuxedoed MCs instead of the dusty, gritty northeastern open-air dance halls that forró is most commonly associated with. 


José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Estória Da Sereia from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Terra Do Acarajé from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)


José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

Monday, September 1, 2014

4 Azes E 1 Coringa - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

4 Azes E 1 Coringa (also called Quatro Azes E Um Coringa) - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

4 Azes E 1 Coringa, a group with multiple spellings of their name, were one of the earliest acts performing baião, which was later married into the family of forró, along with rojão, xaxado and numerous other sub-styles. This is the earliest song that I have posted on this blog, but in many ways it's more masterful, albeit at a lower fidelity, than some of the music played by later forró groups. It's clear that 4 Azes E 1 Coringa were brilliant musicians. The devil was in the details. The arrangements were brilliant and they had the prowess of session musicians. Calango Mineiro, pulled from 78rpm, was co-written by Luiz Gonzaga. Gonzaga, the father of baião and forró, released his first song in 1941.

4 Azes E 1 Coringa - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)

Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)

I am taking a break from forró in this post to share a great post-Tropicalia 1971 single from experimental MPB artist Walter Franco, who I first heard at the now sadly defunct Tropicalia In Furs record store in the East Village. Joel, the owner, was playing Ou Não, a relentlessly weird LP, which is destined to be discovered by the Euro-intelligensia and heralded as one of the great unheralded strange classics of the 20th Century. Tema Do Hospital, Franco's first single, touches on that LP, but leans much more towards Gilberto Gil's 1968 LP, Gal Costa, Sgt. Pepper and the classic Tropicalia LP. Discographies are spotty online, but I am fairly certain that this was produced by Rogério Duprat. It certainly sounds like his work and the Wiki indicates that he was working with Franco around this time.

Click on the video above to play the song.
iOS? click here: http://youtu.be/h06A0lmBBbk
Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)