Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Pedro Sertanejo e Seus Meninos - Campo Belo from O Bom Baião - Musicolor (1976)

If you flip over a 1970s forró record, chances are it was produced by one of two people. If it was on CBS, most albums were produced by Abdias. If it was on Tropicana or Cantagalo, Pedro Sertanejo was your man. Both producers were also prolific artists and accordionists. This week, I am featuring Campo Belo from O Bom Baião. This happens to be one of my favorite forró instrumentals ever, and I don't tend to like instrumental tracks. Campo Belo simply glows. Enjoy!

Pedro Sertanejo e Seus Meninos - Campo Belo from O Bom Baião - Musicolor (1976)

Pedro Sertanejo e Seus Meninos - O Bom Baião - Musicolor (1976)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Luiz Wanderley - Carolina (calypso) from 78rpm, No Rock compacto & E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960)

Did forró artists ever try to incorporate rock music? The answer is yes, and this very rare EP compacto by Luiz Wanderley was one of the few attempts. I believe the that first forró / rock hybrid, called Baião Rock, was recorded by Jair Alves as a 78rpm in 1957. That tune had more in common with the swing era than rock (although rock owes a lot to swing). Ultimately, I think it was an attempt to cash in on the label "rock" instead of the style and spirit. 

Luiz Wanderley does a much better job with Carolina. Interestingly, Carolina isn't a rock song. It's calypso. For those of you who know a little bit about early rock history, calypso was supposed to be the next big craze after rock n' roll. It is documented that pre-Beatle John Lennon attempted to write a calypso tune in 1957 called Calypso Rock. Lennon never recorded this song. This demonstrates the widespread, albeit short term, international mainstream success of calypso.

Carolina is the best rock / calypso hybrid that I have ever heard and is one of my favorite Luiz Wanderley songs. This is quite an accomplishment for an artist primarily known at the time for baião and forró. 

Happy New Year!

Luiz Wanderley - Carolina from 78rpm, No Rock compacto & E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jeremias Guimarães - Amei O Samba from Patuá Da Bahia - Aurora (1968)

Patuá Da Bahia is a classic 1960s LP rarity. I don't have much information on Jeremias Guimarães. He released a number of LPs, but this one appears to be the most difficult one to track down. The sound is similar to Jackson do Pandeiro and Zito Borborema LPs from the period. The production on this album is particularly strong and striking, more reminiscent of records from Philips and CBS from the period. 

Jeremias Guimarães - Amei O Samba from Patuá Da Bahia - Aurora (1968)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Joci Batista - Chegou Quando from Vai Trabalhar Mané - Tropicana (1974)

Xoté is one of the rhythmic forms played by forró acts. It's probably meant to give dancers a break, the band a chance to slow down or perhaps encourage some closer contact amongst lovers, the style is often dull and plodding on record. This is my personal bias. I tend to favor more energized numbers. Sometimes, to my surprise, I find a standout xoté tune. Chegou Quando is such an example. Joci Batista's vocal performance is excellent. The tune has an ethereal magic that is difficult to explain. It just... is!

Joci Batista - Chegou Quando from Vai Trabalhar Mané - Tropicana (1974)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Belizia - Adeus Barracão (samba) - Maraca compacto (late 1960s)

Maraca is one of the most mysterious Brazilian record labels. They released a number of high quality records in the 1960s (and possibly early 1970s) before they disappeared. As far as I am aware, no complete discography exists of Maraca releases.

Compactos (7" singles played at 33 1/3 speed) were primarily used to promote artists on Brazilian radio. They may have also been sold, but in a very limited quantities. Therefore, compactos are far more scarce than LPs in Brazil. Maraca almost exclusively released compactos, with the exception of a few LPs, and may be the best "indie" label from the 1960s, especially for forró music. Many artists on the label, like Elino Julião and Ciço Do Para, went on to acclaim with recordings for larger labels.

While Maraca did not exclusively released forró and northeastern records, the bulk of their releases focused on that music. There are a few notable exceptions covering music that was popular in the 1960s: marchas (carnival music), jovem guarda (youth guard / teen music) and samba, like the compacto below. Belizia is interesting for several reasons. Adeus Barracão is a great song, with a structure, instrumentation and flavor more reminiscent of forró than Bossa Nova or MPB samba. Also, this was a later Maraca release with new label design. Although Belizia may have had a recording career, I have not found any evidence of subsequent releases on any label.

Belizia - Adeus Barracão (samba) - Maraca compacto (late 1960s)

Belizia - Adeus Barracão (samba) - Maraca compacto (late 1960s)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Eliana - São João Na Ribeira from São João na Cidade - Tropicana (1975)

The artist Eliana is new to me. It is possible that this is a different spelling of the female singer Eliane. The earliest recorded work that I can find from "Eliane" is five years after the release of this coletânea, so it is possible that this is a one-off. São João Na Ribeira is a fine example of the arrasta-pé, a galloping style which literally means "foot drag." I believe that this applies to the dance step more than the rhythm. Perhaps more will surface from Eliana in the future.

São João na Cidade - Tropicana (1975)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Paulo Tito - A Vassoura Do Compadre from O Vendedor De Biscoito - MusiColor (1960)

O Vendedor De Biscoito by Paulo Tito is a legendary rare forró LP. The legend is that this was never supposed to be Tito's LP. Originally, this was supposed to be a Gordurinha album. 

Interestingly, according to notes made on Tito's Baiano De Guanabara page on forroemvinil, Tito claims that he fell into the genre by accident. The singer was asked to collaborate on an LP with Gordurinha in the style of baião and forró. Gordurinha had to back out and the project continued without him. Quite accidentally, Paulo Tito became a forró recording star (sort of). Although he was assisted by Luiz Gonzaga in his early career, Tito thought of himself primarily as a romantic singer. 

Paulo Tito carries the distinction of having some of the rarest forró LPs, thanks to the high quality of the material and the limited availability of vintage vinyl. It is not entirely clear why this is. It is likely that the negligible number of LPs were pressed of the 3 solo records that Tito recorded in the 60s.* A bit of speculation... Perhaps, because Tito considered himself an outsider to the genre or because his record companies considered him an outsider, he/they did not promote his work as heavily as acts that were trying to make a career out of forró. It is possible that the military coup in 1964 also slowed his career. Although he continued recording, the elusive early 60s material is what gave Tito his legendary status in forró.

Paulo Tito - O Vendedor De Biscoito - MusiColor (1960)