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Monday, April 20, 2015

Zito Borborema - O Bom Vaqueiro & Baião da Corda from Forrozão - Tropicana (1973)

Zito Borborema - O Bom Vaqueiro & Baião da Corda from Forrozão - Tropicana (1973)

This week gives you 2 classic tracks from Zito Borborema who makes his first appearance on Forró LP Gringo, from a scarce 1973 vinyl album on the Tropicana label. If I had to pick my favorite era of forró, it would definitely be the early 1970s. There was an explosion of great records from this time. I was barely aware of Zito Borborema until being taken to forró school by my friend Samuel. Borborema began recording in the mid-1950s. Like Zé Gonzaga, many of his records are similar in style to Luiz Gonzaga, but he also recorded a fair amount of côcos. Zito Borborema's catalog is full of treasures worth exploring.

Zito Borborema - O Bom Vaqueiro from Forrozão - Tropicana (1973)



Zito Borborema - Baião da Corda from Forrozão - Tropicana (1973)


Zito Borborema - Forrozão - Tropicana (1973)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cicero Freire - Chamego No Salão from Pastel da Japonesa - Beverly 1987

Cicero Freire - Chamego No Salão from Pastel da Japonesa - Beverly (1987)

It's the 1980s... an era with production techniques unkind to many genres, including forró. The word "slick" is often applied when describing the production of 80s albums, but what actually makes a record slick is difficult to define. Many recordings from the 1970s are arguably as slick and equally professional to those created in the 1980s. Perhaps the rise of digital in the 1980s coupled with cheesy drum sounds, either from kits or pads, made the era particularly contemptible. Perhaps the massive snare drums that littered 80s productions contributed to this perception. However, don't assume that the entire decade is a write-off. Cicero Freire's LP is full of great songs. Although the production is suspect at points, songs like Chamego No Salão hold their own.

Cicero Freire - Chamego No Salão from Pastel da Japonesa - Beverly (1987)




Cicero Freire - Chamego No Salão from Pastel da Japonesa - Beverly 1987

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Messias Holanda - Dá... Doi from Fogo Na Geringonça & Hoje Tem Forró + Estou Gamado - Fontana (1970 + 1971)

Messias Holanda - Dá... Doi from Fogo Na Geringonça - Fontana (1970) & Hoje Tem Forró - Fontana (1971) + Estou Gamado from Hoje Tem Forró - Fontana (1971)

This week, I am proud to present 2 great tracks from Messias Holanda. The first track, Dá... Doi, appears in two forms. The studio version is from a Fontana LP called Fogo Na Geringonça. Messias shared the album with Elino Julião and Zé Catraca. This is one of the first superstar forró collaboration LPs. Although compilations and collections featuring exclusive tracks from forró, and previously baião, artists had been released since the 1950s, releasing a full LP by 2 or 3 stars was new in 1970 and remained popular during the decade. The second version of Dá... Doi is from Hoje Tem Forró, a rare live album making its second appearance on forróLPgringo. The first featured Borrachinha. The versions of Dá... Doi are similar, which is a testament to how tight the artist and band was. It's easy to imagine the group capturing a studio recording in a few takes at most. Estou Gamado, from the live LP, also features Messias in top form.

Messias Holanda - Estou Gamado from Hoje Tem Forró - Fontana (1970) 



Messias Holanda - Dá... Doi from Fogo Na Geringonça - Fontana (1970)



Messias Holanda - Dá... Doi from Hoje Tem Forró - Fontana (1971)


Messias Holanda, Elino Julião & Zé Catraca - Fogo Na Geringonça - Fontana (1970)

Hoje Tem Forró - Fontana (1971)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Marinês – Amor é Mais Amor from Mandacarú - CBS 1968

Marinés – Amor é Mais Amor from Mandacarú - CBS 1968

Like Luiz Gonzaga, Marinês always has at least a few excellent tracks on every LP. She also had the best band in the business, along with Jackson do Pandeiro's Borborema. Marinês was married to Abdias, who, outside of Jackson and Gonzaga, may be the single most important musician in all of forró, thanks to his A&R work at CBS in the late 1960s and 1970s. Marinês and Abdias were a killer team and a force of nature.   



Marinês e sua gente - Mandacarú - CBS 1968

Marinês in bandit gear

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Esmeraldo Bispo - Homenagem Ao Forró from Homenagem Ao Forró - DEX (1980)

Esmeraldo Bispo - Homenagem Ao Forró from Homenagem Ao Forró - DEX (1980)

Esmeraldo Bispo, powered by the youngest triangle player in forró, created his tribute / homage to forró in 1980, name dropping many of the greats. Name them all and earn a zabumba badge.


Esmeraldo Bispo - Homenagem Ao Forró - DEX (1980)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Luiz Wanderley - Côco Do F & Forró Em Caxias from compacto duplo - Mocambo (1960)

Luiz Wanderley - Côco Do F & Forró Em Caxias from compacto duplo - Mocambo (1960)

When Luiz Wanderley was rolling, virtually no other forró artist could touch him. Wanderley, like greats Ary Lobo and Jackson do Pandeiro, had a knack for interpretation, phrasing and melodic brilliance. Wanderley's recording career ended in the late 1960s. No reissue of any of Wanderley's early work has appeared since the 1980s. Outside of a community of new collectors wowed by Wanderley, people seem scarcely aware of his accomplishments. Perhaps there are legal or contractual reasons why some of this great music remains buried in the vaults. Or, perhaps, no interested parties have come knocking. Maybe, one day, I might be able to discover the secret. At any rate, these records need to be rescued. Based on the music, it is clear why the vinyl is so highly prized by collectors. This compacto originally appeared as 2 78rpm records. In the late 50s and early 1960s, releasing compactos with tracks that originally appeared on 78rpm records was common. The difference, ultimately, was that compactos were promotional and only sent to radio while the 78rpms were, generally, commercially available. This means that there are more 78s floating around than vinyl of certain artists and for certain releases. Côco Do F is a barnstormer in the coco style, popularized by Jackson do Pandeiro. Forró Em Caxias is a gorgeous, exemplary melodic pop song bettered by few in the style before or after.

Luiz Wanderley - Cõco Do F from compacto duplo - Mocambo (1960)



Luiz Wanderley - Forró Em Caxias from compacto duplo - Mocambo (1960)




Friday, February 20, 2015

Joci Batista - Minha Morena Me Deixou from Novamente compacto simples - Maraca (1961)

Joci Batista - Minha Morena Me Deixou from Novamente compacto simples - Maraca (1961)

This is a ridiculously rare single on Maraca, a 60s Brazilian label that mainly released promotional singles by a variety of artists. Elino Julião, Jacinto Silva and Joci Batista that would go on to have long careers. The sound of Minha Morena is reminiscent of early Blue Beat and rocksteady records; not stylistically, but in the spirit of small studio sound of the period.


Joci Batista - Novamente compacto simples - Maraca (1961)