Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Manoel David - Rei Do Mato from Adeus Jacobina - Tropicana (1972)

Manoel David began his career on the legendary Brazilian 1960s indie label Maraca. In the 1970s, David released two full LPs and was featured on a handful of compilations. Adeus Jacobina is a fairly obscure collection of artists on the Tropicana label. Manoel David's track, Rei Do Mato, is an instrumental featuring a Brazilian flute called a pifé. 

Adeus Jacobina - Tropicana (1972)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Déo Do Baião - Quem Casou, Casou from Déo Do Baião - Esquema (1976)

Sometimes, I get an odd album by an artist like Déo Do Baião and I have no idea how important they are to the history to forró. According to forroemvinil (Text of the book "Historical Memory of Catende", author Eduardo Menezes), Déo Do Baião was a member of the original Trio Nortista in the 1960s, along with Camarão and Zé Cobrinha. Trio Nortista and Camarão both released substantial albums during the 1960s and 1970s. 

His self-titled release on Esquema seems to be Déo Do Baião's only solo album, although he has numerous tracks on Mocambo compilations from the 1960s, many of which were likely 78rpms. Quem Casou, Casou is a fine tune and reminiscent of Jackson do Pandeiro's best work from the later half of the 1970s. 

Déo Do Baião - Esquema (1976)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ary Lobo - Cosme E O Damião from Ary Lobo - RCA (1962)

Did Ary Lobo know how great he was in his lifetime? Ary Lobo died in 1980. His reputation continues to grow and his records are valuable internationally, which was not true until the last 10 years. One spin of Cosme E O Damião and the reason is clear. 

Ary Lobo - self titled LP - RCA (1962)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Gilvan Chaves - Pastoril do "velho" Cebola from O Sélo Da Qualidade - Mocambo (1956)

When I first heard Tropicalia, it sounded like some of the music was beamed in from another reality. The debt to international US and European 60s pop was clear, but the Brazilian elements were unfamiliar. As I learned about forró, samba and the multiple styles connected to those larger musical branches, the rhythmic key became clear. I was also interested to learn that there was also a moment in the 1950s with experimental cutting and pasting of those genres, predating Tropicalia, using similar orchestration. It is possible that Rogério Duprat and the Tropicalia composers were aware of people like Gilvan Chaves. Pastoril do "velho" Cebola is quite an odd tune, changing mid-stream with rhythm and tempo. This became a mainstay of Tom Zé's records just over a decade later.

Gilvan Chaves - O Sélo Da Qualidade - Mocambo (1956)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Clemilda - Forró De J Luna from Clemilda - Musicolor (1973)

Clemilda has an impressive catalog of high quality forró albums. Clemilda got her start as the voice on late 60s Gerson Filho LPs until becoming a solo artist under her own name. Filho and Clemilda married in the mid-1960s. In this way, they were similar to Marinés and her accordionist husband, Abdias. Unusually, Clemilda and Filho were also fruitful collaborators, co-composing many songs on Clemilda LPs, including Forró De J Luna included here. Although her discographies are choppy and somewhat incomplete, her catalog in the late 60s and early 70s is abundant and well-recorded.

Clemilda - Forró De J Luna from Clemilda - Musicolor (1973)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Luiz Gonzaga - Xamego from Xamego - RCA (1958)

Luiz Gonzaga was the first forró artist that I explored. His work was available for free on the, now seemingly defunct, official website in the mid-2000s. RCA also released a comprehensive remastered reissue series of most of his work as well. 

Luiz Gonzaga produced a lot of work in his lifetime. Gonzaga was a strong singles artist in the 1940s. When the format became popular, Gonzaga mainly produced LPs. The early releases were collections of singles. Xamego was not. Xamego was the first album of his career that was not released as a 10", but the new 12" format that would become the standard for the subsequent 30 years. 

Some Gonzaga albums plod a bit with too many xotés and bum tracks, but even iffy albums usually have a few good numbers. One thing Luiz Gonzaga was exceptional at doing was pulling out an ace track during flagging periods. His Odeon albums in the 70s may be the most energetic tracks ever recorded by an older artist.

Luiz Gonzaga - Xamego - RCA (1958)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Maria Bonita - Saudade Que Vai E Vem from Aquarela Nordestina - Spot (1969)

Sixties forró can be pretty hard to find. This may be partly due to the political changes in Brazil in that decade, although Bossa Nova was a global phenomenon. Bossa Nova is still very collectible. Elenco albums, considered by many to be the big label for Bossa Nova, seemed to get more international distribution.

For whatever reason, more forró records were exported during the 1950s. Records on a small label, like Spot or Maraca, rarely made it out of Brazil in the 1960s and pressing numbers were likely low. Aquarela Nordestina is one of the better, and final, great compilations of the decade with a number of strong songs. Saudade Que Vai E Vem by Maria Bonita, an artist new to me, may be my favorite track on the LP. It sounds like a strong Marinês song.

Aquarela Nordestina - Spot (1969)