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

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Trio Luar Do Sertão - Xaxado No Sertão (xaxado) from Os Brasas Do Xaxado - Bemol (1968)

In the coming months, I am going to post music from my rarest forró albums. 

Trio Luar Do Sertão were active for a few years in the late 1960s and toured with Genival Lacerda. It seems that Lacerda liked the group and assisted with the production of their sole album, Os Brasas Do Xaxado. Some of the songs from the album were partially composed by Lacerda, including Xaxado No Sertão. Although Trio Luar Do Sertão were only active for a few years, they eventually become Os 3 Do Nordeste creating a string of classic albums for CBS under Abdias in the 1970s. 

There are a few reasons why Os Brasas Do Xaxado is exceedingly rare. One: Most forró albums from the 60s were pressed in small numbers and there are few copies on the market for most artists. Two: Bemol was a tiny short-lived label and this record was never reissued. Three: Os 3 Do Nordeste are beloved and collectible, so this album is sought by fans of that group along with collectors of deep forró. Four: The album sounds as good as anything coming from major labels in this era. 

Trio Luar Do Sertão - Xaxado No Sertão (xaxado) from Os Brasas Do Xaxado - Bemol (1968)

Trio Luar Do Sertão - Os Brasas Do Xaxado - Bemol (1968)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Chico Santos - Sou Brasileiro Sim Sinhô & Santana Do Ipanema, Eu Te Amo from Forró em Manaus - RN Discos (1983)

Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to find any information about post-1975 forró artists. After scanning a few pages on forroemvinil, I assumed that Chico Santos would be another mystery until I found a great forró blog called Forró Alagoano by José Lessa:

"We have previously mentioned that Chico Santos was born in Santana do Ipanema in the highland of the Alagoas and besides being a truck driver, he was also a truck driver and, as a result, he took the Brazilian highway to the most distant corners of this continental country, giving his contribution to the northeastern rhythms. This LP was released in 1983 and at this time Chico Santos was living in Manaus and soon conquered the North Region and was successful in Amazonas, Amapá, Acre, Rondonia and far beyond our borders as in Guyana (French, English and Dutch) as well As in Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia. When we converge Chico always remembers the affection that was given to him by the people of the Amazon Region; Currently Chico lives in Carneiros in the backlands of Alagoas and is one of the directors of the Association of the Alagoas Tenderers and soon will be with new work in the square.

This is one of the main works in the career of Chico and was titled "Forró in Manaus" and reunites 9 compositions that takes its signature or with some partners like Zuquinha do Acordeon and Simones. It is worth mentioning the participation of Jorge Paulo, also with the Northern Bandeirante, who along with Joci Batista exerted a great influence on the life of our sertanejo. Even though Chico does not forget his Santana do Ipanema and Alagoas as in bands 8 and 9 of this LP. However, it is worth mentioning the track Alô Manaus "that emphasizes the beauties of the Amazon region.

The repertoire is of excellent good taste and all the tracks are delicious both to be heard or danced, it is worth mentioning the composition "Amor Pra Vida Inteira" by Antonio da Paz and Guriatã de Coqueiro, a samba that shows the gifts of guriatã de Coqueiro, also santanese and reponsavel for taking cordel literature to São Paulo."

Manaus is a fascinating city. It was established in the jungles of the Amazon and became wealthy thanks to the rubber trade. It may hold the distinction of being the most isolated major city. 

I hope Mr. Lessa doesn't mind me lifting his material! I highly recommend visiting his blog: 

Chico Santos - Sou Brasileiro Sim Sinhô from Forró em Manaus - RN Discos (1983)

Chico Santos - Santana Do Ipanema, Eu Te Amo from Forró em Manaus - RN Discos (1983)

Chico Santos - Forró em Manaus - RN Discos (1983)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gordurinha - Rio, Nossa Amizade from compacto - Copacabana (1960s)

It has been too long since I revisited Gordurinha. His recording output only spanned about 5 years and ended in 1963. In that short time, he released a fair number of singles and LPs. By 1969, Gordurinha had passed on from a heart attack brought on by an overdose. Like Borrachinha, Luiz Wanderley, Jackson do Pandeiro and Genival Lacerda, Gordurinha combined humor with distinctive northeastern melodies. He became a celebrated writer and performer during his short recording life.

The song featured here is one of his rarest. Rio, Nossa Amizade was never released in any other format other than compacto. It was never reissued. It is likely that this was one of his final recordings. 78rpm records were still being released in Brazil in 1963, but compactos and LPs were beginning to take over as the preferred format. 

Gordurinha - Rio, Nossa Amizade from compacto - Copacabana (1960s)

Gordurinha - Rio, Nossa Amizade compacto - Copacabana (1960s)