-->

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)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Zé Calixto & Messias Hollanda - Zóio Medonho from Uma Sanfona De Respeito - Fontana (1969)

After several glory years of beautifully produced forró masterpiece LPs on Philips, the remaining stable of Philips stars were relegated to a subsidiary label called Fontana. Unlike the albums on Philips, Fontana recordings seemed to be recorded and mixed quickly. In the UK and US, Fontana was a budget label. The same can be said about Fontana in Brazil. In some respects, Fontana was a holding tank for future CBS greats like Jackson do Pandeiro and Messias Holanda (sometimes spelled Hollanda). Hollanda makes a gutsy guest vocal appearance on Zé Calixto's Zóio Medonho. 

Zé Calixto & Messias Hollanda - Zóio Medonho from Uma Sanfona De Respeito - Fontana (1969)

Zé Calixto & Messias Hollanda - Uma Sanfona De Respeito - Fontana (1969)

Friday, October 20, 2017

The 10 Best Forró LPs From The First 5 Years Of Forró LP Gringo

For my 5th anniversary, I thought that I would share the 20 best songs and 10 best albums from the first 5 years of Forró LP Gringo.

Luiz Gonzaga has been credited as the father of forró. When he began in 1941, the only way to own a baião recording was to buy a 78rpm record. The LP did not become popular until the mid-1950s. Although the genre name changed from baião to forró and added other rhythms over the years like côco, arrasta-pé and xaxado, the punchy 3 minute single has always been the heart and soul of forró. It is one of the reasons that this style suits me perfectly. I love a great 3 minute pop song.

Occasionally, forró artists also record great albums. Almost all of Jackson Do Pandeiro's albums are fantastic. Jacinto Silva had a great run of LPs in the mid-60s on CBS and Ary Lobo's output is amazing. Because forró never went through the album-revolution-as-art-form like rock did, for better or for worse, we are usually left to hunt for gems amongst a lot of filler on forró LPs, but these albums are exceptions...

1. Jackson do Pandeiro - O Dono Do Forró - CBS (1971)


Original Post: Part One
Original Post: Part Two

Jackson's catalog is one of the most consistently strong in all of forró. His Philips and CBS albums are all well worth hearing, but O Dono Do Forró (meaning the Owner of Forró) is the pinnacle. Although his first recording session for CBS produced an excellent song called Bota Gás No Lampião on a compilation of exclusive tunes by various artists called Pau De Sebo Volume 5, Jackson was unhappy with the CBS house band and brought in his hand-picked group that he called Borborema. The resulting album showcases a collection of great songs that are masterfully played with intricacy, shifting rhythms and subtlety. O Dono Do Forró also features a stereo mix, which I believe was the first in Jackson's career.




2. Genival Lacerda - Ralador De Côco (O Bom) - Tropicana (1974)


Original Post

Ralador De Côco (O Bom) is the sound of joy, energy and electricity. Genival Lacerda and his musicians teeter in a runaway car slamming around bends at breakneck speed but manage to maintain their cool at high velocity. Lacerda packs everything that makes him great into this exceptional album. This should be his legacy.



3. Moura Jr. - OOOOOXÊNTE!... - Philips (1962)


Original Post

Moura Jr., like Paulo Tito and Luiz Wanderley, seemed to change styles several times during his career. Although he had a second album on Philips, OOOOOXÊNTE!... is Moura Jr.'s only forró album. It is exceptionally well produced, with songs that are relatively restrained and beautiful, featuring round bass lines from a violin bass. Many of the songs center around a woman named Maria, sounding like a mythical goddess amongst the elegant Philips sound. In a hyperspeed genre, OOOOOXÊNTE!... adds a bit of the cool.



4. Venâncio e Curumba - Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964)

Original Post

For more than 20 years, Venâncio e Curumba were two of the most prolific writers for northeastern music, creating a ton of 78 rpm records as a duo and separately composing fine songs for some of the most notable and famous acts in baião / forró. Interestingly, this album closed their career as recording artists. It is a beautiful sounding record full of amazing songs. Note: This album was released with two different covers, but the songs are exactly the same.



5. Borrachinha e Alventino Cavalcante (Cavalcanti) - Alegria do Norte - Fantasia (early 1960s)

Original Post

Alegria do Norte is one of the most mysterious albums in the baião / forró genre. It seems to be one of the first dual solo artist albums as well. This format was later very popular with CBS artists in the early 1970s. What makes this album so unusual is the tone of the songs. Both artists are somewhat laid back, delivering the northeastern style with relaxed coolness. The result is an atmospheric selection of songs that work extremely well as an LP.



6. Ary Lobo - Forró Com - RCA Victor (1958)

Original Post

Like Jackson do Pandeiro, Ary Lobo recorded one of the most consistent bodies of work of any artist. His singles and albums were fantastic. In fact, they were so great, it is nearly impossible to pick the best album from Ary Lobo. It may be argued that Ary Lobo helped shape the modern sound of forró. One listen to the early compilation, Nossos Ritmos from 1957 containing an Ary Lobo track called Atchim, it is clear that he sounds strikingly modern compared to the other artists. One of my favorite Ary Lobo albums is Forró Com. It is vibrant and has a consistently fantastic set of songs. It is the only album from this list that has been properly remastered and reissued on CD.



7. Jacinto Silva - Cantando - CBS (1965)

Original Post

Jacinto Silva released a trilogy of fantastic albums in the mid-1960s. Like Genival Lacerda, Silva was often at his best when his music was barreling and supercharged.



8. Tião Do Noia - Forró Do Chinelão - Crazy Discos (1979)

Original Post

As far as I am aware, this is the only album that Tião Do Noia released. It's a doozy. In terms of finding vinyl, it is also the most affordable from this list and has some wonderful songs.




9. Sirí do Forró - Mandando Brasa - Continental (1965)


This album is a throwback to the earlier big band forró style used by Jackson do Pandeiro in the 50s and early 1960s. This may be the last gasp for this type of forró from in an age when acts still experimented with the arrangements and instrumentation. Sirí do Forró's Mandando Brasa is one last blast of joy from the big brass.


10. Tonico Do Juazeiro - Meu Ceará - Cantagalo (1967)


This LP is a collection of rare 78rpm records from Tonico Do Juazeiro. The shellac is so rare that, like Sacy and a few others, if the LP didn't exist these great songs may be lost forever.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The 20 Greatest Forró Songs From The First 5 Years Of Forró LP Gringo

My blog, Forró LP Gringo, is 5 years old this month. To celebrate the 5th year, I am going to create a few lists of my favorite songs and albums from the first 5 years of posts. I originally created this blog inspired by forroemvinil, David Byrne's Forró Luaka Bop compilation and my collection of Luiz Gonzaga records. Forroemvinil is an amazing blog that offers listeners full downloads of albums and compactos, the point of my blog is to cherry pick some of my favorite tracks, share songs that have never been featured on forroemvinil and give some "gringo" perspective on this phenomenal music.

Greatest or best ever lists tend to be very subjective, naturally, based on the tastes of the organizer or organizers. I imagine that a DJ might not choose some of my favorites, based on their need for heavy beats and dancefloor fillers. I am not a DJ. I tend to like songs that are beautifully recorded and pleasant to listen to any time, dance floor or kitchen floor.


1. Luiz Gonzaga - O Fole Roncou - EMI Odeon (1973)

Thanks to David Byrne's Luaka Bop Forró compilation, I had a name for the genre that eluded me ever since hearing echoes of the sound on Gilberto Gil's recordings. This is the first song on that compilation and it's my favorite Luiz Gonzaga recording. Milton Miranda's production was very modern and edgy for 1973, opting to use scratchy, funky compressed guitars instead of the standardized forró instrumentation: zabumba, triangle, accordion and sometimes cavaquinho and violão de sete cordas. The traditional instrumentation was established by Luiz Gonzaga himself, who basically founded forró and baião. Luiz Gonzaga recorded some fine albums, but was born in the singles era. Hence, most of his best work are blasts of brilliance like O Fole Roncou.



2. Elino Julião - Rio Grande Meu Xodó from Aquilo - CBS (1971)

It is nearly impossible for artists to strike a bullseye with the right song, band, producer and mix, but Elino Julião's self-penned classic "Rio Grande Meu Xodó" from his 1971 album Aquilo is that kind of moment. Although Aquilo is far from a perfect album, the record contains 3 amazing classics, Rio Grande Meu Xodó, O Galo Vai Cantar and Namoro Proibido. While those songs are equally good, I chose Rio Grande Meu Xodó because it is more subtly seductive. The song has a joy and a power that is rarely found in other recordings. Interestingly, Sebastião Do Rojão recorded the same track, titled Todo Mundo Quer, but it fell flat in his session. Elino Julião's version is a thing of awe.




3. Genival Lacerda - Ralador De Côco (mono & stereo) from Ralador De Côco (O bom) (1974) Tropicana

Genival Lacerda, as of 2017, is the elder statesman of forró. His best musical period, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, is not his most successful period. Lacerda later became known for crowd pleasing double entendre tunes that made him popular on the variety show circuit in Brazil. His early work has a raw vitality lacking in much of his post-1975 work. Ralador De Côco is Genival's best album, featuring his storming style and a slew of great songs. When DJ Tick posted the album on forroemvinil in 2007, he interestingly used one channel and created a mono version of the album featuring a chunky cavaquinho, cutting out most of the accordion. The result was a sound unlike anything in forró.



4. Jackson do Pandeiro - Madalena - from O Dono Do Forró - CBS (1971)

While Luiz Gonzaga is the founder of forró, Jackson Do Pandeiro may have the finest catalog of any forró artist. Jackson was unafraid to mix any rhythmic style. His music had more variety and sophistication. Jackson was almost like the Beatles of forró. With very few exceptions, he did virtually everything exceedingly well and elegantly. It is impossible to pick a greatest Jackson song because everything that he did was so good. Madalena is a favorite of mine. It's pure joy, with a great swing thanks to the driving bass line from the violão de sete cordas.



5. Ary Lobo - Riviolândia (RCA compacto) 1961

Like Jackson do Pandeiro, Ary Lobo has one of the best catalogs in forró. Although they started around the same time, Jackson do Pandeiro has a leg up on Lobo in terms of reputation. Thanks to the consistent body of work that he recorded from the mid-50s until his death in 1980 and an excellent but incomplete set of reissues on CD, Lobo's legend continues to grow.



6. Osvaldo Oliveira - Fruteiro Ta Matinha from Secretária do Diabo - CBS (1967)

Osvaldo Oliveira's 60s catalog is ranked among the best of any forró star. Oliveira and Jacinto Silva were some of the earliest signings to Abdias' CBS forró roster. By the early 1970s, Osvaldo primarily became a balladeer. 



7. Carmelita - Cuidado Menina from Recordação - Cantagalo (1969)


Carmelita only briefly appeared on the scene, but managed to record a gorgeous LP on Cantagalo in 1969. 





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



Trio Luar Do Sertão became Os 3 Do Nordeste, one of the great acts on CBS in the 1970s. Xaxado No Sertão, co-written by Genival Lacerda, was a stunning indicator of music to come. 



9. Sacy - Pedro Cem (rojão) from Salve-Se Quem Puder Tem Saci No Pau-De-Arara - Odeon (1960)


Sacy's (also spelled Saci) is one of those legendary artists who appeared very briefly on the scene, left a mark, and vanished forever. This LP was a compilation of Sacy's rare 78rpm records. Those records are so rare, in fact, that it is fortunate that this compilation exists. Otherwise, it is possible that many of these recordings would be lost to time. Pedro Cem is a stunning example of elegant 1950s forró.



10. Marinês e Sua Gente - É Tempo De Voltar from Só Pra Machucar - CBS (1973)


11. Abdias - Forró em Petrolina from Botão Variado - CBS (1975)

Marinês, who was mentored by Luiz Gonzaga, released a slew of great records in the late 50s, 1960s and 1970s. Her hubby was Abdias, who became the head of CBS forró and the primary producer of the records on the label beginning in the mid-1960s. Abdias took full advantage of the situation and released more forró records between 1965-1975 than any other artist. His version of Forró Em Petrolina, written by Dominguinhos and Anastácia, seems both masterful and casually played. It's a great example of virtuosity and ferocity.





12. Jacinto Silva - Puxa O Folé Zé from Ritmo Explosivo - CBS (1965)

The blistering Puxa O Folé Zé, from Ritmo Explosivo, is from a series of three fantastic solo records by the great Jacinto Silva produced by Abdias for CBS. 


13. Ze Gonzaga - O Baile Da Tartaruga from Viva o Rei do Baiao - CBS 1971


O Baile Da Tartaruga is one of my most popular posts and likely the most famous tune from Zé Gonzaga, the brother of Luiz Gonzaga. This particular version is the best. You can hear the accordion feeding back throughout. The band is blistering. The sound of the tune is unusual, reminding me more of Cajun music than forró.



14. Jackson do Pandeiro e Almira -- O Balanço Vai from Coisas Nossas Philips 1965


O Balanço Vai is an elegant mid-1960s samba sidestep by Jackson do Pandeiro, who tried his hand at full length samba material for a few records. Judging by the quality of the recordings, Philips, CBS and Odeon had the best studios in the 1950s and 1960s.



15. Geraldo Correia - No Forró Do Seu Vava from Agora Vai - SOM 1977


No Forró Do Seu Vava is one of those tunes that gets stuck in my head for days. It's a great recording with a fabulous chorus.



16. Venâncio E Curumba - Minha Bahia from Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) Premier (1969)


It's hard to pick just one song from Pagodeando No Côco. This LP seemed to close the long career of Venâncio E Corumba (also spelled Curumba), one of the most prolific writing teams in northeastern music. Minha Bahia is more samba than forró, but there is plenty of northeastern flavor here.



17. Borrachinha e Alventino Cavalcante (Cavalcanti) - Tataitão from Alegria do Norte - Fantasia

Tataitão is from Alegria do Norte, one of the greatest forró albums of all time. 



18. Luiz Wanderley - Turista Baiano from E Seus Grandes Sucessos - Rosicler (1960)


Luiz Wanderley had a great run of forró singles in the 50s and early 1960s. He seemed to have a fair amount of celebrity, appearing in a number of films from the period. Unlike Ivon Curi, who also seemed like an all-around entertainer, Wanderley's records retained a gutsy edge.



19. Genival Lacerda - Vou Voltar Pro Meu Amor - from Mungangueiro Aloprado - Fontana (1971)

This is one of my favorite Genival Lacerda records from the early 1970s. When Lacerda built up a head of steam, few artists could keep up with his blistering phrasing and melodic brilliance.


20. Os 3 do Nordeste - E Proibido Cochilar - CBS (1974)

This may be one of the most beloved forró tunes on the list. It is also one of the first classic forró compositions that I became aware of. Os 3 do Nordeste managed to nail a certain xaxado echo groove that few acts in the game mastered in this era. The gutsy vocals draw you in. E Proibido Cochilar is a classic.



21. Honorable Mention... Caxanga - Eu Sou Ferreiro (embolada) - from O Maior Repentista Do Brasil - Discos Chororó (1976)

Weaved into forró albums are northeastern ballads like Eu Sou Ferreiro. Songs like these are so heartbreaking and wistfully beautiful, it seems criminal that they are not beloved throughout the world.



22. Honorable Mention 2... Trio Irakitan - Quebra Coco from Sempre Alerta - Odeon (1960)

This is one of my favorite recordings from a group that occasionally recorded baião, but were mostly a samba and bolero act. I am not even sure what genre Quebra Coco is, and it is it is even weirder that it appears on an album of Boy Scout songs. It's a fantastic number, though.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Genival Lacerda - Vou Voltar Pro Meu Amor - from Mungangueiro Aloprado - Fontana (1971)

Genival Lacerda. The great and powerful. Vou Voltar Pro Meu Amor has it all. Great production, riffs, fantastic phrasing and velocity. Like few others in his field, Genival Lacerda is a master at getting to the heart of a song and connecting with magic. Pure Joy!


Genival Lacerda - O Rei Da Munganga - Sinter (1980)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ary Lobo - Sentinela Do Mar from Forró Com - RCA Victor (1958)

1958. I thought that this album was from the mid-1960s, like a similarly titled Ary Lobo album from 1965 called Forró em Calcaia. The fact that this album is from the 1950s is absolutely astonishing. This is an artist who was every bit as vital, exciting and groundbreaking as rock n rollers Little Richard and Chuck Berry were in the United States. Sadly, perhaps because he sang exclusively in Portuguese, Ary Lobo is far less known in North America and Europe. That said, there are indications that his fanbase is growing. Forró Com Ary Lobo is one of the finest and most consistent forró albums ever, paving the way for Jacinto Silva's blistering career in the mid-1960s. Virtually every song on this record is superb. I chose a slightly moody number, Sentinela Do Mar (Sea Sentinel). This song was co-written by one of forró's finest, Alventino Cavalcante. Although the song starts off like many other forró tunes, as soon as Ary Lobo's voice hits, you know that you are hearing something special. Fortunately, this is one of Ary Lobo's easiest to acquire albums thanks to a consistently available CD reissue pressing. Buy it!

Ary Lobo - Sentinela Do Mar from Forró Com - RCA Victor (1958)


Ary Lobo - Forró Com - RCA Victor (1958)