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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Marinalva e Sua Gente - Enquanto Hã Vida, Hã Esperança & Eu Vim De Longe from Poeira do Caminho - Tropicana (1974)

Following hard on the heels of Pirril, posted last week on ForroLPGringo, is Marinalva's classic LP, Poeira do Caminho, from 1974. Tropicana had a run of albums that were beautifully produced by Pedro Sertanejo in the mid-1970s. It is likely that many of the same musicians were were the house band for Sertanejo and Tropicana at this time. The cavaquinho and zabumba have a very distinctive sound. There are a bunch of good songs from this LP and it is difficult to cherry pick two favorites. Enquanto Hã Vida, Hã Esperança features double tracked vocals, which was unusual for forró produciton. Eu Vim De Longe showcases Marinalva's moodier side and the versatility of the band.

Marinalva e Sua Gente - Enquanto Hã Vida, Hã Esperança from Poeira do Caminho - Tropicana (1974)

Marinalva e Sua Gente - Eu Vim De Longe from Poeira do Caminho - Tropicana (1974


Marinalva e Sua Gente - Poeira do Caminho - Tropicana (1974)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pirril - Maria Helena & Chá De Aroeira from Bicho Homem - Tropicana (1976)

Pirril. This is the kind of forró that got me interested in the genre to begin with. Genival Lacerda's Ralador De Côco is one of my all time favorite LPs. Pirril's Bicho Homem had the same producer, Pedro Sertanejo and was recorded less than two years after Lacerda's classic LP. It is possible that the same house band played on both records. The production is outstanding. The zabumba, a bass drum used in forró recordings, is essentially two drums in one. The top side uses an animal skin to get the boom for the bass drum sound. The other side, often made of plastic in modern drums, is played with a thin stick called a bacalhau. This gives the the drum a pop and a click. Sertanejo really knew how to bring out the sound of the drum. Mid-70s records on Tropicana captured the sound of the zabumba better than just about anything that I have heard. The icing on the cake is Pirril's fantastic singing and songs. This LP is a rarity and solid 70s gold.

Pirril - Maria Helena from Bicho Homem - Tropicana (1976) 


Pirril - Chá De Aroeira from Bicho Homem - Tropicana (1976) 


Pirril - Bicho Homem - Tropicana (1976)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Trio Irakitan - Andorinha Preta (Toada) from Odeon 78 rpm (1956) Carnival Week In Rio (1957)

This is my second of two posts from Trio Irakitan. Andorinha Preta (Black Swallow) may be the most hypnotic record the Trio ever recorded. Andorinha Preta is listed as a Toada record, which is a style occasionally recorded by forró artists. The most famous version of Andorinha Preta was recorded in English with a somewhat generic title, Brazilian Love Song, by Nat King Cole backed by Trio Irakitan in 1959. Although Cole's recording is fine, I find the full Portuguese versions to be superior. There are two versions of Andorinha Preta by Trio Irakitan that predate Cole's. The first recording, featured here, was a 78rpm recording by the group from 1956. A second version was recorded for a film called Rio Fantasia with Eliana Macedo on lead vocals with the Trio backing her. Interestingly, the 1956 78rpm and Rio Fantasia versions do not seem to appear on any Trio Irakitan reissues, which are numerous. Thankfully, folks have uploaded the 1956 versions on YouTube. 

My recording comes from a super clean copy of a US LP called Carnival Week In Rio from 1957. The LP jacket boldly claims "Portable equipment was used to capture the true sounds of celebration, and from more than 30 hours of tape-recorded action the unique Capitol record of "Carnival Week in Rio" was finally - after judicious editing - accomplished."  What they should have said is "Capitol Records took existing songs recorded in professional studios by the Brazilian artists and added some crowd noise." I don't know why they would have needed 30 hours of noise. Perhaps a lucky Capitol exec got a free trip to Rio. Interestingly, the crowd noise is kind of nice. Since the original 78rpm is rare, this may be the most hifi version of the original version of Andorinha Preta available. 

Trio Irakitan - Andorinha Preta (Toada) from Odeon 78 rpm (1955) Carnival Week In Rio (1957)


Trio Irakitan - Andorinha Preta (Toada) from Odeon 78 rpm (1956) Carnival Week In Rio (1957)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Trio Irakitan - Quebra Coco from Sempre (Siempre) Alerta - Odeon (1960)

Interestingly, Brazil and the United States shared an affection for baritone male vocal combos in the 1950s and 1960s. I am referring to a pre-Beatles, non-Doo Wop groups. The vocal stylings of Trio Irakitan are similar to those of the Kingston Trio. Even the content was similar. Both groups took material from the folk sounds of each country. The songs and grooves, however, are mostly different. Quebra Coco comes from the LP Sempre Alerta, which is an album of Brazilian Boy Scout songs. This seems like an unusual choice, although a folk artist in the US like Pete Seeger would have been a likely candidate to record something similar. 

I have often thought that camp songs may be the purest kind of pop song. I don't mean pure in a godly sense, but in the sense that the songs are simple, catchy and easy for groups to sing. While kids in the United States in 1960 might have been singing Michael Row the Boat Ashore, kids in Brazil may have been singing Quebra Coco. This is speculative, because my Brazilian contacts have never heard this tune. Perhaps the song was a regional favorite. I extracted this from a pressing from Venezuela with a unique cover. The standard cover from Brazil features the Trio in Boy Scout uniforms.

 Trio Irakitan - Quebra Coco from Sempre (Siempre) Alerta - Odeon (1960)



Trio Irakitan - Sempre (Siempre) Alerta - Odeon (1960) - Venezuela pressing

Friday, April 1, 2016

Jackson do Pandeiro - Frevo Do Tri from compacto simples - Continental (1970)

I have spent the last few weeks transferring lots of new goodies for the blog, so stay tuned! 

Frevo Do Tri is a non-album compacto cooker from Mr. Jackson do Pandeiro. 1970 was a busy year for Jackson, with releases on Copacabana, Continental, Philips and Fontana. Songs appeared in a range of styles including frevos, marchas and the tasty buffet of forró. Frevo Do Tri is a sequel to Frevo Do Bi, released by Jackson on a Philips 78rpm in 1962.

Jackson do Pandeiro - Frevo Do Tri from compacto simples - Continental (1970)


Jackson do Pandeiro - Frevo Do Tri from compacto simples - Continental (1970)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Genival Lacerda E Lúcio Mauro - O Bom Daqui Sou Eu & Prá Mim Tu É Loré from As Trapalhadas - Fontana (1970)

What I am writing below is a mix of speculation, conjecture and solid history. As Trapalhadas... is an odd record, because it mixes comedy skits with songs. The genres of forró and rock n' roll have courted comedy throughout in the past. In the US, Cheech and Chong, Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy all crossed the comedy / rock barrier. Even the Beatles were a traveling comedy skit / music act for a while. This was after their stint in Hamburg and during their earliest period with Brian Epstein as their manager. The concept seems like an old fashioned extension of radio variety shows that mixed comedy and music.


Certain forró acts also did this, like Genival Lacerda, but far longer than the Beatles. Another star called Coronel Ludrú, who was part of the CBS stable of acts in the 60s and 70s, released multiple comedy records (mostly sans-music), apparently marketed for northeastern Brazilian audiences. 

As Trapalhadas... from 1970 was an attempt to mix a comedy act with Genival's musical act on record. I am not certain how successful this was as a comedy record. Several of the songs are excellent, though, especially O Bom Daqui Sou Eu. After this point, Genival Lacerda kept the comedy in the songs rather than adding stand-up to his album recordings. Eventually, Lacerda found a successful balance and a permanent musical / comedy marriage with Severina Xique Xique in 1975.

Genival Lacerda E Lúcio Mauro - O Bom Daqui Sou Eu from As Trapalhadas - Fontana (1970)


Genival Lacerda E Lúcio Mauro - Prá Mim Tu É Loré from As Trapalhadas - Fontana (1970)

Genival Lacerda E Lúcio Mauro - As Trapalhadas De Cazuza E Seu Barbalho Música! Alegria! Humorismo! - Fontana (1970)
Genival Lacerda & Lúcio Mauro

Monday, March 14, 2016

Os Caçulas Do Baião - Adeus Alagoas (Baião) from Novo Lampião - Cartaz (1965)

Kicking the sound and look of Luiz Gonzaga, Os Caçulas Do Baião were a fine band with a number of killer records. The group began recording during the 78 rpm era. Adeus Alagoas, meaning Farewell Alagoas, references a state in Northeastern Brazil that borders Pernambuco. I like the use of reverb on this recording, which gives the backing vocals a special intensity.

Os Caçulas Do Baião - Adeus Alagoas (Baião) from Novo Lampião - Cartaz (1965)



Os Caçulas Do Baião - Novo Lampião - Cartaz (1965)