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Friday, October 10, 2014

Manuel David - La Ficou & Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Manuel David - La Ficou & Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Maraca is a tiny, but legendary, Brazilian label from the 1960s. They primarily released promotional forró compactos (45rpm sized records that play at 33 1/3). What makes Maraca exceptional was their exemplary roster of artists. Joci Batista, Manuel David and Elino Julião all found greater success later. In addition to the more well known artists, Maraca also released a fair number of more obscure, but equally high quality, records.

Manuel David's sound is somewhat reminiscent of Luiz Gonzaga's, in the best possible way. Manuel's name is spelled 3 different ways on the sleeve and record: Manoel on the cover, Monoel on the reverse sleeve and Manuel on the record label. He must have had an enemy in the design department.

Manuel David - La Ficou from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)



Manuel David - Võo Da Aza Branca from Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)


Manuel David - Forró em Caculé compacto duplo - Maraca (1960s)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Forró began the slow integration with disco and funk around 1976. This sometimes yielded some interesting work. Raimundo Soldado seemed to try his hand at every type of dance music in the book on his albums, but his forró songs were standouts. Minha Terra Natal has whispers of xaxado, but the modern drum kit in the mix is a precursor of forró that dominated the 80s and can sometimes still be found in mixes today. Sometimes those experiments were great, but more often than not, it flattened out the music with a click track robbing it of its groove. This song is an exception.

Raimundo Soldado - Minha Terra Natal from Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)


Raimundo Soldado - Conquistando O Mundo - Copacabana (1981)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé & 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé & 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

I am delighted to feature another Genival Lacerda LP on forróLPgringo. Este é Cobra Do Norte is one of the only forró releases on Polydor. It's a remarkably rare LP, issued once in 1966 and never exported.

Like many forró stars from the 60's, including Luiz Wanderley, Jackson do Pandeiro, Gordurinha and Borrachinha, Lacerda seemed to have an all-around entertainer appeal, mixing humor and music. Lacerda even released a comedy album in the late 60s with Lúcio Mauro.

This was common to music of the time, even for acts in the US and the UK. Before the age of stony, image-consciousness, groups didn't mind sidelining as humorists as part of the show. When the Beatles began, they often appeared in comedy / musical variety shows, both on television and on stage. Perhaps because they wanted to be seen as serious musicians and not comedians or actors, this "unfashionable" period of live variety performances has been quietly suppressed. Very little evidence survives because they rarely performed this way after 1964. It's hard to imagine a rock act appearing in skits in the middle of a set these days. 

Although I haven't seen any clips of Genival performing onstage at this period, you can find great footage of Luiz Wanderley, Jackson do Pandeiro and Gordurinha mugging it up for the cameras. Lacerda made a career for himself by getting sillier as time passed. As a result of the success of his 1975 breakthrough hit: Severina Xique-Xique, much of the Lacerda's music recorded past 1976 focuses more on getting a laugh than truly giving Jackson do Pandeiro a run for his money. 

Genival Lacerda - Caixinha De Rapé from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)



Genival Lacerda - 007 Contra O Nordeste from Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)



Genival Lacerda - Este é Cobra Do Norte - Polydor (1966)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis, Estória Da Sereia, Terra Do Acarajé & Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis, Estória Da Sereia, Terra Do Acarajé & Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

Linguagem De Nóis is a big, bold, stunning album from José Bezerra e suas cantigas. The 1968 album is almost entirely unknown outside of circles that trade forró vinyl. Fans of 60s Ary Lobo, Saci, Jackson do Pandeiro and Osvaldo Oliveira should love this. In fact, I would swear Arua was Oliveira on vocals if I didn't know. Like most 60s forró, the LP is ridiculously rare. It was released once in small numbers, was never sold internationally and was not reissued.

Forró from the 60's has a distinct sound to it, especially from the aforementioned artists. It has a sense of sophistication and cool missing from recordings from the 70s and beyond, as if this forró belonged in a lively supper club uptown with white-gloved ladies, tablecloths and tuxedoed MCs instead of the dusty, gritty northeastern open-air dance halls that forró is most commonly associated with. 


José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Estória Da Sereia from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Terra Do Acarajé from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)



José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Arua from Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)


José Bezerra e suas cantigas - Linguagem De Nóis - Fontana (1968)

Monday, September 1, 2014

4 Azes E 1 Coringa - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

4 Azes E 1 Coringa (also called Quatro Azes E Um Coringa) - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

4 Azes E 1 Coringa, a group with multiple spellings of their name, were one of the earliest acts performing baião, which was later married into the family of forró, along with rojão, xaxado and numerous other sub-styles. This is the earliest song that I have posted on this blog, but in many ways it's more masterful, albeit at a lower fidelity, than some of the music played by later forró groups. It's clear that 4 Azes E 1 Coringa were brilliant musicians. The devil was in the details. The arrangements were brilliant and they had the prowess of session musicians. Calango Mineiro, pulled from 78rpm, was co-written by Luiz Gonzaga. Gonzaga, the father of baião and forró, released his first song in 1941.

4 Azes E 1 Coringa - Calango Mineiro from 78rpm - Odeon (1947)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)

Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)

I am taking a break from forró in this post to share a great post-Tropicalia 1971 single from experimental MPB artist Walter Franco, who I first heard at the now sadly defunct Tropicalia In Furs record store in the East Village. Joel, the owner, was playing Ou Não, a relentlessly weird LP, which is destined to be discovered by the Euro-intelligensia and heralded as one of the great unheralded strange classics of the 20th Century. Tema Do Hospital, Franco's first single, touches on that LP, but leans much more towards Gilberto Gil's 1968 LP, Gal Costa, Sgt. Pepper and the classic Tropicalia LP. Discographies are spotty online, but I am fairly certain that this was produced by Rogério Duprat. It certainly sounds like his work and the Wiki indicates that he was working with Franco around this time.

Click on the video above to play the song.
iOS? click here: http://youtu.be/h06A0lmBBbk
Walter Franco - Tema Do Hospital from compacto simples - Philips (1971)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

David Cruz - Batendo Poeira from Rádio Quente - Laço (1982)

David Cruz - Batendo Poeira from Rádio Quente - Laço (1982)

This is great sounding forró that crosses the great sound barrier: 1980. Like most music, forró went through a serious identity crisis in the 1980s with the onslaught of drum machines, synthesizers and click tracks. A few artists managed to record great sounding records, including Zenilton, Messias Holanda and David Cruz. It's much harder to find great forró after 1976. Even the greats, like Genival Lacerda, Jackson do Pandeiro and Luiz Gonzaga had trouble finding material that matched what they recorded in the early 70s and before.

David Cruz - Batendo Poeira from Rádio Quente - Laço (1982)

video
Click on the video above to play the song.
iOS? click here: http://youtu.be/BMeHpG9M794

David Cruz