Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gilberto Gil, Marinês & Nara Leão - Vento De Maio - 1966/1967

Gilberto Gil - Vento De Maio (demo) - from Retirante - discobertas 1966 (unreleased until 2006)
Click on the video above to play the song.

Marinês - Vento De Maio - from self titled - CBS 1967
 Click on the video above to play the song.

 Nara Leão - Vento De Maio - from Vento De Maio - Philips 1967
 Click on the video above to play the song.

It was through Tropicalia that I discovered forró thanks to the classic work of Gilberto Gil. Gil defied genres more than just about any other artist.  He could blend Bossa Nova, forró, coco, samba, psychedelic folk and acid rock with ease.  Gil’s wildly phrased songs with northeastern grooves fascinated long before I had heard of the genre called forró.

I thought that it would be interesting to post 3 different versions of Gil’s Vento De Maio. These are not the only versions from the period, though.  The song was also recorded by Claudia and Wilson Simonal. Gil’s version only exists as a rough, slightly distorted demo from 1966 and remained unreleased until a 2006 2-cd set on the discobertas label.  Although the CD was issued recently, most copies have been snatched up by collectors and is hard to find.  It’s well worth tracking down if you are interested in early singles and the formative years of Gil’s career. Gil’s music from this period is more spellbinding bossa-samba than forró or Tropicalia. Nara Leão and Marinês both recorded versions of the Vento De Maio in 1967 with very different flavors.  Stylistically, Gil’s demo fell between Leão’s and Marinês’. Both recordings seemed to be living in the same world as Gil’s, but used alternate forms of expression. Leão maintained a bossa-samba cool. Marinês’ version was decidedly more boisterous, pop and northeastern. Leão was like a snake charmer and Marinês was a northeastern goddess and controller of fates.

Marinês’ (pronounced Mad-dee-nayse for you gringos) self titled 1967 LP was the first forró LP that I bought, mainly to hear her version of Gilberto Gil’s Vento De Maio, which had not been reissued on CD at the time.  

Nara Leão, Marinês & Gilberto Gil

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