Thursday, August 20, 2015

Venâncio & Curumba - Gavião & Cadeia Da Vila from 78rpm - Todamerica (1954)

Venâncio & Curumba - Gavião from 78rpm - Todamerica (1954)

Venâncio & Curumba - Cadeia Da Vila from 78rpm - Todamerica (1954)

I am particularly proud of this post. In some ways, making songs like these available to the world is what forróLPgringo is all about. These songs have not been reissued. It is likely that there was not a repressing after the initial 78 rpm pressing in 1954. 60 years later, some of this music faces extinction unless folks work to preserve it.

This 78 was in rough shape with quite a few skips. Fortunately, I was able to edit together two complete, skip-free tracks. I realize I have a blog about vinyl and shellac*, but I honestly prefer CDs. My feeling for vinyl vacillates between relief if the record plays well and exasperation when an expensive record skips. I expect skips more than smooth players, especially when records are 50+ years old.

Vinyl is noisy, fussy and fragile. 78s are even worse. Often, one can fix skipping vinyl by reverse playing over scratches with an old needle, as long as they aren't the dreaded diagonal variety, thanks to the fact that vinyl is fairly soft and somewhat pliable. 78 rpms are almost never fixable, although applying more pressure with the stylus can solve certain problems. 

At any rate, if all of this music existed on CD, I doubt that I would have started this blog. I fell in love with vintage forró recordings enough to want to own and preserve the music in the highest quality form possible and introduce some of it to English speakers. This particular 78rpm by Venâncio & Curumba does not exist in the digital world, even in Brazil. I feel that I owe it to the artists and fans to make this music available, even if it is expensive and time consuming. It's a shame that they couldn't make more money from their recordings in their lifetime. Both of these artists passed on many years ago.

Below is some Pro Tools work that I did on Cadela Da Vila. Gavião also had some rough spots, but they weren't quite as problematic. Luckily, the band was excellent and steady and there was plenty of repetition in parts. These transfers aren't perfect, but at least the world can hear these guys in their lively, pre-vinyl, 78rpm shellac glory without annoying pops and distracting skips.

Cadela Da Vila being repaired in the digital hospital.

*78 rpms were pressed on shellac until the more durable vinyl replaced it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jota Lima - Novo Nordeste from O Novo Nordeste - Musicolor (1970)

Jota Lima - Novo Nordeste from O Novo Nordeste - Musicolor (1970)


This is a little bonus post from this rare 1970 LP by Jota Lima. What makes this LP stand out, aside from the gallant lead vocals by Lima, are the unusual backing vocals, which sound like they would be more at home on a 60s pop record than your typical forró LP. It would have been great to be a fly on the wall when some of these LPs were produced. With some exceptions, we are only left with the final vinyl and none of the stories about the making of these glorious records.

Jota Lima - O Novo Nordeste - Musicolor (1970)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jota Lima / Branca - Lindo Papel from O Novo Nordeste / 1 Festival Da Musica Nordestina - Musicolor (1970) / RCA 1971

Jota Lima - Lindo Papel from O Novo Nordeste - Musicolor (1970)


Branca - Lindo Papel from 1º Festival Da Musica Nordestina - RCA Camden (1971)

This week, I am stoked to present 2 versions of a great song, Lindo Papel, from two heavy, classic rare forró LPs. Jota Lima's O Novo Nordeste is one of the scarcest albums, on the level of José Bezerra and a handful of others who managed to deliver a classic without achieving massive notoriety when the LP was released. The production of O Novo Nordeste has a gorgeous gooey sound with great backing vocals. Lima has one of the most dramatic voices in forró, but manages to deliver without sounding sickly or schmaltzy. Branca also sounds like she is giving the performance of her life. While the production on 1 Festival Da Musica Nordestina is not quite as dramatic, Branca's voice is classically, and masterfully, husky Brazilian. It's rare to hear two great versions of any song in any genre. Each artist truly made Lindo Papel his and her own. Jota Lima released at least one more LP in 1975. Branca's future after her appearance on 1 Festival Da Musica Nordestina in 1971 is a mystery. Nothing has surfaced from her outside of this one recording.
Jota Lima - O Novo Nordeste - Musicolor (1970)
1 Festival Da Musica Nordestina - RCA (1971)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Venâncio e Curumba - Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) - reissue Premier (1969)

Venâncio e Curumba - Nossa Saudação from Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) Premier (1969)

Venâncio e Curumba - Quando Chego Numa Sala from Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) Premier (1969)

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

Venâncio e Curumba - Sulandá from Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) Premier (1969)

Over the years that I have collected Brazilian music, I have been searching for a variety of musical missing links that connect artists from various periods to their influences. My first question, years ago, was where did Gilberto Gil learn his wild, breakneck rhythmic style from the Tropicalia records? Learning about Gil led me to Luiz Gonzaga, who led me to Jackson do Pandeiro and Genival Lacerda. Once I started learning more about the history of forró, I wondered who influenced Jackson and Genival, outside of Gonzaga. It is likely that some great Brazilian regional music that was played live on the radio went undocumented, but Venâncio e Curumba had a considerable recording career before and concurrently with Jackson, Genival and Ary Lobo. Their songs were covered and adopted by many of the early forró artists, and their mix of comedy and music was a template for the careers of Jackson do Pandeiro, Genival Lacerda, Ary Lobo and Luiz Wanderley.

Pagodeando No Côco by Venâncio e Curumba (sometimes spelled Corumba), is a brilliant, joyful forró and northeastern samba LP that is killer from beginning to end. This is rare in a genre like forró, when the listener is lucky to get one classic per album. Pagodeando No Côco is truly is one of the greatest Brazilian records of all time. Like Jackson Do Pandeiro's O Dono Do Forró or Alegria do NortePagodeando No Côco was recorded at a special moment late in the career of Venâncio e Curumba. At the time, Venâncio was 55 and Curumba was 50. This is poignant, because Pagodeando No Côco was the final recording by the duo. After fourteen 78rpm records and one LP, they decided to call it quits 4 years later in 1968, after 40 years together.

On top of being radio stars, humorists and prolific performers, Venâncio e Curumba were also skilled writers. The songwriting on Pagodeando No Côco is exemplary and the recording is beautiful. It truly showcases artists at the top of their craft. The two LPs, from 1964 and 1969, have identical songs and content. Only the covers and labels are different. Venâncio e Curumba's two most well known hits, Último Pau-De-Arara and O Boi Na Cajarana, may pop up on a later entry. I'd love to track down the 78 rpm records if anyone has one or two lying around...

Biographical information retrieved from http://www.dicionariompb.com.br/venancio-e-corumba

Venâncio e Curumba - Pagodeando No Côco - Audio Fidelity (1964) - original issue 
Venâncio e Curumba - Pagodeando No Côco - Premier (1969) reissue

Venâncio e Curumba - Chuleado Da Vovó - se apresentando no Som Brasil de 1982. 

This was originally posted by Ricardo Almeida, in 2007. He deserves the credit and the thank you for originally posting this! On YouTube, his video was only playing through one speaker. I tried cleaning up the colors a bit, but I was only moderately successful. Chuleado Da Vovó is from a 1982 television show. The duo had broken up in 1968 after a career that spanned , This was 14 years after that. Venâncio was 73 e Curumba was 68.

Venâncio e Curumba. image retrieved from http://www.onordeste.com/onordeste/enciclopediaNordeste/index.php?titulo=Ven%C3%A2ncio+e+Corumba&ltr=v&id_perso=2774