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)