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Various Artsits: Fala Mangueira! (Released in 1968, Rating 4)
1 Enquanto houver Mangueira / Lá em Mangueira / Mundo de zinco
2 Tempos idos / Ao amanhecer /Alvorada no morro / Quem me vê sorrindo / Alegria
3 Lacrimário 4 Saudosa Mangueira 5 Sei lá, Mangueira 6 Rei vagabundo / A Mangueira me chama / Sempre Mangueira / Folhas caídas / Eu e as flores 7 Sabiá de Mangueira
There are two Sambas. One is Cartola, and the other is the rest. This is an arrogant assertion, but I used to think that way. As I hear many Brazilian musics, I keep discovering the giants; Brazil is full of great musicians. But I still feel that Cartola is so special.
For me, Cartola represents most beautiful essence of Brazilian music. He represents the mixture of beautiful melodies, poetic lyrics and rhythm. Though his life had been mostly in poverty, his way of living was so free. He kept his style. His music was full of mellowness and bitterness. He was elegant person in the true sense of the word. (His name, Cartola, came from his nickname. It means silk hat. He was wearing silk hat when he was working as a plasterer. He didn't want his hair get dirty.)
Despite his greatness, his records are often out of print. So, I wondered if he might be forgotten in Brazil. I once asked a young Brazilian girl I happened to meet if she knew Cartola. She replied, "Do I know him? Everybody in Brazil knows him." So, the reason of relative rarity of his records is not understandable. Anyway, if you find his records, you'd better buy whatever they are. I guarantee them all. They will surely be your lifetime treasures. They are not only "must" records for Brazilian music listeners, but also for all music lovers.
I've tried to write about him almost for a month, but I couldn't write more than the sentences above. I don't know how to continue. His music is absolutely beyond words, and every word sounds stupid when written. So, I just write very short comments on his albums. They are not to be told, they should be experienced.
Fala Manguira! is the compilation of Samba school Manguira. It is the most traditional school of Samba. Cartola was one of the most important members of Manguira. In this record, his songs can be heard in track 2, and we can also hear his singing here. Cartola was a composer of Samba, but after this record, his fame as a performer gradually grew.
By the way, Nara Leao sang O Sol Nascera of Cartola in her debut album in 1963. This was one of the earliest attempt of re-discovering Cartola's music.
Cartola: S.T. (Released in 1974, Rating 5+)
1 Disfarça e chora 2 Sim 3 Corra e olhe o céu 4 Acontece 5 Tive sim 6 O sol nascerá 7 Alvorada 8 Festa da vinda 9 Quem me vê sorrindo 10 Amor proibido 11 Ordenes e farei 12 Alegria Produced by J.C. Botezeli (Pelao)
Cartola was born in 1908. And this is his solo debut album. It was when he was 66 years old! But his voice is not like the one of the old man. Rather, he sings in a brilliant young voice. The songs deliver the longing and dreams of the youth.
His songs are full of beautiful complex melodies and poetries. It is unbelievable why he was not discovered until he became 66. He was originally the composer. It was not usual until Bossa Nova movement that the composer sang himself. But Bossa Nova was the movement in the 60s. So, there is still more than 10 years until this record was released. It might be the process that the Black Brazilian Samba music was gradually regarded as the art by the white Brazilian listeners.
Marcus Pereira wanted to leave records of Cartola in the good condition, so he gathered the best musicians. (The ensemble of acoustic guitars is marvelous.) And the sound quality is also good, considering it is a recording for private record company of Pereira. We have to thank Pereira for making this great record. (However, because of copy right problem caused by the death of Pereira, this record gets sometimes out of print.)
Cartola: S.T. (Released in 1976, Rating 5+)
1 O mundo é um moinho 2 Minha 3 Sala de recepção 4 Não posso viver sem ela 5 Preciso me encontrar 6 Peito vazio 7 Aconteceu 8 As rosas não falam 9 Sei chorar 10 Ensaboa 11 Senhora tentação 12 Cordas de aço
Produced by Juarez Barroso
Along with his first solo album, this is also the real treasure. (This was also recorded for Discos Marcus Pereira.)
The sound quality is not good as the first one, but who cares? I personally love Ensaboa . There is a humorous chorus of female vocal. (This song was covered by Marisa Monte.)
The first and second albums used to be released as two-in-one CD in Japan. I think they are now available in original formats in two CDs. (But they are made in Brazil. The availability is not stable.)
Cartola : Verde Que Te Quero Rosa (Released in 1977, Rating 5)
1 Verde que te quero rosa 2 A canção que chegou 3 Autonomia 4 Desfigurado 5 Escurinha 6 Tempos idos 7 Pranto de poeta 8 Grande Deus 9 Fita meus olhos 10 Que é feito de você? 11 Desta vez eu vou 12 Nós dois
Third album, recorded for RCA. Autonomia is dramatically arranged with orchestra. This song and Pranto de poeta are the highlights. In the cover art, Cartola is drinking coffee with green and pink cup and saucer. These colors are the team colors of Manguira, which Cartola decided.
Cartola : Cartola 70 Anos (Released in 1978, Rating 4+)
1 O inverno do meu tempo 2 A cor da esperança 3 Feriado na roça 4 Ciência e arte 5 Senões 6 Mesma estória 7 Fim de estrada 8 Enquanto Deus consentir 9 Dê-me graças, Senhora 10 Evite meu amor 11 Silêncio de um cipreste 12 Bem feito
The fourth and last studio album, recorded for RCA. A little bid weaker than the former ones. But this is still great, compared to usual Samba albums. This record was recorded when he was 70. Just 4 years later from his first album, but his voice became older.
The third and fourth albums used to be released as two-in-one CD in Japan.
Cartola : Memoria Eldorado (Released in 1982, Rating 4)
1 Que sejam benvindos 2 Autonomia 3 Acontece 4 Senões 5 O inverno do meu tempo 6 Que sejas bem feliz 7 Dê-me graças, Senhora 8 Quem me vê sorrindo
Cartola passed away in 1980. It was the year that John Lennon was shot. But I remember it as a year of Cartola.
This is the recording of Cartola's radio appearance in 1979. Cartola sang and told the story of his music and his life. He sang only with his guitar. Very personal, intimate recording.
Cartola : Cartola Live (Released in 1992, Rating 4)
1 Alvorada 2 O mundo é um moinho 3 Sim 4 Acontece 5 Amor proibido 6 As rosas não falam 7 Verde que te quero rosa 8 Peito vazio 9 Alegria 10 O inverno do meu tempo 11 O sol nascerá
The last live performance recorded in 1978. The voice sounds a little bid tired, but still stunning. The ensemble of acoustic guitars and mandolin is beautiful.
Various Artists : O Sol Nascera (Released in 2000, Rating 4)
1 Que infeliz sorte (Fracisco Alves)
2 Perdão meu bem (Fracisco Alves e Mario Reis) 3 Tenho um novo amor (Carmen miranda) 4 Não faz amor (Fracisco Alves) 5 Na floresta (Sylvia Caldos) 6 Qual foi o mal que eu te fiz? (Fracisco Alves) 7 Divina dama (Fracisco Alves) 8 Fita meus olhos (Arnaldo Amaral) 9 Não quero mais (Aracy de Almeida) 10 Quem me vê sorrir (Cartola) 11 Não posso viver sem ela (Ataulfo Alves) 12 Sim (gilberto Alves) 13 Grande Deus (Jamelao) 14 Festa da Penha (Ari cordovil) 15 O sol nascerá (Cartola) 16 Canta esta canção (Claudia Savaget) 17 Nós dois (Carlos Galhardo) 18 O mundo é um moinho (Carmen costa) 19 Amor proibido (Cartola) 20 Por que vamos chorando? (claudia Savaget) 21 Pot-Pourri (Odete Amaral) / Ao Amanhecer (Cartola) / Alvorada no Morro (Odete Amaral) / wuem Me Ve sorrindo (Odete Amaral) / Alegria (Clementina de Jesus e Zezinho)
The compilation of mainly SP recordings of the compositions by Cartola. The earliest song was recorded in 1929. The melodies are clearly of Cartola.
There are also three tracks by Cartola himself. The last track is from Fala Manguira. It would be better if it contained more of SP recordings instead of it.
Various Artists : Cartola Bate Outra Vez (Released in 1992, Rating 3+)
1 As rosas não falam (Gal Costa) 2 Amor proibido (Paulinho Da Viola E elton Medeiros) 3 Disfarça e chora (Leila Pinheiro) 4 Minha (Zeca Pagodinho) 5 Autonomia (Paulo Ricardo) 6 O Sol nascerá (Beth Carvaho) 7 O mundo é um moinho (Cazuza) 8 Acontece (Caetano Veloso) 9 Corra e olhe o céu (Vania Bastos) 10 Peito vazio (Nelson Concalves) 11 Cordas de aço (Luiz Melodia) 12 Tive sim (Ivone Lara)
The tribute album to Cartola. The album is full of deep respect to the composer, and it contains deep sorrow for the loss.
This starts with the beautiful interpretation of As rosas não falam by Gal Costa. It is accompanied by piano, and the vocal of Costa is professionally eloquent. This emphasizes the beautiful melody of Cartola. It is a good track, but I feel something is lacking.
The first track symbolizes the total image of this tribute alum. We can re-discover the beauty of the melody that Cartola made. But the interpretations seem to be weaker than the one by the composer. The beauty of Cartola's music is not only in melody, but also in the combination of melody and rhythm, sweetness and bitterness.
Caetano Veloso sings Acontece. It is very close to the interpretation of the composer. Though it is full of respect, it may lack critical point of view that Veloso's cover songs usually have. Still, it is the highlight of this record.
Vinicius de Moraes & Odettte Lara: Vinicius & Odette Lara (Released in 1963, Rating 5)
1. Berimbau 2. So Por Amor 3. Deixa 4. Seja Feliz 5. Mulher Carioca 6. Samba Preludio 7. Labareda 8. Hoje So 9. Astronauta 10. Deve Ser Amor 11. Samba Da Bencao 12. Alem Do Amor
Bossa Nova began in 1958 with the song Chega De Suadade, which was first recorded by Elizete Cardoso and then Joao Gilberto. The song was composed by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Here, we see the most important people of Bossa Nova movement. Among them, Moraes may be the less known artist because he was mainly a poet; it's hard to understand Portuguese lyrics. But he had a great influence on many artists, and his life style itself was Bossa Nova. And he was also a charming performer, may not be a great vocalist.
This is a debut album of Moraes as a vocalist. (Elenco's first record!) This includes many classic songs composed by Vinicius de Moraes & Baden Powell. Famous Berimbau, and original version of Samba da Bencao! These songs have African feelings, and also have sophisticated Bossa Nova feelings.
The vocal of Moraes sounds amateur, it sounds more amateur than that of Antonio Carlos Jobim. The combination of very sophisticated songs and instruments and amateur singing brings something very new, another side of Bossa Nova. Here we see the origin of singing style of Pierre Barouh. Actually, Moraes went to France as a diplomat, and there was an encounter of Moraes and Barouh, which produced the success of Samba Saravah (French version of Samba de Bencao) in Un Homme Et Une Femme. (According to Barouh, his early Bosa Nova song, Saudade, was recorded in 1959-1960 with Baden Powell. I don't know how the encounter with Baden Powell was possible before Moraes went to France.)
The heroine of the record, Odette Lara, was a movie star in Brazil. (Moraes and Powell stayed in her apartment and composed many songs there.) Her singing sounds much more professional than Moraes. And when she sings, there is a rather orthodox samba cancon orchestration accompanied. She can sing well, but this might be a small defect of this record.
Barden Powell & Vinicius Moraes : Os Afro-Sambas De Barden e Vinicius (Released in 1966, Rating 5)
1. Canto De Ossanha 2. Canto De Xango 3. Bocoche 4. Canto De Lemanja 5. Tempo De Amor 6. Canto Do Caboclo Pedra Preta 7. Tristeza e Solidao 8. Lamento De Exu Produced by Roberto Quartine Wadi Gebara
Simply, the great album. As the title suggests African rhythm was featured more than Vinicius de Moraes & Odete Lala.
Chorus of Quarteto em Cy is very lovely. Their singing is very young and powerful, beautiful young savages! Moraes and Quarteto em Cy sometimes sing in African Call-and-Response style. It is far from their perfect chorus of Quarteto em Cy after the 70's.
Of course, the guitar of Baden Powell is wonderful, and the ensemble of guitar and percussion is very African, too.
Caymmi & Vinicius : No Zum Zum (Released in 1967, Rating 4+)
1.Bom-Dia, Amigo/Carta a Tom/Berimbau 2. Tem Do De Mim 3. Broto Maroto 4. Minha Namorada 5. Saudade De Bahia/Das Rosas 6. Hisoria de Pescadores 7. Dia Da Cricao 8. Aruanda/Adalgiza 9. Formosa 10. Final Produced by Aloysio De Oliveira
Very entertaining record, re-producing the show at the nightclub, Zum Zum, in Copacabana. Great singer from Bahia, Dorval Caymmi, and beautiful savage chorus of Quarteto em Cy from Bahia. And Vinicius de Moraes. Good old sound of organ and vibraphone. Very sophisticated humour, and saudade, too.
The Girls From Bahia: Pardon My English (Released in 1967, Rating 4)
A 1. Pardon My English 2. Makin' Whoopee 3. Tears 4. Oh, Susannah 5. Voce 6. Tup-A-Tup B 1. Surfin' In Rio 2. Bye Bye Blackbird 3. Useless Landscape 4. The Face I Love 5. Image 6. Canto De Ossanha
Produced by Sonny Burke
Quarteto Em Cy was very active in 1966-1968. 3 albums from Elenco, 2 albums from Warner Bros, and 2 collaborations with Vinicius de Moraes. Total 7 albums in 3 years! Without a doubt, this was the first peak period of the group.
Music during this period may be different from their typical style. Their music and singing in this period sounds young, wild and powerful while their1st album, Quarteto Em Cy (1964), and the 2nd album, Som Definitivo (65), sound rather mature, sophisticated Bossa Nova. Music in this period is also different from the perfect, heavenly harmony of the group after the 70's. There is a do-anything-power and velocity in this period, and it sounds precious to me.
And here is an American debut album of Quarteto Em Cy as The Girls From Bahia! (Their first appearance as The Girls from Bahia is in Dorival Caymmi's American album, ...And Roses and Roses (1965).) This record starts with Pardon My English! And it goes to Makin' Whoopee. They sing them very proudly and wildly so that they don't sound like begging pardon for their English at all. (Actually, they mainly sing in Portuguese, sometimes in English.) This is the most exciting point of this record. They also pick up bossa-nova-like selection of more usual "popular" music, singing in beautiful harmony. It ends up with another version of Canto De Ossanha. (This song is included in 3 albums, maybe, recorded in this period.)
The main listening pleasure of this record is in their powerful singing of popular songs in foreign language. However, because the record is well produced in a Hollywood manner, the harmony of Quarteto Em Cy sounds well-organized. I think there is a kind of origin of their perfectionism in the 70's in this out-of-print, and sometimes out-of-mind album.
The Girls From Bahia: !Revolucion Con Brasilia! (Released in 1968, Rating 4+)
A 1. Berimbau 2. Tem Mais Samba 3. Edmundo (In The Mood) 4. Laia Ladaia (Reza) 5. Morrer De Amor 6. The Sunny Side Of Street B 1.Road To Nowhere 2. The Old Piano Roll Blues 3. The It Rained 4. E Nada Mais 5. Manhattan 6. Dindi 7. A Banda (Parade)
Produced by Sonny Burke
Another America made album of Quarteto Em Cy. I don't know how their American debut was successful. And I don't know whose idea it was. Considering from the fact that there are only two The Girls From Bahia albums left, they were not very successful. But I think it was lucky for them not to be another Carmen Miranda. (I can easily imagine their movie appearance in Hollywood movie with imaginary Samba carnival costumes etc...) Because I know the incredible works in the 70's, I am really glad that they did not stay in America. And they left this great album.
The second American recording album is more sophisticated and smoother than the first one. It may be closer to Hollywood-made-easy-listening-latin-popular music. But, it still has very powerful velocity. Popular songs such as In the Mood and The Old Piano Roll Blues sound really exciting. And there is a Brazilian spirit in American arranged sound. Their harmony sound very well balanced; one more step closer to their 70's albums.
Hearing The Girls From Bahia albums now is a complicated pleasure for me; it is basically a kitsch, but it is fun to see young Brazilian wild girls fighting against Hollywood-made typical image of Brazil. However, I think that it may not be a great pleasure for members. Actually, Cynara and Cybele did not like activities in America. So, they formed duo, and released album. Quarteto Em Cy stopped their activities until 1972. I think that they may not have good experiences in American recording, but they have learned something from it.
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