Teasing the Korean

Suggest Me Some Brazil

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Beautiful chill music

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Nice little programme I caught by chance on the BBC World Service this morning (around 4.00 a.m. for god's sake!), narrated by the wonderful Monica Vasconcelos:

"The Secret History of Bossa Nova"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01kxlbw

Nothing new or ground breaking but an enjoyable telling of a familiar story.

Seems to be just on today; people able to get the BBC iPlayer can listen at leisure.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Thank you, Bev. I can't praise this highly enough. It's fairly short (certainly shorter than this lover of the music would have preferred), and of course can't really serve as an adequate introduction to the music for people who aren't familiar with it already, but it makes some important historical and musical points. It expanded on some topics that even a long-time fan like myself hadn't fully understood, due to the fact that I don't speak Portuguese. Really great to have meaningful input by artists like Joyce and Marcos Valle.

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Thanks so much Bev - really appreciate the heads-up!

Loved the show overall, though I think the emphasis on politics vs. what was happening as a younger generation of singer/songwriters (like Joyce herself, as well as Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Geraldo Vandré and many others) was emerging is something that would, ideally, have been highlighted as well. The media (radio and TV) started having "festivais" (festivals) - songwriting/performing competitions that allowed many of the names I just mentioned to gain recognition. For example, Joyce is part of the second generation (so to speak) of bossa nova, but she is also someone who did experimental work in what came to be known as MPB (Musica popular brasileira) early on and wrote songs that Elis Regina and others sang on live TV and then recorded. (A friend of mine interviewed Airto and Flora Purim many years ago, and they were adamant that music changed primarily due to the rise of singer/songwriters, rather than by an imposition on culture by the government, though I'd imagine that someone who wasn't involved in the music scene - or a big fan - might assume otherwise.) Things didn't move from bossa nova straight to Tropicalia by any means. (And Brazilian rock started much earlier than the program might lead one to believe, but that's definitely beyond the scope of this docu!)

that aside, this is a truly delightful show. Joyce's demonstration of a samba in "straight" style vs. a bossa nova treatment is hugely helpful, as is Monica Vasconcelos' explanation of the difference between the rhythms of sung Portuguese and sung English - perfect example of what Brazilians call "balanço."

One thing I do wish is that there was some mention of the black musicians, singers and songwriters who were part of bossa nova and what, for lack of a better term, I'll call proto-bossa nova. But for such a brief program, they managed to hit on a *lot* of important things, and I'm very grateful for it.

Edited to add: maybe the government tried to inject american music into Brazilian music, but it had already been there for decades and decades - the original bossa nova composers and lyricists were listening to it and being influenced by it, but were reinterpreting what they heard in a Brazilian way.

Joyce's observation at the end of the program is especially poignant.

Edited by seeline

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Glad you both enjoyed it. It was the demonstration of the harmonic differences between samba and bossa nova and that section about the lyrics sung in English not 'grooving' that caught my ear (works the other way, though; I always wish Brazilian singers would not do covers of American/English songs in English!).

Saw Monica earlier in the year in great form with her current band. She has a tendency to drift off-key in places but her feel for the music is tremendous. If you don't know her last record 'hih' do track it down. Some beautiful collaborations with Robert Wyatt - it works superbly. .

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ikwym about her going off-key at times, but she has absolutely wonderful phrasing and I'll definitely try and track down her latest. (Might be available for listening via Rdio.com, Spotify, etc.)

You're not alone in having mixed feelings about some Brazilian singers who sing English lyrics, either! I think Caetano Veloso's "A Foreign Sound" is awful. The idea was a good one, but the execution is another thing entirely.

(I added a bit to my previous comment as well...)

Edited by seeline

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Been snapping up the Brazilian comps on Soul Jazz. Some common stuff mixed with stuff I never heard, or at least that I didn't have on CD.

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ikwym about her going off-key at times, but she has absolutely wonderful phrasing and I'll definitely try and track down her latest. (Might be available for listening via Rdio.com, Spotify, etc.)

It's there on the UK version of Spotify. One of the things that makes it stand out is that all the tracks are originals (and excellent ones). Much as I love the classic songs they do seem to get recycled an awful lot.

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Joyce is, as some of you know, one of my favorite musicians.

joycetuttym_sambajazz_101b.jpg

Another couple of very good Joyce albums are Hard Bossa, also released on the London label Far Out in 1999 and her classic Feminina from 1980, I think.

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One of my favorites by Joyce is Ilha Brasil, which came out in the 90s. Very hard to find, but it has a great selection of songs, terrific charts and some of the best musicians, in large and small ensembles.

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Duos III in which Luciana Souza cooperates with 3 guitarist forming a duo:
Toninho Horta, Marco Pereira and Romera Lubambo. Lovely album.
A song I want to point out: mind the accompaniment of Romera Lubambo on Dindi, stunning!

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page - nice to see you here! (I was "clave" on the AAJ forum.)

I really like all three of Luciana Souza's Duos recordings - great material, and superb accompanists.

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Hey! :) Of course I remember you, seeline. Nice to see you here too!

I just know about this one and the album she recorded with Chet's material which sounds great too.. A singer's dream to work with accompanists like that, I can tell you.

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Hey, page!

She is a very gifted singer, but I am fairly hesitant to recommend many of the discs with English lyrics. I think she sounds best - and phrases best - when singing Brazilian Portuguese lyrics, but that said, I haven't heard her Chet tribute, so can't comment on it.

You would love the original Brazilian Duos album, as well as Duos II. (All on the same label.) And yes, she works with some amazing musicians on all of her recordings. Marco Pereira is one of my favorite Brazilian guitarists, and their collaboration (which started on Brazilian Duos) is impressive. he composed a piece for her (Sambadalu) that's on her 1st Duos album. (iirc, both of them have recorded it elsewhere.)

Edited by seeline

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Ah, I will have to put them on my wish list. I understand what you mean to say about phrasing. Last year I heard Eliane Elias live and somehow I was disappointed since the way she sang in English was not at all what I had expected. Maybe it was due to that she didn't perform with a combo but as a duo with her husband on bass. Anyway the only song I really liked was the song from her last album at the time where she sang in her own language. She seemed to sound far more 'free' on that one. She did mainly standards. Now I have a few of her albums and there I didn't notice anything odd with her English, maybe my expectations were just far too high. I don't know.

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I keep returning to this one of late, find it very interesting. Soothing and a bit facile on the surface, but plenty of meat beneath. Great song choices, a "nova banda" feel to the arrangements.

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I was amazed to find only one reference, in passing at that, to the great Elis Regina. Maybe it's too obvious a choice but her contribution cannot be overstated.

A recent compilation from the early '80s is Vento de Maio. Then there's the classic Elis and Tom. My memory gets hazy on other titles, one with Lennon and McCartney in it. You can't go wrong with anything with her name on it, though.

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Ah, I would have, but I just looked for the ones who weren't mentioned yet.

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Elis' discography is huge and pretty varied, and tends to go in and out of print (yes, all of it, or nearly all) often... my two favorites are the album she made with Toots Thielmans and the performance from the TV show "Ensaio" that was issued on DVD a few years back. there are lots of clips from it on YouTube - I'd link to some, but am typing on my phone right now, so.. maybe later?

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I really like these:


Agua de Marcho - in duet with Jobim, such fun they have singing this together. Such an honour too to be able to sing with the composer himself I would imagine, but he sure is having fun too!

One of my favourite songs. I can sing it in English, not yet in Portuguese. The lyrics are far more beautiful in its origin though and I mean that first for the actually meaning, since the translation is kind of shalow compared to it.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=o+cantador+elis+regina&sm=1
O Cantador - Elis Regina

some of the real meaning:
"A singer does not choose her song.
She sings what the world wants to hear,
and the world that hears my song is pain;
is strengthened against the fear of death,
so that for all who hear my voice,
it is dispelled.
"
music: Dori Caymmi, lyrics: Nelson Motta


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Really a great bossa nova jazz album.

black-orpheus-nilson-matta.jpg


pagE, it's interesting that Jobim wrote both the Portuguese and English words to Waters of March, which was not always the case at all. And the text is not identical in the two languages, as he left out some bits of Brazilian cultural items in the English version.

Interesting note form wkiipedia:

When writing the English lyrics, Jobim endeavored to avoid words with Latin roots, which resulted in the English version having more verses than the Portuguese. Nevertheless, the English version still contains some words from Latin origin, such as promise, dismay, plan, pain, mountain, distance and mule. Another way in which the English lyrics differ from the Portuguese is that the English version treats March from the perspective of an observer in the northern hemisphere. In this context, the waters are the "waters of defrost" in contrast to the rains referred to in the original Portuguese, marking the end of summer and the beginning of the colder season in the southern hemisphere.

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Thanks for that rec, Lon. Looks up my street.

I notice there are a couple of other discs by Matta available - and that he is a member of the Brazilian Trio who I have an album of (Forests) - will have to dig that out.

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pagE, it's interesting that Jobim wrote both the Portuguese and English words to Waters of March, which was not always the case at all. And the text is not identical in the two languages, as he left out some bits of Brazilian cultural items in the English version.

Interesting note form wkiipedia:

When writing the English lyrics, Jobim endeavored to avoid words with Latin roots, which resulted in the English version having more verses than the Portuguese. Nevertheless, the English version still contains some words from Latin origin, such as promise, dismay, plan, pain, mountain, distance and mule. Another way in which the English lyrics differ from the Portuguese is that the English version treats March from the perspective of an observer in the northern hemisphere. In this context, the waters are the "waters of defrost" in contrast to the rains referred to in the original Portuguese, marking the end of summer and the beginning of the colder season in the southern hemisphere.

I didn't know that he did. It is often difficult to translate in such a way which is accurate as well as truthful to the phrasing and meaning at the same time. I do feel that when you wrote a song yourself with the lyrics as well as the music you'll have the liberty to translate in the way that you'll find suitable since you are the person that felt the song in the first place. Since emphasis is very different in English and Portuguese I am not surprised he changed some parts.

It is fun to sing a song in more languages than one. I've made some Dutch translations myself of some jazz standards. Mainly bossas among those since I love the bossa. Haven't translated from Portuguese yet, although I'd love to make a Dutch version of "O Cantador". I did make a translation of "(Odio l') Estate" which is Italian. I see there are French translations of "Agua de Marcho", I'm going to look into that.

About wikipedia, I do not believe they always have the correct information. I remember that Horace Silver thread, wikipedia posted the rumour as fact too. Just a note, doesn't mean the above isn't correct but just something to keep in mind I think.

Edited by page

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I'm aware that wikipedia is often incorrect as almost anyone can add information. I've read this same information about the song elsewhere, so I believe it's true.

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I don't know how well known Delia Fischer is - I stumbled on her in one of those if you liked that you might like this connections. Don't recall reading about her elsewhere. I've been enjoying these of late:

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Largely acoustic Brazilian with a strong aroma of the rainforest. Egberto Gismonti and Hermeto Pascoal guest (and the first is dedicated to Gismonti). Recommended if you like Brazilian song and the sound world of those to wonderful musicians.

http://musicabrasileira.org/delia-fischer-presente/

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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