Teasing the Korean

Suggest Me Some Brazil

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This is how I remember European music TV in the 70s...though the music was never as good.

Brazilian music shows from the 60s looked much like the clip you posted, with one difference - they were still in black and white.

There was (still is) a music program that takes a very different approach - Ensaio. Here are a couple of clips from older shows:

Elis Regina performing Águas de Março:

Nara Leão, singing a wonderful samba (Camisa Amarela):

Tom Zé, "Hein?":

Cartola (one of the all-time great samba composers); "Alvorada":

There's *lots* Ensaio footage available on YouTube. Also, Trama has reissued a series of programs on DVD.

Edited by seeline

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Oh, I think you're probably right about at least one of them being in that clip... but from your original post on this, I thought it was a stage or TV performance.

Didn't mean to be misleading. In terms of the vibe and the spirit of the 1966 album, though, I think the clip is closer to what the album is about than a stage or TV performance would have been. I probably just got a little over-excited when I found the clip.

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I hear you. Vinícius and Toquinho were on TV a lot. I thought maybe you'd come across a clip of them, with Baden visiting Brazil and guesting on the show.

As much as I like the Afro Sambas, I would rather hear someone else singing them... ;)

Edited by seeline

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As much as I like the Afro Sambas, I would rather hear someone else singing them... ;)

I respect where you're coming from. This can lead to a larger discussion of what constitutes "good singing," and whether a "good singer" in the technical sense of phrase is necessarily the best singer to deliver the performance. To me, the ragged vocals of the 1966 Afro Sambas album are a huge part of what makes it compelling. It sounds at times like it's ready to fall apart at any moment, but it never does. It simultaneously has an intense spiritual quality and a rowdy drunken quality to it. I'm not sure that a better "performance" of this album would make it better, for me at least.

That said, I've had the original for about a decade, and I'm now open to hearing the other versions. I can't imagine that they'd ever replace the original, though.

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You got the "rowdy..." part right, I think. Both men had drinking problems.

As for "good" voices, I guess that's largely a taste thing. I love Cartola (see link to clip above) and he had a very frail voice by the time that show was made. But I've always had problems with both Vinicius and Tom Jobim's singing - also Baden's.

Edited by seeline

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Curious to hear what you think of QeC's vocals on that album. It's interesting that they range from intricate spot-on four-part harmonies to out-of-tune unison mayhem. Very different feel and mood from albums released under their name. I also like the contrast of the heavy reverb on their vocals in some passages to the complete dry sound in others. The difference in QeC's vocal performances/effects creates a big part of the earthy/spiritual dichotomy on this album, for me at least. Vinicius or Baden don't sing any worse than they do on parts of the album, at least.

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You might not be surprised to know that I'm not a fan of Quarteto em Cy. ;) I think they're OK, but that there have been far better Brazilian vocal groups.

As for listening to other interpretations of those songs, I'd encourage you to do so. They're very highly regarded (revered, really) and have been recorded by many, many people. I can't imagine how other interpretations would take away from the original album, in your estimation, at least.

Edited by seeline

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As for "good" voices, I guess that's largely a taste thing.

No, I was approaching it from the technical side. There are technically great singers I love and admire who wouldn't do the right job in certain situations. And vice versa.

You might not be surprised to know that I'm not a fan of Quarteto em Cy. ;) I think they're OK, but that there have been far better Brazilian vocal groups.

That doesn't address the issue that the Quarteto em Cy on Afro Sambas is not the Quarteto em Cy on Quarteto em Cy albums. ;)

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Have you listened to much samba? That might resolve it for you. (Not kidding; I think one of the things they were going for there is a "roda de samba" - samba jam session - feel, Bahian style....)

At any rate, the lead voice/chorus thing is very much a samba thing.

Edited by seeline

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Have you listened to much samba? That might resolve it for you...

Yes, I have lots of samba, and I understand that's what they were going for. Still, the Q gals come off completely different on that record than they do on their pop records.

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I'm not much of a devotee of either Baden or Vinícius' recordings (at least, I prefer Baden's instrumental stuff), so ... you're probably asking the wrong person! It's a samba album; I wouldn't be surprised if they had been doing some drinking during the recording session. I think they wanted that big chorus, call-and-response feel because the songs are mostly sambas with touches of candomblé ceremonial music and a very Bahian feel.

They even used a lot of trad samba percussion - like knife and plate - that's something of a lost art today. (Although definitely still played in Bahia.)

As for Quarteto em Cy's own albums, I don't care for them.

Hope this helps clarify a bit! :)

Edited by seeline

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There are tons of clips of Bahian-style samba (samba de roda, with dancing) on YouTube - here's one.

TTK, I'm not really sure what you're trying to get at re. the Afro Sambas.... but maybe checking out some Bahian samba will help? Rio-style samba is different.

Edited by seeline

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TTK, I'm not really sure what you're trying to get at re. the Afro Sambas....

Nothing other than the fact that there is no other record like it for me. To my ears, it's much more than a samba record. I've listened to sound clips of a couple of re-records, including Baden's own, and these versions for me convey neither the spirituality nor the reckless abandon of the original. Take a great set of songs, throw in the personalities of the participants, the production values, and whatever they were drinking, and you get something magical. I've come across other people for whom this album has had the same effect, but I don't expect everyone to feel that way, of course...

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I like the recording, but I came to it after hearing other kinds of Brazilian music - and recordings - that captured my imagination in the same way this album did yours.

So we have different reference points, I'm thinking. :)

For me personally, the compositions themselves are more important than Baden and Vinícius' original recording of them.

Edited by seeline

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So we have different reference points, I'm thinking. :)

At the time I first heard it, I had a decent assortment of bossa, MPB, samba, tropicalia, and hard bossa piano trios. Not an exhaustive collection by any stretch, but an OK start at experiencing a range of 60s and 70s stuff. I approached Brazilian music at the time - as I do now - without a whole lot of stylistic expectations, because Brazilians generally seem to have a very natural, unforced way of moving between genres. At the time I got Afro Sambas, I knew two of the songs from other interpretations. (Tamba 4's "Iemanja" remains a favorite). Still, the album immediately struck me as not fitting neatly into any of the categories that existed, or that I had constructed. Ten years later and I feel much the same way.

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I agree about it being kind of genre-defying, but I also think a lot of those genre labels are extremely flexible. ;)

One of the big things (to my mind) in all of Baden's "afro samba"-type pieces is the way he incorporated Afro-Brazilian religious music and Bahian samba and capoeira music into ... well, I'm hard-pressed to find words to describe what he did, except to say that the synthesis is pretty incredible! But equally, it's the pieces themselves that contain the essence of that, not (to my mind) any single recording.

And there are a lot of *great* interpretations of those pieces out there.

Edited by seeline

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Baden Powell--Seresta Brasileira.

A pleasing solo guitar recording of romantic serenades from 1988, on Milestone, available in the oldies.com Fantasy Warehouse sale.

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I have received a promo copy of an album you might be interested in. Bay Area pianist Mark Levine has a group called The Latin Tinge. They have recorded an album of Moacir Santos music called Off & On: The Music of Moacir Santos. It will be released Sept. 15.

Most of the songs have very irregular rhythms. I like each track very much, but listening to these irregular rhythms for an hour is fatiguing.

I plan to burn two copies of a half hour each, so that I can enjoy the music without getting burned out before it's over.

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Moacir's music is fantastic! Thanks for the heads-up, GA.

Edited to add: I'm not sure what you mean by "irregular rhythms," but it sounds like maybe this has something to do with the arrangements on this particular disc?

Some recordings of Moacir's music can be found here and here. The 1st cut has a rhythm that hasn't really been picked up (yet) by North Americans - it's a maracatu. Neither piece has what I think of as an "odd" or irregular meter, though they're certainly syncopated. Moacir grew up in northeastern Brazil and used many rhythms from that part of the country in his music. Some of the musical forms have complex, multiple percussion parts that he was distilling and adapting for concert (etc.) performance. You can see and hear two different kinds of maracatu here:

The 2nd kind (during the 2nd half of the video) is one of the things Moacir drew on.

* Note: I listened to samples on Mark's site, and I think some of what you're hearing is the slight Afro-Cuban twist he brings to these pieces, in the percussion arrangements and some of his piano vamps. (Judging from what I could tell from the samples.)

Edited by seeline

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This is really delightful - headed up by Mário Adnet.

cd_cover.jpg

Singers include Mônica Salmaso, Maucha Adnet, Roberta Sá, Alfredo del Penha and Zé Renato; the charts and playing are top-notch. Has a lot of older sambas (from the late 30s-50s) that most of us know via João Gilberto's singing. It's on Adventure Music.

More on the project (includes full personnel list) here: http://daniv.blogspot.com/2006/06/samba-me...gie-l-to-r.html

And this album is just outstanding!!!

mubi3861.jpg

I've held off on buying the DVD of the show (also on Biscoito Fino), but now... gotta have it.

Edited by seeline

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This is really delightful - headed up by Mário Adnet.

cd_cover.jpg

Singers include Mônica Salmaso, Maucha Adnet, Roberta Sá, Alfredo del Penha and Zé Renato; the charts and playing are top-notch. Has a lot of older sambas (from the late 30s-50s) that most of us know via João Gilberto's singing. It's on Adventure Music.

More on the project (includes full personnel list) here: http://daniv.blogspot.com/2006/06/samba-me...gie-l-to-r.html

And this album is just outstanding!!!

mubi3861.jpg

I've held off on buying the DVD of the show (also on Biscoito Fino), but now... gotta have it.

Good to hear that about the Salmaso - liberated my copy this morning from a neighbour who the postman left it with whilst I was away. Also the Joyce 'Slow Music'.

I ordered direct from Biscoito and the prices were more than fair - no more than a full price Cd in the shops here, even after post and packing. Seemed to get here in about a week.

Will keep your other rec. in mind.

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How were the CDs packaged, Bev? In a cardboard box, or in a mailing envelope, or...???

I've had all kinds of trouble with packages from BF being stolen. (Or parts of them being stolen.) It got old pretty fast, and I haven't ordered from them in a long time.

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Moacir's music is fantastic! Thanks for the heads-up, GA.

Edited to add: I'm not sure what you mean by "irregular rhythms," but it sounds like maybe this has something to do with the arrangements on this particular disc?...

* Note: I listened to samples on Mark's site, and I think some of what you're hearing is the slight Afro-Cuban twist he brings to these pieces, in the percussion arrangements and some of his piano vamps. (Judging from what I could tell from the samples.)

Clave, I listened to the disc again last night, and I was able to comfortably sit through it with ease. I guess it just takes getting used to.

I guess that I am so used to laid back sambas from Brazil that I wasn't completely ready for something different.

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