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124 tracks from Brazil have been recommended.
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Curso Intensivo De Boas Maneiras  performed by Tom Zé  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

You've got to love a guy who has a song on his first album that translates as "Catechism, Toothpaste and You". From that same LP, here's a great off-kilter tropicalia with a heavy baroque-pop influence and really odd instrumentation, featuring fuzz guitar, organ and trumpet in a very nice way.

from Tom Zé, available on CD (Sony Brasil)



Pavane for a Dead Princess  performed by Eumir Deodato  1973
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This stunning instrumental is a reasonably straight version of a classical piece by Maurice Ravel, originally written in 1899. Eumir plays piano over a dense string background, adding a tiny bit of jazz phrasing. The texture of the layered strings and piano is remarkably intense and beautiful, and the piece is quite exquisite. I expect this recording would offend classical purists, but I must admit that having heard this version first, I still like it the best. Perhaps this is down to the sheer richness of the string recording, which may be endowed by studio wizardry rarely used in classical recordings. Either way, it's really quite incredible, and I urge you to check it out.

from Deodato 2 (CTI), available on CD (CBS)




  03 Jan 02 ·Mike: While I find Deodato to be a stimulating and interesting artist (and am far from being a "classical purist" of any sort), I can't really muster any great enthusiasm for this recording. Too close to being a kind of synthesis of Ravel's original for solo piano (1899) and version for full orchestra (1910), I find Deodato's funky adaptations of Stauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and, particularly Debussy's "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun" somewhat more worthwhile. Maybe I should listen again to the Ravel adaptation, but in the past I have found its blandness a little irritating...
  28 Feb 02 ·G400 Custom: What I like about this track is the fact that it's a very black, funky take on a piece with questionable Aryan overtones. It can be heard to great affect in Hal Ashby's 'Being There', which I think was Peter Sellers' last film.
  28 Feb 02 ·G400 Custom: Re the above comment: I was talking about 'Also Sprach Zarathrustra', not the Ravel piece. Sorry for any confusion.
  03 Sep 02 ·G400 Custom: As far as the Ravel adaptation goes, I find it pleasant if a little bit chocolate-boxey, reminiscent of the 60s soundtracks of Francis Lai. I can't argue with Delicado's comments about the string sound though, which is astonishing.
  17 Sep 03 ·sodapop650: Bore - Ring! If you are going to listen to Deodato. Listen to the early Equipe LPs. When his sound was so hip, hipper than hip, the bastard brazilian son of Henry Mancini hip. Get a copy of "Tremendao" grab a beer and try to find a nice warm spot of sunshine.
  18 Sep 03 ·delicado: Well, you have to remember that I'm someone who is obsessed with string sounds. I listen fanatically to late 50s and 60s mood music records, and am a fan of both Percy Faith and Jackie Gleason's records. Yes, I love Brazilian music, and enjoy all of Deodato's 60s Equipe LPs, but I also have a very real and intense love of what my pal G400 defines as 'chocolate-boxy' easy listening music. Deodato's 1972 LP 'Percepcao' (recently reissued on CD in Brazil) also falls into this category, and I adore it!
  18 Apr 04 ·[email protected]: One of the purist fusion jazz artists of his time. Listen to the music, don't try to interpret it or rationalize it. Your missing the point. Eumir is unmistakeably one of the pioneers in this gendre.
Kee-ka-roo  performed by Walter Wanderley and Luiz Henrique  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A very cool track, but not in the way I normally find Walter Wanderley's quick-draw hammond organ technique cool. This is a simple, bluesey number on which he is joined by the Brazilian singer Luiz Henrique. Luiz doesn't sing though, he just contributes some nice scat vocals, rather like the work Marcos Valle does on 'Garra'. In my experience, this is about as close as Walter gets to 'funky', and this version from the 'Popcorn' album is a great improvement from the 1967 'Kee-ka-roo' LP version.

from Popcorn (Verve)



Berimbau  performed by Golden Boys  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An addictive and perfect track, which fuses several of my obsessions (vocal groups, Ennio Morricone-style chord sequences, Brazilian pop) with incredible power. The song is a Brazilian standard, written by Baden Powell, but this version is very different to any other I've heard. This recording opens feverishly with brass and strings, maintaining a doomy and very serious mood throughout. All the same, it manages to be extremely groovy, with rock drums and a twangy guitar accompanying the strings and harmonizing vocals. The arrangement is quite brilliant and never sounds crowded, with a stark feel produced by the different parts dropping in and out. The part of the track which to me is pure genius is the instrumental break in the middle, which sounds like it's excerpted from one of the coolest of Morricone's late 60s B-movie soundtracks - honey smooth strings, blended with some excellent drums and a cool trumpet part. The vocals are also rather gripping - always very serious sounding, and often wordlessly chanting the melody.

from Golden Boys (Odeon MOFB 3590)
available on CD - Blue Brazil Vol 3 (EMI)




  23 Feb 04 ·Galt: You should check out the 1971 Odeon album 'So Vou Criar Galinha': 'Chuva de verao' starts with the sound of rainfall (always a winner) and 'Com a lembrança apenas' has one of those amazing Brazilian melodies you just can't get out of your head.
Lost In The Paradise  performed by Gal Costa  1969
Recommended by Mr Steal [profile]

From one of the key Tropicalia albums, a typically genius Veloso composition, with a jazzy but vaguely psychedelic feel, sung in gorgeously beguiling style (and in English!) by Gal. Actually, this whole LP is essential. (note: in London there seem to be a lot of vinyl pressings – of dubious legality – of vintage Brazilian LPs around at the moment. Sound quality is sometimes iffy, but most of this stuff is hard to find on CD).

from Gal Costa (Philips R765.068L)




  06 Jan 02 ·delicado: a fantastic recording; thanks for drawing my attention to it. Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 do a great version on their 1970 'Stillness' album as well.
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