Archive for the 'Brazil' Category

Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo

Great 70’s psychedelia from the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Composers/vocalists Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo would eventually end up being part of a more main-stream/popular Brazilian rock scene later in their careers – but the Tropicalia/Veloso and Minas Geraes/Milton Nascimento sound can be heard throughout this debut album. Musically considered a regional take on what was happening throughout Brazil in the early 70’s. A great mixture of guitar driven folk, psychedelia, cabaret, with some splashes of percussive tropical sounds. Not a ground breaking record, but a solid effort from this obscure Brazilian gem. Enjoy!

1. Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo: Mister Mistério

2. Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo: Me Dá Um Beijo

3. Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo: Seis Horas

4. Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo: Horrivel


Gal Costa: Trem Das Onze

My first video upload on Super Sonido. There is actually a ton of great footage of Gal Costa on You Tube, but this performance I like the best. Trem Das Once (The 11 PM Train) is considered a real classic samba number. I just wanted to demonstrate Gal’s ability to take one of the most famous Brazilian songs ever and give it unbelievable value and depth. You’ll hear that the whole audience sings along mid way through the video. Given below are the English lyrics. Enjoy!

I can’t stay
Not even another minute with you
I am sorry, love
But it can not be

I live in Jaçanã
If I miss this train
That leaves now at 11 PM
Only tomorrow morning

And besides that, woman
There’s another thing
My mother doesn’t sleep
Until I get home
I’m an only child
I have my house to look after

Gal Costa: 1968 to 1974

The arrival of Tropicália on the Brazilian music scene began in 1968 with the seminal collaboration album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis. Although this new genre was also embraced by the visual arts community, it was largely seen as a musically driven movement. The key to the Tropicália manifesto was antropofagia, or the cultural cannibalism of all societies. Essentially it was the digestion of all other influences, from all other genres, in order to create something totally new.

Musically it consisted of a fusion between regional Brazilian and American/British psychedelic rock. Also, the experimentation with studio production was another key element . Take the first song Mamãe, Coragem, which I couldn’t record on its own. Most tracks on the Tropicália album segway directly into each other – the whole album is on some Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club trip.

Please know that Brazil was experiencing their third military dictatorship at the time, which lasted from 1964 to 1984. So a new musical movement that rejected most conventions could only be deemed as politically engaging or a form of activism, to say the least. And the Tropicalismo movement pretty much ended with founders Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil being forced into exile in 1971.

It is ironic to think that even though Gal Costa was a big part of the Tropicália movement, she never wrote any of her own songs. Most of her music was composed either by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, or both. While the two were in exile, it’s as if Gal became their default artist in their absence.  However, her strength really lies in the way she expressed herself through other composer’s music and lyrics. Gal has the ability to take any genre and turn it into her own. She really captured the movement’s dense lyricism with her voice. Her singing appears unorthodox at times, with unusual time structures, always creating a thin line between happiness and sadness. It’s in my opinion that she is probably has one of the most unusual, original and beautiful female singing voices I’ve ever heard.

Presented here are a few tracks from each album in chronological order. I tried to select songs from multiple genres as an example of what was going on with the movement at the time. I am missing a few of her late 70’s records, which I’ve partially heard and appear to be impressive as well. If you like what you hear, don’t hesitate to pick any album up for yourselves, most songs on the albums given are amazing from beginning to end.  On a side note, popular Forró musician/singer Dominguinhos plays accordion on a few of her records. Forró is a popular regional music from the Northeast of Brazil. It’s almost like Zydeco. I find it amazing that he played and toured with Gal for many years, really a reflection on the influence, longevity and all-inclusive nature of the Tropicalismo movement. Peep the funky track Relance. Enjoy!

1. Gal Costa: Mamãe Coragem + Gal/Caetano/Gil/Os Mutantes: Batmacumba

2. Gal Costa w/ Gilberto Gil: Sebastiana

3. Gal Costa: Vou Recomecar

4. Gal Costa: Tuareg

5. Gal Costa: Com Medo, Com Pedro

6. Gal Costa: Lingua Do P

7. Gal Costa: Acauã

8. Gal Costa: Fruta Gogóia

9. Gal Costa: Presente Cotidiano

10. Gal Costa: Relance

11. Gal Costa: Da Maior Importancia

12. Gal Costa: Pontos De Luz

13. Gal Costa: Barato Total

14. Lua, Lua, Lua, Lua

15. Gal Costa: Flor Do Cerrado


Nelson Ned: El Enano Con Voz Gigante

Brazilian singer and composer Nelson Ned sort of carved out a niche in the 60’s and 70’s by singing sentimental ballads in both Spanish and Portuguese. Almost like the Brazilian Roberto Carlos did. However, his songs of suffering and sentimentality were probably taken even more seriously since he was so small in stature, him being a midget of course. During that era he gained international popularity, most notably in Mexico and Europe. I even recall him singing on Mexican television in the 70’s and 80’s.   

Later, Nelson Ned converted to Christianity in the 90’s (a lot of singers that crawled out of the 70’s seemed to have done that for some reason or another) and currently sings only Evangelical songs. I selected the song “No Digas No” (don’t say no), which is currently my favorite. The compilation album it comes from has no cover, so I just selected a photo from another album. Enjoy!

1. Nelson Ned: No Digas No

Day 16: Soul Jazz Carnival

Sorry folks but I actually don’t own too many Brazilian 45’s. And since it’s Fat Tuesday, I needed to grab something as close to it.

Some great cross-over bossa nova music from the old school to the new school. Vibraphonist Gary Mcfarland was probably more on the Latin tip than jazz guitar slinger Kenny Burrell. But both really capture that mod/latin/soul jazz sound of the era. Tossed in a track from Bronx River Parkway, which I did a PR piece for a while back. Their number Deixa Pra La  (Portuguese anyone?) is actually a cover from an older bossa number, which just seemed to merge really well with the other two songs I posted today.


1. Kenny Burrell: Hot Bossa

2. Gary McFarland: Fried Bananas

3. Bronx River Parkway: Deixa Pra La

Boogaloo Brazil

 1. Wilson Simonal: Pais Tropical

It should seem ok that I stick Wilson Simonal in a “boogaloo” category. He never was really part of the bossa nova  movement in Brazil and is more typically associated with soul, jazz, and other more popular black American pop music of the 60’s. Pais Tropical (tropical country) is probably the more boogaloo sounding tracks on this LP. The song is pretty common and I’ve heard versions from Jorge Ben (I think he pen’s it), Gal Costa, and Sergio Mendes. 

It was tunes like this that made Wilson Simonal a national idol in Brazil. A style of music which became known as pilantragem (mischief). I guess it was risque for the times, something that always propels ones career. However, that all came to an end during the early 70’s when he was accused of being an informant for the police during Brazil’s military dictatorship. Although the accusation was never substantiated, Simonal was blacklisted by the media industry, fellow artists, and was never able to recover from this.

2. The Boogaloo Combo: Muito Quente

I couldn’t find much info on these guys. I have another one of their albums and I’ve seen (not heard) another. This lp is the best in my opinion. Despite singing in Portuguese, The Boogaloo Combo really captures the 60’s boogaloo sound more associated with the Fania and Cotique labels. They’re pretty spot on.  In fact, there is a Lebron Bros. cover song and they do a version of Good Lovin’ by The Young Rascals. Muito Quente!!!!!!!!! (so groovy)