Sep 6, 2016

RhoDeo 1636 Roots


The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, bossa nova, MPB, sertanejo, pagode, tropicalia, choro, maracatu, embolada (coco de repente), mangue bit, funk carioca (in Brazil simply known as Funk), frevo, forró, axé, brega, lambada, and Brazilian versions of foreign musical genres, such as Brazilian rock and rap.

Today when talking about bossa nova, perhaps the signature pop music sound of Brazil, frequently the first name to come to one's lips is that of Antonio Carlos Jobim. With songs like "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Desafindo," Jobim pretty much set the standard for the creation of the bossa nova in the mid-'50s. However, as is often the case, others come along and take the genre in a new direction, reinventing through radical reinterpretation, be it lyrically, rhythmically, or in live performance, making the music theirs. And if Jobim gets credit for laying the foundation of bossa nova, then the genre was brilliantly reimagined (and, arguably, defined) by the singer/songwriter and guitarist João Gilberto. In his native country he is called O Mito (The Legend), a deserving nickname, for since he began recording in late '50s Gilberto, with his signature soft, near-whispering croon, set a standard few have equaled........N'Joy

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João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Gilberto was born June 10th 1931 in Juazeiro in the northeastern state of Brazil known as Bahia, Gilberto seemed obsessed with music almost from the moment he emerged from the womb. His grandfather bought him his first guitar at age 14 (much to the dismay of João's father). Within a year, the result of near constant practicing, he was the leader of a band made up of school friends. During this time Gilberto was absorbing the rhythmic subtlety of the Brazilian pop songs of the day, while also taking in the rich sounds of swing jazz (Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey), as well as the light opera singing of Jeanette MacDonald. At 18, Gilberto gave up on his small town life and headed to Bahia's largest city, Salvador, to get a foothold in the music industry performing on live radio shows. Although he was given the opportunity to sing, instant stardom was not in the offing, but his brief appearances on the radio brought him to the attention of Antonio Maria, who wanted Gilberto to become the lead singer for the popular radio band Garotos da Lua (Boys From the Moon) and move to Rio de Janeiro.

Gilberto stayed in the band only a year. He was fired after the rest of the group could take no more of his lackadaisical attitude. Gilberto was frequently late for rehearsals and performances, and in a move reminiscent of American pop star Sly Stone, would occasionally not show up at all. After his dismissal from the group Gilberto lived a seminomadic life. For years he had no fixed address, drifting from friend to friend and acquaintance to acquaintance, living off their kindness and rarely if ever contributing to the household expenses. Evidently Gilberto was such charming company that his emotional carelessness and fiscal apathy were never an issue -- that or he had extremely patient and generous friends. It was during this underachieving bohemian period that Gilberto kept an extremely low profile. Instead of using his time with Garotos da Luna as a springboard for other recording and performing possibilities, he became apathetic, constantly smoking large quantities of marijuana, playing the odd club gig, and refusing work he considered beneath him (this included gigs at clubs where people talked during the performance). Although gifted with considerable talent as a singer and guitar player, it seemed as though Gilberto would fail to attain the success and notoriety he deserved if only due to apathy that verged on lethargy.

Chega de Saudade After nearly a decade of aimlessness Gilberto joined forces with singer Luis Telles, who encouraged Gilberto to leave Rio for a semibucolic life in the city of Pôrto Alegre. Telles, who functioned as a combination public relations guru and sugar daddy, made sure the demanding Gilberto wanted for nothing and would concentrate on his music. It turned out to be a successful, if expensive strategy. Within a few months Gilberto (who at this point had given up his prodigious marijuana consumption and was now partaking in nothing stronger than fruit juice) was the toast of Pôrto Alegre, the musician everyone wanted to see. It was also during this extended apprenticeship that Gilberto perfected his unique vocal style and guitar playing. So breathy and nasally it is almost defies description, in many ways he uses all the things one is taught not to do as a singer and has made them into an instantly recognizable style. Not even established crooners such as Bing Crosby and Perry Como sang more quietly or with less vibrato. This, along with his rhythmically idiosyncratic approach to playing the guitar -- an intensely syncopated plucking of the strings that flowed with his singing -- made for some exhilarating music, and by the time of his first record, Chega de Saudade (1959), Gilberto became widely known as the man who made bossa nova what it is.

True to form, however, Gilberto took the road less traveled, and after the success of his debut record and the two follow-up releases, he left Brazil to settle in the United States, where he lived until 1980. During this period he recorded some amazing records, working with saxophonist Stan Getz and recording music by older Brazilian songwriters such as Dorival Caymmi and Ary Barroso. He returned to Brazil in the early '80s and since then has worked with virtually every big name in Brazilian pop, including Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, and Chico Buarque. He never saw record sales like the aforementioned performers, but all of them regard him as a profound influence on their work. True to his image as enigmatic and eccentric, Gilberto lives a semireclusive lifestyle secure in the knowledge that, decades ago, he changed the course of Brazilian culture by making the bossa nova his music, as well as the music of Brazil.

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This release is Joao Gilberto stripped down nearly to his bare essentials -- his voice, guitar and the extremely spare drumming of Sonny Carr -- and he's just as mesmerizing as he's ever been on records. The whole record is about the rhythmic clashes and dovetailings of a singer and his guitar, pitched at extremely low levels of volume yet generating volumes of drive without seeming to breathe hard. Dig the insistent way in which "Falsa Baiana" and Gilberto Gil's marathon rhythm machine "Eu Vim Da Bahia" ride the waves of the bossa nova groove, or how Gilberto delivers one of the best renditions of Jobim's "Aguas de Marco" -- quietly relentless and to-the-point. Three of the tracks eschew words altogether -- gentle syllables and/or Gilberto's insistent guitar tell the entire story -- and the final selection, "Izaura," belatedly adds a female voice (Miucha) in the left speaker. Though recorded in a New Jersey studio -- the engineer, surprisingly enough, is Wendy Carlos, the electronic music pioneer of Switched-On Bach fame -- this addictive release originates from PolyGram Brazil.

João Gilberto - João Gilberto  (flac  281mb)

01 Águas Março 5:24
02 Undiú 6:40
03 Na Baixa Do Sapateiro 4:43
04 Avarandado 4:28
05 Falsa Baiana 3:45
06 Eu Quero Um Samba 5:43
07 Eu Vim Da Bahia 5:52
08 Valsa (Como São Lindos Os Youguis) (Bebel) 3:30
09 É Preciso Perdoar 5:09
10 Izaura 5:27

 João Gilberto - João Gilberto    (ogg  145mb)

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Two of the influential João Gilberto's LPs (Amoroso and Brasil) are combined on this single CD. The former session is pretty definitive with Gilberto interpreting four of Antonio Carlos Jobim's compositions (including "Wave" and "Triste") and four other songs (highlighted by "Besame Mucho," "Estate," and an odd 31-bar rendition of "'S Wonderful"). The strings (arranged by Claus Ogerman) are unnecessary but Gilberto proves to be in prime form. The later album also has its moments of interest (including a Brazilian version of "All of Me") and finds Gilberto backed by Johnny Mandel arrangements and assisted by singers Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Maria Bethania. Overall there is not much variety throughout this gently swinging program but these are a pair of Gilberto's better post-1970 recordings.

Joao Gilberto - Amarosa/Brasil   (flac  449mb)

01 'S Wonderful 4:10
02 Estate 6:27
03 Tin Tin Por Tin Tin 3:40
04 Besame Mucho 8:46
05 Wave 4:41
06 Caminhos Cruzados 6:14
07 Triste 4:19
08 Zingaro 6:22
09 Aquarela Do Brasil 6:34
10 Disse Alguém (All Of Me) 5:18
11 Bahia Com H 5:13
12 No Tabuleiro Da Baiana 4:50
13 Milagre 4:57
14 Cordeiro De Nanã 1:20

  Joao Gilberto - Amarosa/Brasil    (ogg  173mb)

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These cuts are taken from a live concert given when Joao Gilberto returned to Brazil in 1980. Yes, there was an orchestra, possibly led by Claus Ogerman. And yes, sometimes it is overbearing. Highlight here is "Aquarela do Brasil" aka Brazil. The famous Ary Barroso composition, which is essentially the National Anthem of Brazil. We should be so lucky to have such beautiful song as our National Anthem. But then Joao's guitar starts a hypnotic beat for about two minutes. And the curtain remains closed and when it opens there is Joao Gilberto "perched" on a circular dias and he starts singing "Brazil." The songs without orchestral accompaniment are better, but the orchestra is not that annoying. .

Joao Gilberto - Prado Pereira de Oliveira (flac 271mb)

01 Menino Do Rio 3:31
02 Curare 3:48
03 Retrato Em Branco E Preto 4:21
04 Chega De Saudade 3:45
05 Desafinado 4:03
06 O Pato 3:26
07 Eu E A Brisa 3:40
08 Jou Jou Balangandãs 3:52
09 Canta Brasil 5:54
10 Aquarela Do Brasil 5:24
11 Bahia Com H 3:24
12 Tim Tim Por Tim Tim 3:40
13 Estate 6:06

Joao Gilberto - Prado Pereira de Oliveira    (ogg 102mb)

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Recent but classic jazz-bossa is played by one of its defining spirits. Vocally, Gilberto is in fine muttering form, communicating intensely with somebody in his breast pocket, and his guitar is as delicate as ever. This recording expresses the close links of bossa nova and jazz. Joao has Clare Fisher arranging and on some cuts playing keyboards, along with one of those saccharin string-sections even the most avant-garde Brazilians love.

Joao Gilberto - Joao (flac 263mb)

01 Eu Sambo Mesmo (I Really Samba) 4:09
02 Siga (Go On) 4:14
03 Rosinha (Little Rose) 3:52
04 Mãlaga (Malaga) 5:02
05 Una Mujer (A Woman) 3:44
06 Eu E Meu Coração (My Heart And I) 5:12
07 You Do Something To Me 2:42
08 Palpite Infeliz (Unhappy Remark) 3:55
09 Ave Maria No Morro (Ave Maria On The Hill) 4:16
10 Sampa 5:02
11 Sorriu Para Mim (Smiled At Me) 3:06
12 Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours (I Wish You Love) 5:03

Joao Gilberto - Joao  (ogg  120mb)

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