:: These reviews were originally published
:: in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


Full moon

Lua Music’s fistful of delectable new releases.

Daniella Thompson

19 January 2008

Traditional syncopated samba, new samba, and a bit of Jobim attired in romantic arrangements are some of the treats dished out by Lua Music in late 2007. The DVD and pair of CDs reviewed here are the work of two septuagenarians and a fresh-faced thirty-year-old, demonstrating that good music still comes from all sources imaginable.

Germano Mathias’ Ginga no Asfalto DVD

Sporting his eternal porkpie hat, owl glasses, and tropical shirts, the paulistano sambista Germano Mathias, born in 1934, gives not a hint of his youthful good looks. But don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s past his prime. He may not be able to rise to the amazing dancing feats of his twenties, but he can still hoof it with the best of them. And when it comes to singing syncopated samba, playing mouth cuíca or trombone, and drumming on a metal can lid, Germano can’t be beat.

His new DVD, Ginga no Asfalto (not to be confused with his 1962 LP of the same title, reissued several years ago in the CD series Odeon 100 Anos), offers a good dose of all the above. Germano sings 16 of his best-known songs, talks about his life in music, revisits his childhood street, shows old photos, and gives us a glimpse of the astonishing dancing prowess of his youth in clips from two 1950s movies.

The musical numbers were shot on stage (without an audience), where Germano is accompanied by the likes of Guilherme Vergueiro (piano & musical direction), Raul de Souza (trombone), Osvaldinho da Cuíca and his conjunto, Luizinho 7 cordas, Bocato, Alex Buck, and Quinteto em Branco e Preto.

There are no substitles, but the music, dancing, and humor more than make up for their absence.

Germano Mathias: Ginga no Asfalto DVD
(Lua Music LUA 224) 2007; 54 min.

01. Ironia da Pastora (Jorge Costa)
02. A Ingratidão (Eron Viana/Germano Mathias/Roberto Valentin)
03. A Situação do Escurinho (Aldacir Louro/Paderinho da Mangueira)
04. Falso Rebolado (Venâncio/Jorge Costa)
05. Guarde a Sandalia Dela (Sereno/Germano Mathias)
06. A História de um Valente (Nelson Cavaquinho/José Ribeiro)
07. Apague a Tua Vela (Jorge Costa/Gastão Miranda)
08. Samba da Periferia (Elzo Augusto)
09. Nega Dina (Zé Ketti)
10. São Paulo Mãe Madrinha (Elzo Augusto)
11. Acordei de Madrugada (Geraldo Medeiros/Sereno/Antoninho Lopes)
12. Chegou o Carnaval (Antonio de Almeida)
13. Doutor no Samba (Paderinho da Mangueira)
14. Zé da Pinga (Paderinho da Mangueira)
15. Que Baixo..! (Caco Velho/Lupicínio Rodriques)
16. A Palhaçada (Habib/José Henrique/Heitor Carillo)

Claudette Soares’ Foi a Noite—Canções de Tom Jobim CD

Claudette Soares is not quite as old as Germano Mathias, but she comes close, having been born in 1937. Having begun to sing in public at the age of ten, her career was already in full swing when Tom Jobim came upon the scene.

She took part in one of the defining concerts of the nascent bossa nova wave—the famous A Noite do Sorriso, do Amor e da Flor at the University Rio de Janeiro’s architecture school on 20 May 1960.

In 1993, Claudette starred in the show Claudette Soares Interpreta Vinicius, and her output since 2000 has included a number of bossa nova albums and shows. A tribute to Jobim is therefore a natural extension of what the singer has been doing for a long time.

She first met Tom in the 1950s, at a time when he was playing piano in Zona Sul nightclubs. “The piano was always a fixture in my work,” says the vocalist, “and when I met Tom, I immediately identified with the way he played and with his compositions.” Two of her early recordings, released on 78-rpm discs, were Jobim songs: “Foi a Noite” (Repertório 9.074-A) and “Só Saudade” (Mocambo 15.424-A, recorded in 1962).

The two songs, both in the samba-canção genre, are reprised on the new CD, along with lesser-known Jobim tunes such as “Sucedeu Assim” (1957), “Cala, Meu Amor” (1958), “Samba Torto” (1960), and “Andam Dizendo” (1962).

Under Giba Estebez’s musical direction, the songs are delivered in nightclub style, with intimate arrangement for piano (Giba Estebez), saxophones and flute (Ubaldo Versolato), and cello (Regina Vasconcellos).

Claudette Soares: Foi a Noite—Canções de Tom Jobim
(Lua Music LUA 221) 2007; 36:20 min.

01. Foi a Noite (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonça)
02. Cala, Meu Amor (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
03. Derradeira Primavera (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
04. Inútil Paisagem (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira)
      Estrada do Sol (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Dolores Duran)
05. Sucedeu Assim (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Marino Pinto)
06. Andam Dizendo (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
07. Homenagem a Sylvia Telles:
      Discussão (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonça)
      Samba Torto (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira)
      Eu Preciso de Você (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira)
08. Sabiá (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarqye) with Alaíde Costa
09. Esquecendo Você (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
10. Retrato em Branco e Preto (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarqye)
11. Só Saudade (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonça)
12. Solidão (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Alcides Fernandes) with Dick Farney

Juliana Amaral’s Juliana Samba CD

It’s always a special pleasure to encounter a younger artist doing something fresh and interesting with samba. For her second CD, vocalist Juliana Amaral and her producer, the acclaimed composer/sambista Moacyr Luz, selected a little-visited repertoire, to which the singer’s clear and gentle voice lends a personal and lyrical dimension.

In contrast with the voice, the arrangements by Paulão Sete Cordas are pure roda de samba, with the cream of carioca samba instrumentalists lending a hand: Mauro Diniz (cavaquinho), Rui Alvim (clarinet), Marcílio Marques (bandolim), Marcus Esguleba and Trambique (percussion).

Juliana Amaral: Juliana Samba
(Lua Music LUA 117) 2007; 41:06 min.

01. Meu Amor Já Foi Embora (Cartola/José Gonçalves “Zé com Fome”)
02. Resistência (Zé Luiz do Império/Nei Lopes)
03. Nos Embalos da Vida (Martinho da Vila)
04. Amargura (Padeirinho/Quincas do Cavaco)
05. Canta (Wilson Baptista)
06. Visa (Paulinho da Viola/Elton Medeiros)
07. Da Vida Tudo Se Leva (Moacyr Luz/Hermínio Bello de Carvalho)
08. São Mateus (Marcos Paiva/Rodrigo Campos)
09. Tudo Acabado (Heitor dos Prazeres)
10. Então, Leva (Bira da Vila/Luiz Carlos da Vila)
11. Vestida de Azul (Wanderley Monteiro/Luiz Carlos Máximo)
12. Samba a Dois (Marcelo Camelo)


Copyright © 2008 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.