The Jazz.com Blog
April 01, 2008 · 1 comment
Yesterday, in discussing Karrin Allyson’s new CD Imagina, I pointed out that, although her recording is subtitled “Songs of Brazil,” ten out of the fourteen tracks were composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. I raised the question why the mix was so heavily weighted to this very well known composer.
In fairness to Allyson, I should note that she bypassed many of Jobim's hit songs, most notably "The Girl from Ipanema." Even so, Jobim is where most Americans' knowledge of Brazilian songs begins and ends. Why not expose listeners to some of the other great songwriters from Brazil, composers whose work is admired by musicians, even if it hasn't yet reached the mass market?
With that in mind, I put together a quick list of some of my favorite Brazilian songs not composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. I'm sure many of you will want to add your own favorite titles. (You can send in suggestions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Consider these my starting point if I were called upon to select a song list for a CD featuring the lesser known gems of Brazilian music. A few of these (“Oceano” or “Comecar de Novo”) have had some limited exposure in the US, but these are the exceptions. And none of these songs could be considered well known - certainly not at the level of the Jobim hits. Yet each one on the list has the potential to be a commercial (as well as artistic) success. In a few instances, I have added some YouTube links that I think you will enjoy.
Tribalistas (Carlinhos Brown, Arnaldo Antunes and Marisa Monte): "Já Sei Namorar”
Chico Buarque: “Atras da Porta,” and “Partido Alto” (Click here for a remarkable version of the latter by the late Cássia Eller.)
Dorival Caymmi: ” Você Já Foi à Bahia?”
Djavan: Many of his great early compositions, such as “Estoria de Cantador” and ”Numa Esquina de Hanoi,” as well as his better known “Oceano”, and most of the tracks on the Luz CD.
João Bosco:“Corsário” (Check out this version by Elis Regina.)
Gilberto Gil: “Refazenda”, and many of the songs from the Quanta CD, including the title track and “Dança de Shiva.”
Jorge Ben Jor: “Chove Chuva” or "Mas Que Nada." (For an energetic live performance from 1972, click here.)
Ivan Lins: Certainly the well-known “Comecar de Novo” but even better are “Lembrança” and “Velas Içadas.” (Enjoy a karaoke video of the latter song with sing-along lyrics.)
Milton Nascimento: “Teia de Renda,” “Anima,” “San Vicente” and many of the songs from the Clube da Esquina CDs.
Hermano Silva: “Onde Anda Você”
Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes: "Como É Duro Trabalhar"
I've left out too many good songs, and I already have more than enough material for a double CD. But if all you know about Brazilian music is Antonio Carlos Jobim, you need to check out some of these titles. And if you have favorites of your own that deserve to be heard, let us know.
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia.