This is just a quick little post to tide you all over with some choice selections from some early 1970s Brazilian soul. These three lesser-known artists bring a variety of interpretations of the soul form to each of their songs.
Download: O Vale
This song here, "O Vale" is one of the standout tracks from an otherwise dissappointing album from Cassiano. Cassiano was kinda the heart and soul of the Brazilian Soul music scene. He was a member of Os Diagonais and wrote some hits for Tim Maia, named "Primavera" off of Tim's first album. This is his second solo LP and is really quite unusual. The arrangements are a bit different, kinda in an acoustic guitar baroque curtis mayfield style. "O Vale" is one of the few songs on here that I really dig. Sadly, for all of Cassiano's talents he was not a great singer as his range his very limited, which is the main reason why this album suffers. He really found his groove on his next album "16 Kilates - Cuban Soul" where he learned how to frame his vocals more within his range. I would love to hear some of these songs from this album sung by others. If you're not deterred, you can buy the album here.
That's actually a good segue into this next song, "Madalena". This was Ivan Lins' breakthrough song. Ivan's first album was in a psych-soul style and was arranged by Arthur Verocai. Its got some cool songs like "Hei Voce" and "Madalena," but like Cassiano, Ivan had yet to figure out that he couldn't sing. These are great songs, but man does he destroy them on his album, which is not without its redeeming qualities. But I can't help but get annoyed when a great song gets thrashed by a second-rate vocalist. Dila, a one-off singer on Durval Ferreira's CID label is a passionate singer and while she's not pitch-perfect I love her take on this song. Another great version, possibly the definitive one is by the late, great Elis Regina (more on her soon).
Download: Zamba Ben
Marku is one of my favorites. I posted a song of his last month as one of my scores from the WFMU record fair. This song here is from his first album from 1972, which featured arrangements by Erlon Chaves. If I'm not mistaken it was Erlon Chaves that "discovered" Marku and arranged for his first recording. His following albums are graced by numerous superstars: Joao Donato and Erasmo Carlos among others. The unique thing about Marku is that he lived in Martinique and Jamaica for seven years before recording his first album. He brings that Caribbean flavor to many of his recordings and that vocal style, so different than most Brazilian singers. You can download this album here. Once again, Loronix to the rescue, but Zeca's got the date wrong here, it's from 1972 not 1976. Also, Ed Motta just compiled a CD of Marku's stuff that's already sold out on Dustygroove, but check back later to see if they got come more CDs later.