Sunday, February 15, 2009
It's been raining for a couple days straight here in the Bay Area and god knows we need it, but shit is kinda depressing when it rains non-stop. We have a couple of leaks in our storage area with the requisite drip-dropping of slowly filling receptacles. I like the rain because it forces you to slow down and relax or at least sharpen your focus to what's in front of you in your immediate INDOOR vacinity.
My all time favorite song about rain is Jorge Ben's classic "Chove Chuva." The melancholy melody and simple-as-pie lyrics ("Chove Chuva, Chuva sem parar" = "The rain is raining, rain with no end") matched with a killer slow-burn jazzy groove make this an understated masterpiece from one of the greatest Brazilian songwriters and he recorded it at the age of 21. The summer I spent in Brazil I had the chance to spend the weekend with some Brazilian peers (friends of a friend where I was interning) at a beach near São Paulo called Ubatuba. As we were driving out there Ligia warned me that it was probably going to rain the whole time, so not to get too excited about the "beach." The local nickname for the town is "Ubachuva". Sure enough it poured the whole time, but we all had a great time chilling on the hammocks in the garden, grilling up fresh fish, drinking beers, playing cards and listening to tunes from the guitar and the boombox. I happened to have a CD or two (pre-Ipod days) of some Brazilian tunes and thankfully one of them included "Chove Chuva". When that song came on it just fit the mood so perfectly and I could finally imagine the approximate atmosphere, down to the climate, of where the king of Samba Soul, Jorge Ben(jor) wrote one of his finest tunes.
Here's a post inspired about Jorge's tune and a relaxing and much needed Brazilian or Bay Area rain.
Jorge Ben - Chove Chuva
The classic from Jorge Ben's breakout album on Phillips from 1963. Not owning the original vinyl myself (though I do have a 4 song EP from this album) I don't know the details, but according to Joe Sixpack, "Here Ben works with several of the best samba-jazz and pop bandleaders of the bossa era, including Maestro Gaya, Meirelles, and Luiz Carlos Vinha... Combined with Ben's sleek vocals, each arranger spins magic."
Elza Soares - Chove Chuva
This song, evidently, is an extremely rare non-LP track that may originate from a single, but can also be found on a double LP label sampler called Tesouro Musical. Or you can get the pretty dope "Brazilian Funk Experience" CD. There's several more notable versions of this song, but there's one that can't be avoided . . . Topo Gigio's version. Topo Gigio was a puppet mouse with a TV show, duh.
Antonio Adolfo - Essa Chuva
We've already heard some sad Antonio Adolfo music before and even from this album. There's a lot more to go 'round. This album is a real masterpiece and is way up on my list of albums to track down.
Hyldon - Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda (Casinha de Sapé)
We're hearing from Hyldon again and this his most famous song. Tim Maia covers this one with a superb reading on his Nuvens album. Hyldon's is still the best. I remember this song was used to great effect in the film City of God. The reluctant drug dealer was scheming with his girlfriend how they were going to escape the favela and move to the country and start a marijuana farm.