Revista Do Samba: Outras Bossas: Release Information
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Release Date: 21.06.2005
TT Catalogue No: 4482
Revista Do Samba: "Outras Bossas"
What clichés has samba not had to suffer? There are those “hot
rhythms” for the gymnastic gyrations of scantily clad mulatto girls,
then the melancholic favela singer intoning love songs and the pain of life
to the guitar, and finally, the diva Carmen Miranda who brought a distorted
picture of Rio to California with her booming big band and mightily affected
show. But what is samba really?
What clichés has samba not had to suffer? There are those “hot rhythms” for the gymnastic gyrations of scantily clad mulatto girls, then the melancholic favela singer intoning love songs and the pain of life to the guitar, and finally, the diva Carmen Miranda who brought a distorted picture of Rio to California with her booming big band and mightily affected show. But what is samba really?
You only have to have three musicians to get back to the real essence of this genre. A lady and two gentlemen from São Paulo are the ones music critics and audiences alike tipped their hats to already in 2002 – namely the year their debut album was released. “Like the first spring breeze after a long winter” (Nürnberger Nachtrichten), “Enthusiasm without pomp and circumstance” (www.novacultura.de), “the “smile of nostalgia” (Jazz thing), was the talk around this band. A clear and sensuous overview of four decades of samba classics was what their first release had to offer, poetic ease instead of the bombast of carnival or the heavy lament of the favelas.
Who’s behind this root treatment for Brazil’s most honourable genre? There would be the charismatic singer, actress and composer Leticia Coura with her international stage experience of more than 15 years. Her artistic portfolio includes tours through quite a few European countries, an adaptation of Boris Vian songs, and a prize-winning soundtrack. Guitarist/composer Beto Bianchi works at home and in Europe as a stage musician and producer for ambient- and multimedia-projects - he has also proven himself as a profound expert of Brazilian folk music styles. And finally Vitor Da Trindadet, through his initiation in Brazil’s Candomblé religion, brings in a strong spiritual background. He studied music pedagogy, guitar and percussion, and today teaches Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion at numerous festivals and workshops. He feels right at home in theatre as well.
Now the three well-versed musicians have dared another crafty step onto the newly designed samba parquet. The title, “Outras Bossas” doesn’t even sound like samba at first but more like its competitor, bossa nova. But what the “Revistas” are actually doing here is dipping deep into samba’s history. It was in 1932 that the nutty poet Noel Rosa, highly regarded for his brilliant gift of observation and sharp social criticism, penned the following lines in the title “Coissas Nossas”: “The samba, empty pockets and other bumps, these are our specialties.” What inspired Rosa to this vocabulary was his brief study of medicine. That’s where he learned that in the old days, doctors used to ascribe artistic talent in a person to a certain bump-like spot on the skull (in Portuguese “bossa”, or the “musical bone” as a German colloquialism so nicely put it). It was with these famous lines that Rosa started off the tradition of using the term “bossa” for the moods of creative artists when they thought up unorthodox ways of singing and playing or had novel, ingenious inspirations.
There couldn’t be a more suitable title for Revista Do Samba’s
second CD. They present their unusual and fiery new ideas with the same saucy
wit of the old Noel Rosa epoch in a show-jump over 13 greats of Brazilian music
history. The spectrum stretches across 8 decades, showing samba from its venerable
traditional side as well as its highly modern one. The lyrical finesse of this
band rises up like a kite away from the oh- so-usual commercial samba of today.
We meet the rebelliously biting poetry of the 1930’s from Rosa and his
contemporaries, the vivacious Chôro "Tico Tico" from pre-samba
days, and real melancholy from the favelas with Cartola. A lovely rain forest
is awakened in “Samba Dos Animais” by Jorge Mautner and the one-time
rock avant-gardist and word artist Arnaldo Antunes contributes a word-playing
dedication to a dancer. Last but not least, Leticia Coura can outbid her own
composing talent in two “Neo-Sambas”. All the songs are marked
by sensitively refined guitar and cavaquinho (ukulele) playing as well as an
arsenal of drums and percussion; affable and mischievous vocals set off the
lyrics, now and then the arrangements are enriched with a witty burst of horns
or a xylophone. In the percussion department, prominence like Dudu Tucci makes
a shining appearance – the album was produced by Wolfgang Loos from Traumton
Studio Berlin, with him playing the cello himself on the wonderful Cartola