This is the second page of a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "G".
If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.
Esteemed pianist and composer Radames Gnattali toured Continental Europe in the 1950s and '60s, bringing Brazilian music to the Old World just as the bossa nova craze kicked into full swing, and was recognized by his countrymen as one of the big figures of the pre-bossa era... This is an album he made in the mid-1970s, when the influence of the North American jazz-fusion scene was washing through Brazil... It's a series of radical reinterpretations of old choro and samba cancao classics, along with a couple of Gnattali's more "serious" pieces. The arrangements are alternately stately and absurd; sometimes it all seems a bit busy and overly baroque, but attentive listening will also prize out the rich harmonic and compositional depths. Not something I'd put on for recreational listening, but it is a fine example of Brazilian musicmaking at a very high level... worth checking out, though a bit on the difficult side.
Radames Gnattali "Radames Gnattali" (Som Livre, 1976)
Guitarist Rafael Rabello (yeah, they seem to spell it both ways, 'ph' and with an 'f'...) pairs up with legendary pianist/bandleader Radames Gnattali for a sprightly tribute to choro/samba cancao songwriter Anibal Augusto Sardinha, better known as "Garoto." Garoto's heyday was in the 1930, and his association with Gnattali spans back over the decades. (Garoto died of a heart attack in 1955, while on tour in Europe.) As with many of these instrumental outings, the musicianship is dazzling, but the pace and style quickly get a bit static. Rabello, whizzing between Gnattali's brisk piano riffs, loses some of his trademark subtlety and soulfulness, although you would be hard pressed to find a choro devotee who wouldn't go gaga over this album. Definitely worth checking out.
Radames Gnattali "Radames Gnattali" (Funarte, 1985)
In a sparsely arranged album, pianist Gnattali zips through a lively, but brief, selection of favorite choro, bossa, and classical compositions. Accompanying him are Paulinho DaViola and Tom Jobim, with Gnattali and Jobim swapping tributes at the start of the disc; other great tunes follow, including Da Viola's catchy "Sarau Para Radames," and concluding with "Quarteto Popular," a modern classical piece written and conducted by Gnattali. This album only clocks in at about 37 minutes, and while it would have been more considerate of Funarte to have, perhaps, combined it on CD along with some of the other fine albums Gnattali recorded at the same time, it's still a nice look at his fertile musical vision.
Golden Boys "Meus Momentos" (EMI, 1999)
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this 2-CD set was -- or rather, that it didn't suck the way I had thought it would. These 'Sixties soft-rockers covered a lot of turf: Beatles covers, oldies covers, standards ("Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "Heartaches"), show tunes ("Hello Dolly"), forro, bossa nova, and proto-MPB... Comparisons to cheesy vocal groups like the MPB-4 and Quarteto Em Cy are misleading: whereas those bossa-born ensembles substituted technique for feeling, the Golden Boys were simply a flawed, but earnest, pop band. Backed by the equally MOR-oriented Fevers, these fellows crank out reasonably tasty, not overly-kitschy, material. Yeah, sure -- these were exactly the folks that Os Mutantes and the Tropicalistas set out to displace, but they still hold up pretty well over the years. If you're curious about the Jovem Guarda era of Brazilian rocknroll, then this is well worth checking out.
Golden Boys "Serie Bis" (EMI, 2000)
Another version of the 2-CD best-of listed above... nice stuff!
Golden Boys "Fumace" (EMI-Odeon, 1970)
There are some cool rock'n'roll moments on here -- notably the fuzzed-out opener, "O Cabecao" and the perky-goofy "Se Voce Quiser Mas Sem Bronquear" -- but most of this album is closer in spirit to the soft MOR pop of the times, with lots of horn arrangements and bright, chirpy harmonies. It's listenable, but more kitschy than anything else. Worth it for a look at how faux-psychedelic mainstream pop made its entry into Brazilian culture, but not really a groovy, rockin' record... Still, it's better than most jovem guarda records, and if you're on a JG kick, this is certainly worth checking out.
Cool! The second solo album by this hotshot rock guitarist shows an imaginative musical breadth and a keen sense of humor much in keeping with his early work in Novos Baianos. Gomes debuted as a teenager in 1969, accompanying Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso on their famous farewell concert, before the two tropicalia founders went off into their European exile. Then, with singer Baby Consuelo and guitarist Moraes Moreira, he formed Novos Baianos, a wildly inventive band that took up the psychedelic/eclectic ethos of tropicalia, while delving deep into indigenous Brazilian folk music. This album, made at the end of Gomes first decade as a professional musician, is ambitious and challenging, veering from hard rock and prog riffs to more folkloric material, all punctuated by his keening electric guitar and scat vocals. Anyone interested in hearing some good Brazilian prog should check this disc out... It's surprisingly good!
This live album, recorded at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, of all places, is a little harder and more unrelenting than his studio work, and careens into more iffy rock-prog territory. But it also shows remarkable breadth, starting off with some softer acoustic numbers before Gomes picks up his axe and starts chopping. The band seems to be made up mainly of Gomes family members; perhaps this accounts for the intuitive flow of their sound. Also recommended!
Nelson Goncalves - see artist discography
An impressive 2-CD set of EARLY recordings by one of the towering figures of Brazilian popular music, Rio's legendary Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga, familiarly known as Chiquinha. Born in 1847, Gonzaga was one of the pivotal composers of samba cancao, as well as a pioneer of the jazz-ish choro style. She was also an integral part of the lowbrow salon scene that spawned the choro genre and the first samba escolas... This collection features some of the earliest popular recordings made in Brazil, the oldest dating back to 1902 (!), and the latest being from 1932, a few years before Gonzaga passed away. A fair chunk of these recordings feature Chiquinha herself, although most are interpretations of her work made by radio stars such as Francisco Alves and Gastao Formenti. There's a wide variety of styles -- she seems to have tried her hand at just about every thing, from homegrown toadas and samba cancao, to various foreign styles such as tangos, waltzes, polkas, Cuban-flavored habaneras, Portuguese fados, and even comedic sketches. The sound quality is pretty good, considering the antiquity of these recordings, and the fact that modern electric recording processes were not introduced in Brazil until 1927. A remarkable and indespensible musical document -- and a must-have for anyone intent on delving deep into Brazil's musical past.
Daniel Gonzaga "Um Banquinho, Um Violao" (Sony/Seven Music, 2001)
Forro founder Luiz Gonzaga's grandson seems to have his heart in the right place, singing restrained acoustic versions of classic Gonzaga/Teixeira compositions, but his vocal prowess is pretty limited. Sometimes he just can't pull off the intimate phrasings he's aiming at. (Then again... maybe it was a major-label thing... Check out the record he did a few years later... (Below!)
Quite nice! The grandson of Brazilian forro legend Luiz Gonzaga (and the son of 1970s MPB composer Gonzaguinha), Daniel Gonzaga may be one of Brazil's "next big things..." He shares his dad's affinity for modern pop, but sticks much closer to straight guitar rock. The mature-sounding, multitextured album opens with a cool blues song, a John Lee Hooker-ish tribute to Milton Nascimento, and then slips into some softer, slinkier songs that have some gentle slide riffs that remind me of George Harrison. The mood and listenability is sustained throughout the length of the album, and though I could live without the funk hooks (and semi-rapping) on some later tracks, overall this is a very strong record. Fans of Os Paralamas or Renato Russo will probably love this one... Recommended!
Luiz Gonzaga - see artist discography
Gonzaguinha (Luiz Gonzaga, Jr.) - see artist discography
A lovely but unusual album, recently reissued on CD... Gordurinha was a Northeastern songwriter, best known for the hit, "Chiclete Com Banana," which was recorded by Jackson Do Pandeiro around the same time as this album was made. What's odd about this album is how it veers into non-Brazilian dance styles, particularly Afro-Cuban son (referred to as "cha-cha-cha" on the liner notes). The songs are all of Brazilian vintage, but the arrangements have a foreign sound. It's cool, just kind of unusual. The reference to "bossa" was, I think, meant to be ironic -- there's certainly no trace of the Jobim-Gilberto sound on here.
Older recordings by two romantic balladeers of the pre-bossa nova "radio singer" era; although Ney and Goulart did record and perform together throughout several decades, these ten songs are all solo efforts, not duets -- four by Ney, six by Goulart. Some of it's really fun, in a super-corny, kitschy kinda way; some of the songs are way over the top and too goopy. This cheapo reissue package is worth checking out, just to get a sense of the style of the times, although you can't help but feel these artists could be better served by more extensive, better programmed selections.
Light, bouncy, upbeat jazz-bossa-soul from a fellow who is presumably related to "radio singer" Jorge Goulart. This breezy, lightly funky set isn't really my cup of tea, but I'm sure a lot of folks would find it quite nice, particularly those on the modern-day acid-jazz tip. Worth checking out.
Brazilian Music - More Letter "G"
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