This is a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "Q"
If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.
An early album by this much-vaunted easy-listening vocal ensemble.. While admittedly more energetic than their cloying later work, this is still pretty weak material. Cover versions of great songs such as "Underground" and Milton Nascimento's "Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser" only barely hint at the tremendous vigor and melodic richness at work in Brazilian music at the time. Wimpy, even with help from high-class arrangers Edu Lobo and Luiz Eca.
Quarteto Em Cy "Quarelas Do Brasil" (EMI Odeon, 1978)
This was enough for me to call it quits on these gals. Even with material by Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque and other hotshot songwriters, this is pretty drekky. Typically, this album includes a couple of mildly intriguing tracks -- a Jorge Ben cover, for example -- but it's just sooooooo sugary and contrived, why bother with this easy listening poo-poo when the original versions are out there instead? Also, the blithe abuse of the mini-Moog is not particularly helpful.
Quarteto Em Cy & Chico Buarque "Chico Em Cy" (Companhia Industrial de Discos, 1991)
Too much Quarteto Em Cy, too little Chico. Okay, so it's really just a tribute album... He sings on one track, Edu Lobo appears on another, and the ever-perky gals of the Quarteto fill the rest of the space on this disc. After a while their ultra-smooth, easy listening harmonies wear on the nerves.
Quarteto Em Cy "Vinicius Em Cy" (CID, 1991)
A tribute to bossa poet-crooner, Vinicius De Moraes...
Quarteto Em Cy "Pontos De Luz" (Discmedi, 1999)
Another horrific, disco-tinged album, with swooping, tight harmonies. Think: the original Charlie's Angels theme mixed with the macarena, and you'll be in the general ballpark. Fans won't be disappointed, however: the gals can still sing up a storm, and their voices seem fairly undiminished by time. If anything, they're singing better now than they did back in the 1960s and '70s. I just can't stand their style of music.
Quarteto Em Cy & MPB-4 "Millennium" (PolyGram/Mercury, 1998)
Absurdly perky, obscenely cheesy, pop-bossa vocals. If you wouldn't take my word about all those old out-of-print albums listed above, then here's a retrospective CD that may settle the point. Reluctantly, I'll admit that by and large this collection (which covers both groups from the late '60s through the early '90s) is better than their original LPs, but it doesn't take long for this stuff to drive me buggy. Despite all efforts to convince me of their popularity, I still can't see the attraction. Compared to US vocal acts like the Four Freshmen or even the Pied Pipers, both these groups -- the guys and the gals -- are unchallenging and vapid.
A sweet tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim which features Jobim's son, grandson, and former cellist and bandleader Jacques Morelenbaum, as well as his wife Paula Morelenbaum, who serves as the group's chanteuse, trading vocal duties with the Jobim lads. Spanning the breadth of Jobim's career, these songs are standard bossa fare, but pleasantly and flawlessly rendered... Morelenbaum -- one of the most well-rounded musicians imaginable -- has written moodier, more mysterious arrangements, but I guess he didn't feel that was his job in this instance... I'm certainly not complaining... this is a beautiful, solid record, and will certainly grow on you with every listen. Highly recommended.
Drummer Tutty Moreno and pianist/composer Mozar Terra lead this compact quartet through a good-natured but glossy set of Brazilian jazz tunes. A refreshingly nonstandard repertoire, with only a couple of bossa/MPB oldies (a pair of lesser-known tunes by Jobim and Chico Buarque), as well as an old Noel Rosa song and one by Moreno's longtime partner, guitarist Joyce. This sort of slick, soft jazz isn't my cup of tea, but for the style this is pretty sweet.
An impressive late-'60s Braz-Jazz album, featuring early work by percussionist Airto Moreira, multi-instrumental madman, Hermeto Pascoal, and the politically-inclined MPB songwriter Geraldo Vandre, along with guitarists Theo De Barros and Heraldo Do Monte. The album opens with "O Ovo," a brisk update of the turn-of-the-century choro sound popularized by Pixinguinha, Dunga and other Brazilian musical pioneers. The album gradually progresses into more modern, straightforward jazz material (which isn't as much fun) and even a Luiz Gonzaga forro tune. The playing throughout is very rich, well recorded, and vastly superior to many of their more jittery jazz contemporaries, even dipping into a mellow Vince Guaraldi-style vibe. This isn't just a cool footnote into the early careers of several of Brazil's most important musicians, it's also a very enjoyable, well-performed album. Recommended! (Note -- a reconstituted version of this ensemble backed Edu Lobo on his classic 1972 album, Cantigua De Longe)
One of those dazzlingly great, understated acoustic samba albums that seem to slide under the radar as Brazilian fancies are turned elsewhere... This album originally came out at the height of the MPB years, although there was also a resurgent pagode samba revival going on, which this disc fits into quite nicely. At any rate, the four old-timers who made up this ensemble are all impressive figures on their own: Nelson Cavaquinho, Candeia, Guilhereme de Brito and Elton Medieiros all back each other up as they trade off on vocals. It's a beautiful record, worth tracking down, especially if you enjoyed recent albums such as the Velha Guarda da Portela discs... Recommended!
Generically produced, perfunctorily aggressive manguebeat, with note-heavy electric guitars and a monotonous funk-punk backbeat. You like the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Well, you might enjoy this, too. Or not. The opening numbers are the most repetitive; deeper into the album they loosen up a bit and get a little more "Brazilian," with a little Afro-Brazilian percussion (on "Sandalia De Dedo", etc.) and some old-fashioned funk-soul that's reminiscent of Tim Maia and that whole '70s crowd. I didn't care much for this disc, but I suppose it might have its attraction for a certain brand of rock fan. If I heard an English-language band playing like this, I'd think they were pretty lame.
An interesting, often exciting album from Pernambuco that mixes indigenous rhythm and melody with classical, folk and jazz influences, much like the better-known Quinteto Violado, or (going outside of Brazil) groups such as France's Malicorne and Les Menestrieres. The use of an acoustic slide guitar is noteworthy -- it's unusual for Brazilian music (of any genre) and stylistically links this album to the North American 1960's folk scene. Edilson Eulalio's fretwork is frenetic and uninhibited, but consistently engaging, in a propulsive fashion... The songs are all generally played at a fast clip, and pull listeners along in a whirl of energy and improvisation. Definitely worth chacking out, if you can track a copy down!
The vitality these ex-Jovem Guarda teens showed earlier in their career (as Trio Ternura) is sadly absent on this, their final album. Despite the Jackson Five-style outfits worn on the cover, this is calculatedly light, perky, breezy pop, following in the path of bands such as The Association or Terry Jacks, rather than the soul or psychedelic music they dabbled in earlier. The most striking track is the Joni Mitchell-styled "Consegui Concluir"; they also cover Caetano Veloso's "Baby," but in as bland a fashion as possible. Disappointing. (See also: Trio Ternura.)
A fine collection of their best material from the 1970s, when they were on the Philips label. A fun, freewheeling mix of indigenous Brazilian styles, acoustic rock and jazz, and Northeastern forro and baiao, a meeting ground between the folkloric and the fiesty... This is a well-selected set covering the best years of this innovative ensemble. Recommended!
Quinteto Violado "Desafio" (QV, 1981)
I've occasionally had to wrestle a bit to appreciate this folk-ish choro ensemble. They are, I suppose, Brazil's equivalent of the Chilean groups such as Inti Illimani, who keep folk traditions alive, but perform them so precisely and delicately, that the result feels a bit effete. Also, they skirt around similarly iffy pop territory... this album is mainly acoustic, typical of their style, and not onerous in any way. Worth checking out.
Quinteto Violado "Noticias Do Brazil" (RGE, 1982)
Here they veer from their acoustic roots and give full reign to their poppish impulses -- the results are fairly yuckky. Disjointed folk-pop, including a couple of Milton Nascimento songs, and several torturous experimental vocal turns. Nothing to write home about, really.
Brazilian Music - Letter "R"
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