Brazilian Album Reviews

This is the first page of miscellaneous artists under the letter "C"
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Odair Cabeca De Poeta "Rebulico" (RCA, 1979)
(Produced by Renato Correa)

Lyricist Odair Tadeu de Freitas, along with his band Capote (featuring guitarist Vincente Barreto) crafted an at-times uneasy blend of rock, funk and northeastern baiao and forro. Taken from the Brazilian standpoint, as an extension of traditionally-inclined styles, this is pretty wild stuff. But viewed through the filter of North American rock and funk, it's pretty goofy-sounding and clumsy. Still, Odair was one of the most important Northeastern rockers to follow in the path laid down by Alceu Valenca, and this record actually sounds more interesting than most of the Valenca albums I've heard to date. Didn't rock my world, but it's worth checking out.

Jorge Cabeleira "E O Dia Em Que Seremos Todos Inuteis" (Sony/Manguenitude, 1994)
An underwhelming, noisy, busy-sounding alt-rockish manguebeat set... Sounds sort of generic and flatly produced... Lots of noise, but little direction. Anyway, it didn't do much for me.

Jorge Cabeleira "Alugam-Se Asas Para O Carnaval" (Sony, 2001)
A typically eclectic manguebit mix of loud, guitar-heavy alt-rock and mellower, more melodic indie-pop, with plenty of regional Brazilian influences, and a smidge of weirdo-folk psychedelia as well: fans of Os Mutantes, Nacao Zumbi or Pato Fu might dig this as well. This record was a little too grating for me to get into; it's conceptually interesting, but not something I'd want to listen to over and over again. Perhaps the most unusual track is the bluesy, Black Crowes-ish "Rock Do Diabo," with a slashing slide guitar and jam-band vibe that's unlike the rest of the record, or, indeed, like most Brazilian rock. Worth checking out if you're into challenging, difficult, modern Brazilian rock.

Cabruera "Cabruera" (Alula, 2002)

Cabruera "O Samba Da Minha Terra" (Nikita, 2004)

Cabruera "Proibido Cochilar: Sambas For Sleepless Nights" (Piranha, 2005)
A reshuffled version of their O Samba Da Minha Terra album... A dense, challenging, lively, irritating, inventive, noisy, amazing blend of regional Brazilian styles (such as forro and coco, along with creatively appropriated rock, rock-funk and tweaky acid-rock-samba... As on their earlier albums, Cabruera touch bases with contemporary manguebeat bands such as Pato Fu and Nacao Zumbi, as well as older psychedelic/samba pioneers such as Novos Baianos, who also mixed rootsy regional sounds with hard-edged "American"-style rock'n'roll... This is a little too aggressive and Red Hot Chili Peppers-ish for me, but in between the slamming testosterone injections, there's some really cool, surprisingly subtle experimental musicmaking... Definitely worth checking out!

Carlos Cachaca - see artist discography

Os Caculas "Os Caculas" (RCA, 1969)
One of the numerous Brazilian "nuggets" from the hippie era... This particular album starts out as more or less a set of perky sunshine pop with pert pop arrangements around an earnest female-led vocal chorus with a Mamas & Papas kind of feel. Midway through they stir things up a bit with the mildly (and pleasantly) psychedelicized "A Moca Do Karmann Ghia Vermelho," which has some grinding electric guitars and slightly more aggressive vocals. Then they revert to their mellow folk-pop vibe, with other album highlights including a cover of the Youngbloods "Get Together" (rendered in Portuguese as "Aconselhar E Facil") and the moderately funky closing track, "Meus Pes Descalcos Vao Pisando As Ruas Do Mundo." Not a super-duper psychedelic gem or anything, but cute and fun to groove out to, in a kitschy kinda way.

Wilson Cafe "Coracao De Tambor" (Dabliu, 2001)

Wilson Cafe "O Tempo E A Mare" (Dabliu, 2004)

Caito "En Bossa Y Algo Mas" (Vedette)
An Argentinian does bossa nova... and more!

Caju & Castanha - see artist discography

Alberto Calcada "Cascata De Valsas" (Warner-Continental, 1958)
Alberto Calcada "Cascata De Valsas, v.2" (Warner-Continental, 1959)

Sedate easy listening, with a regional flair... Not unlike, oh, say, Sardinian folk albums produced for a tourist market in Europe... This is professionally crafted, but ultimately quite dull, with little variation from song to song. These two albums of Brazilianified waltzes were re-released as a single CD in the "Dose Dupla" series.

Adriana Calcanhotto - see artist discography

Luiz Caldas - see artist discography

Sylvio Caldas - see artist discography

Augusto Calheiros "Serie Bis - Cantores Do Radio" (EMI-Brasil, 2000)
One of the first major stars to hail from Brazil's rural-identifed Northeast, Calheiros was originally in the 1920s group known as Turunas da Mauriceia, along with Luperce Miranda (later a mainstay of Carmen Miranda's band). His nordeste roots may partly account for the comparative roughness of Calheiros' vocals, as opposed to the smoother Carioca and Paulista singers of the '30s and '40s. He was also a bit older than many of his contemporaries - this collection tracks his career from the mid-1930s up to the 1955, just before he passed away in '56. The arrangements are a little stiff, but still this is nice stuff, with a slightly different flavor than many of the other collections in this series of pre-bossa recordings.

Augusto Calheiros "...E Os Turunas Da Mauriceia: A Patativa Do Norte" (Revivendo, 2007)

Aline Calixto "Aline Calixto" (Warner, 2008)

Aline Calixto "Tudo Que Sou" (Warner, 2009)

Aline Calixto "Flor Morena" (Warner, 2012)

Waldir Calmon "Uma Noite No Arpege" (Long Play Radio, 1956)
A souvenir album for one of the seven bazillion nightclub performers roaming around Rio in the pre-bossa nova era. This LP features two bouncy, album-length medleys of Brazilian sambas, Cole Porter dance tunes, mambos by Xavier Cugat and Perez Prado, and even a choro tune credited to Bola Sete ("To De Snooker"). Sure, it's a corny performance, but not as cheesy as you might imagine... in fact, I wouldn't mind having this combo playing in the background of the next bar I go to...

Waldir Calmon & Angela Maria "Quando Os Astros Se Encontram..." (Copacabana, 1958)
Angela Maria "Quando Os Maestros Se Encontram..." (Copacabana, 1957)

Reissued on CD as a twofer by EMI, these '50s albums represent a different type of Brazilian pop -- not samba, not bossa, not MPB -- not even plain pop vocals, which were common at the time... Nope, this has the sound of a full-on MGM or Broadway musical... outlandish orchestral swells, swooping vocals -- and it's pretty damn good! Vocalist Angela Maria's career continued on at least into the 1990s (!) but I have no idea how well she was able to hold her own in the changing tides of style. She certainly had as good a voice -- if not better -- than most of the highly vaunted vocalists of the MPB era. The songs are Brazilian originals, including a few from well-remembered composers such as Dorival Caymmi, Pixinguinha, and Ary Barroso -- but mostly this is forgotten musical turf. A note of caution: the second album, with organist Calmon, has some instrumental touches that may make loungecorers giddy, but which might scare the rest of us. Mostly, though, this rocks.

Waldir Calmon "Sua Orquestra, Conjunto E Piano" (Revivendo, 2003)

Waldir Calmon "Samba No Arpege" (Revivendo, 2004)
Four long medleys of samba-cancao oldies...

Camafeu De Oxossi "Camafeu De Oxossi" (Philips, 1968) (LP)

Ely Camargo - see artist discography

Hebe Camargo "Serie Bis - Cantores Do Radio" (EMI-Brasil, 2000)
Movie actress and TV personality Hebe Camargo came in at the tail end of the pre-bossa nova pop era, and a couple of things set this collection apart from the others in this serie. One is the sound quality - the work on here dates from 1952-67, and in general has bright, clean punchy production. Then there's the material, which more overtly tilts towards North American sensibilities, in particular towards big band and straight pop vocals -- for example, the first disc starts off with a brassy cover of Bob Merill's "Mambo Italiano", and other latin dance tracks pepper the set list. She also dips into rock-tinged girl-group-ish trills, yet with a reserved classiness typical of "grown up" pop vocals of the era. Camargo has a nice voice, too -- clear, confident and full of good humor. Worth checking out!

Hebe Camargo "Sem Limite" (Universal, 2003)
A 2-CD set

Hebe Camargo "Hebe E Convidados" (Universal, 2002)

Hebe Camargo "Pra Voce" (Universal, 2002)

Hebe Camargo "As Mais Gostosas Da Hebe" (2007)

Ricardo Camargos "Piano Pixinguinha" (Velas, 1995)
Delightful solo piano performances, not just of antique compositions by the great choro composer Pixinguinha, but of a dozen or so long-lost, never before recorded Pixinguinha pieces that Camargos discovered while conducting research in the national archives in Rio de Janeiro. Choro music lends itself well to the piano -- it brings out the connections to ragtime and early jazz -- plus it just sounds great. Lovely stuff, clearly from a different time and place, and fully evocative of its era. Recommended.

Camerata Brasil "Bach In Brazil" (EMI-Varig Brasil, 2000)
Brazilian choro music, bent in the service of baroque and classical music. It's a pretty nice fit, though at times the repetitive choro instrumentation threatens to descend into mere perkiness (a hazard of the genre...) Still, the mix of music is nice, with compositions by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Radames Gnattali and J.S. Bach alongside tunes by Abel Ferreira, Pixinguinha and other choristas. This didn't totally floor me, but it's pretty nice.

Celly Campello - see artist discography

Tony Campello - see artist discography

Candeia - see artist discography

Candeias "Sambaiana" (Mediterraneo, 1976)
A European jazz band with a serious Brazilian jones... Originally released in Spain, this has been reissued on CD and is one of those "groove" records the acid-jazz folks get all worked up about. I haven't heard it yet, but I'll let you know when I do...

Os Canibais "Os Canibais" (Mocambo, 1967)
Tentative, amateurish jovem-guarda rock... Considering their name I expected some badass garage rock, but instead it's more of a Herman's Hermits/Searchers/Turtles vibe, purposefully tame, musically unchallenging, but perhaps slightly more charming because of the band's unpolished, clumsy performances. Plus, they were from Rio, not Sao Paulo, and everyone knows Cariocas can't rock... Intriguingly, the last three tracks are pretty decent... I halfway suspect the band got better as the sessions came to a close(!) Not a real nugget in the wham-bam kinda way, but a slice of history nonetheless... The group was around for a while, and recorded several singles; in 1970 they momentarily morphed into a band called Bango, and recorded another full album, which I think may be reviewed around here as well. Plus they have some new records which you can download for free (legally, I think!) on their website...

Vinicius Cantuaria - see artist discography

Capital Inicial - see artist discography

(Banda) Capote "Banda Capote" (1996)
I'm not sure, but I think this is the same Brazilian band fronted by pop-funkster Odair Cabeca (listed above...) I haven't heard this album, and I'm not sure when it really came out... But I am quite curious.

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