“If Márcio Faraco lived in Brazil he would probably be very famous,” says Putumayo producer Jacob Edgar, who with Putumayo founder Dan Storper compiled the new Acoustic Brazil CD. The CD highlights the delicate side of Brazilian music, the counterpart to the upbeat dance music for which the country is also known.
Putumayo has pulled together a mix of songs by some of the greatest names such as Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, and Gal Costa, as well as some lesser-known gems not yet released in America. “We stumbled across Márcio about four years ago in a bar in Paris called the Blue Noite while visiting with Brazilian singer Nazaré Pereira,” Edgar recalls. “The music scene in Brazil has a strong local flavor and it’s hard
for expat Brazilian musicians to be successful in their homeland when they are
not based there. Here we were on a rainy winter day in Paris in this bar and
this whole community was creating a great tropical feeling, artists with great
potential had they lived back home in Brazil.”
Another find on this CD is Glaucia Nasser, a relative unknown on the Brazilian
music scene. Nasser was a self-help consultant before pursuing her dream to
perform professionally. “Our international sales manager came back from
Brazil with this very independently released CD,” says Edgar, possibly the
person who listens to more new music than anyone else in the world. “Whenever
our sales staff travel we encourage them to bring back new music.”
Lula Queiroga’s “Noite Severina” comes from an underground release yet to be heard in the United States. “Queiroga is a quirky artist outside of the mainstream, like Tom Zé,” Edgar explains. “His sound is very similar to Lenine, whom he has served as somewhat of a mentor. It is a very northeastern sound, acoustic but with subtle electronic accents.”
Acoustic Brazil cuts across eras and styles, tied together by powerful songwriting and the sheer beauty of the Portuguese language and Brazilian melodies. Caetano Veloso—who is featured on a Putumayo CD for the first time (though he has reached superstar status at home and abroad)—was a founding member of the tropicalismo movement, which blended bossa nova, rock, psychedelica, and protest music. Chico Buarque—who was criticized for not being political enough in the 1970s—sings here: “I leave behind many enemies because I’ve always been honest.” The more extreme the military dictatorship became in Brazil, the more radical Buarque became, which eventually landed him in jail, a credit he ironically shares with Veloso. Both are considered to be among the top ten Brazilian musicians.
Rita Ribeiro is no newcomer to Putumayo, which released her Perolas Aos Povos CD in 1999. Ribeiro comes from the northeastern state of Maranhão, known as the Brazilian capital of reggae.
On “Moro Na Roça,” Mónica Salmaso pays homage to Clementina de Jesus—a
granddaughter of African slaves who began singing professionally late in life
after serving as a housekeeper for over twenty years. Singing while washing
clothes, this “rough diamond” of a singer preserved the lundus and jongos of the
A portion of Putumayo World Music proceeds from the sale of this CD will be
donated to AMENCAR, an organization dedicated to the struggle for civil rights of children in Brazil.
Buy Acoustic Brazil.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.