A Promising Debut
What started as a group of friends in 2001 evolved in what is now Aura Tropical, a band from São Paulo. Their original proposition was to innovate Brazilian music by performing well known songwriters in new arrangements. However, with their first CD, we can see that the band is already reaching beyond that idea and bringing original compositions into play. When you hear this album, you will agree that showcasing original songs in this fine debut album was a clever idea. Eduardo Puperi’s songs are strong and ingenious. He draws on Brazilian genres and themes to create the sound that characterizes the band.
Aura Tropical is Eduardo Puperi “Ludi” (piano, voice), Márcio Camargo (bass), Fabrício Scaff (guitar), Reka Ortega (drums) and the wonderful voice of Naná Correia. Produced by Camargo and arranged by Puperi, who also wrote ten out of the 15 tracks in the album, Aura Tropical will get your attention more with their original tunes then the re-recordings of Brazilian classics. This is not to say that those covers are weak. In fact, the arrangements for well-known songs such as “O Morro Não Tem Vez” and “Negro Gato” stand out. The former features Scaff’s electric guitar solo adding an edge to this arrangement. As for the latter, the old rock and roll Brazilian standard shows off Correia’s multifaceted vocal abilities. In both of these tracks special guests Dejair Rodolfi on trombone and Adalto Jr on tenor sax complete the brassy arrangement. The other covers recorded in the album are played a bit more straightforward, but Aura Tropical stamps its mark in subtle ways.
The brief opening track, “Aura,” has no words and features Correia’s seductive vocalise. It prefaces the longer “Água Benta,” which features Marisa Silveira’s cello solos. The lyrics praise the gifts that water brings to our environment in the oceans, cities, countryside and everywhere. It is interesting to see this recurring theme of water come back in Mário Quintana’s verses “Humilde Orgulho” and Jobim/de Moraes’ “Água de Beber.” The funk samba “Pelada na Rua” is a delicious swing about Brazil’s national sport: soccer. Manoel Pacífico’s cuíca addition is right on target in the arrangement. In addition to these up tempo tracks, Aura Tropical also makes room for mellow tunes, such as the romantic “Um Sonho Vivo,” with its dreamy lyrics about a better life anywhere. There is also a children’s homage with “Vai Nascer” and the call to songs that are out there waiting for us all (“Lá, Onde Não Há Mais Ninguém”). In “Perambulei,” we have a change to hear a nice duet featuring Puperi and Correia. The song is a nice soft samba with lyrics talking about coming back to what is in one’s heart: dreams, memories and all that one remembers. This positive message comes back track after track in this debut CD.
Aura Tropical is a promising band with talented musicians making good music. In addition to presenting good arrangements for a few Brazilian classics, Aura Tropical shines with its original songs.
To learn more about Aura Tropical, please visit its home page.
Independent AT03901-9 (2004)
All music by Eduardo Puperi except where noted.
- Água Benta
- Quem Diria
- Humilde Orgulho (Mário Quintano)
- Água de Beber (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Pelada na Rua
- Um Sonho Vivo
- Fé Cega, Faca Amolada (Milton Nascimento – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Vai Nascer
- Lá, Onde Não Há Mais Ninguém
- Negro Gato (Getúlio Cortes)
- O Morro Não Tem Vez (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- A Rua