Not many artists are able to pull together such a diverse repertoire as Francis Hime does in Brasil Lua Cheia and have a great album. It should not come as a surprise to those who know Hime’s work, though. He is the celebrated composer of Brazilian classics such as “Trocando em Miúdos,” “Vai Passar,” “Atrás da Porta” (all with Chico Buarque) as well as having penned the soundtrack for several movies, including Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. After releasing Sinfonia do Rio de Janeiro de São Sebastião (CD and DVD) in 2002, Hime broke a long recording drought: his previous studio album was Choro Rasgado in 1997.
What is so eclectic about Brasil Lua Cheia is the quality number of lyricists involved in this project: Paulo César Pinheiro, Joyce, Adriana Calcanhotto, Lenine, Paulinho da Viola and Moraes Moreira among a few others. The music in this album is just as rich and sumptuous as the musical diversity in Brazil: great sambas, vivacious choros, touching ballads and more.
Of course, as with any other project involving Hime’s mind, the gorgeous arrangements are definitely memorable. He can use strings and percussion instruments and make you think you are listening to an Ary Barroso song from the golden age in Brazilian music. Just listen to the title track, for example. “Brasil Lua Cheia” has an exultation feeling in its melody and lyrics.
The same passion is present whether talking about Brazil or just samba itself, as in “No Parangolé do Samba.” In that track, Paulo César Pinheiro’s lyrics cover the magic of samba with all its glorious swing, mystery and diplomacy. And where can you learn all that? In one of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous samba groups, Mangueira. Joyce’s words in “Cinema Brasil” are the most evocative and complete tribute to Brazilian movies. It is a remarkable song paying tribute to our movie stars: Eliana, Oscarito, Cyl Farney, Dercy Gonçalves, Leila Diniz, all the way to the present with Fernanda Montenegro. No one is left out, as the lyrics also mention our great directors and movies. Next, with the touch of a fairy tale and word power, “Um Seqüestrador” is all about poetry. This impressive ballad brings together words by Vinícius de Moraes and Adriana Calcanhotto. Calcanhotto also sings with Hime in this most beautiful tune that successfully searches for the right kind of poem to win one’s love. I have no defenses for those verses. The lyrics close with this answer:
Verso pra te trazer
Pros meus braços
Um verso seqüestrador
Verse to bring you
Into my arms
A kidnapping verse
Every song and every performer add a different level to this album. Lenine in “Corpo Feliz” is relaxed and endearing. Paulinho da Viola in “Choro Incontido” is the icing on the cake. Want more? Here are just a few more musicians: Luciana Rabello (cavaquinho), Ricardo Silveira (guitar), Celsinho Silva (pandeiro), Maurício Carrilho (acoustic guitar), Robertinho Silva (percussion), Paulo Sérgio Santos (soprano sax) — and on the list goes.
Beautiful optimism is the essence of Brasil Lua Cheia. With songs that go back to Brazil’s rich musical history, Francis Hime and his captivating voice and music deliver an excellent album. As with a full moon that illuminates a dark night, Brasil Lua Cheia is a bright, shining star among the best 2003 releases.
Read more about Brasil Lua Cheia and also hear track samples at Biscoito Fino.
Brasil Lua Cheia
Biscoito Fino BF-560 (2003)
- No Parangolé do Samba (Francis Hime – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Cinema Brasil (Francis Hime – Joyce)
- Um Seqüestrador (Francis Hime – Vinícius de Moraes – Adriana Calcanhotto) – w/ Adriana Calcanhotto
- O Amor Passou (Francis Hime – Geraldo Carneiro)
- Corpo Feliz (Francis Hime – Cacaso) – w/ Lenine
- Canção Transparente (Francis Hime – Olivia Hime)
- Meu Coração (Francis Hime – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Disfarçando (Francis Hime – Olivia Hime)
- Choro Incontido (Francis Hime – Paulinho da Viola) – w/ Paulinho da Viola
- Navios (Francis Hime – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Minas Goiás (Francis Hime – Cacaso)
- Pó de Granito (Francis Hime – Lenine)
- Menina (Francis Hime – Moraes Moreira)
- Brasil Lua Cheia (Francis Hime – Moraes Moreira)