Like a Beautiful Flower
A remarkable album! Guilherme de Brito performs the songs that made him famous and were made famous by the many big names in Brazilian music who highlighted his compositions in their repertoire. Guilherme de Brito doesn’t record his own songs very often, but for this occasion he wanted to review his own career as a composer. It was in the mid 50’s that the composer/singer met Nelson Cavaquinho, an encounter that would result in a very fruitful and lasting partnership, until the death of Nelson Cavaquinho in 1986. Guilherme de Brito, born in 1922, always has an open mind towards young musicians. He recorded his and Nelson’s “Erva Daninha” with the late Cássia Eller, to name an example. When he heard guitarist Zé Paulo Becker perform “Folhas Secas,” this album’s producer Moacyr Luz got the bright idea to invite Trio Madeira Brasil to accompany Guilherme. An invitation that also links up with presence of young musicians on the samba scene these days, musicians such as Teresa Cristina and Rabo de Lagartixa.
Trio Madeira Brasil consists of three more than talented mostly young musicians. Zé Paulo Becker (born in 1968) on the acoustic guitar; Marcello Gonçalves (1972, also member of Rabo de Lagartixa) on 7-string acoustic guitar and Ronaldo do Bandolim (1950, not that young anymore, also member of Época de Ouro) on mandolin. The trio is responsible for the attentive arrangements of the Nelson Cavaquinho/Guilherme de Brito compositions. The voice of de Brito is treated with the respect that it deserves. It is normal that the voice of a (then) 80-year-old singer shows some signs of time. But also thanks to the arrangements and the sober instrumentation, it only adds to the nostalgia this music breathes. There is a perfect balance between the vocal lines and the guitars. Like the title song of this cd, “A Flor e o Espinho” (composed in 1957), where the arrangement of Zé Paulo Becker frames the gentle voice of de Brito in the sweetest way.
The first composer de Brito worked with after Nelson Cavaquinho passed away was Raimundo Fagner. He is invited to join in on their composition “Distância.” The typical voice of Fagner and the unmistakable fado touch (arrangement by Ronaldo do Bandolim) don’t disturb the overall sentiment of this cd. Neither does the presence of de Brito’s long-time friend Beth Carvalho on “Folhas Secas,” which gets an impressive and outstanding beautiful intro by Zé Paulo Becker. Beth Carvalho’s powerful voice stands in sharp contrast with Guilherme de Brito’s fragile vocals, splitting the song into two parts. Third guest is senior samba star Elton Medeiros (1930), only adding his thoughts about the song’s rhythm on his inseparable matchbox… (“Gotas de Luar”). The album closes with the well chosen “Minha Festa,” where the voices of the Trio Madeira Brasil and producer Moacyr Luz join in the happy ending of the cd.
A Flor e o Espinho is an album like a beautiful flower; the only thorn could be the duration of the album, 39 minutes… Although that’s not shorter than what we were used to in the ages of LP’s.
Guilherme de Brito e Trio Madeira Brasil
A Flor e o Espinho
Lua Discos Lua 047 (2003)
- O Dono das Calçadas (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- Pranto de Poeta (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- A Flor e o Espinho (Cavaquinho – de Brito – Alcides Caminha)
- Minha Honestidade Vale Ouro (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- Mesa Farta (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- Graça (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- Folhas Secas (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito) w/ Beth Carvalho
- Distância (Raimundo Fagner – Guilherme de Brito) w/ Fagner
- Gotas de Luar (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito) w/ Elton Medeiros
- Meu Violão (Guilherme de Brito)
- Quando Eu Me Chamar Saudade (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito)
- Minha Festa (Nelson Cavaquinho – Guilherme de Brito) w/ Moacyr Luz