Some things are worth waiting for almost a lifetime. EmCantos Geraes is a perfect example. With a repertoire rich with the Minas Gerais musical tradition, this album deserves wider recognition. Recorded in the historical Estúdio Maestro Alceo Bocchino, at Radio MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture), EmCantos Geraes was the first production from this label with an emphasis on music from one area of Brazil. In the same studio where Villa-Lobos, Radamés Gnattali and Guerra-Peixe had performed, Márcio Lott now had the responsibility to showcase the wonderful music of Minas Gerais. Such tremendous duty was appropriately given to a great performer such as Lott. Produced by Paulo César Feital and with an A-list of musicians and special guests, EmCantos Geraes does indeed entrance you with its charms. Arranger and pianist Leandro Braga, bassist Bororó, percussionist Armando Marçal, guitarist Marco Pereira, flutist/baritone sax player Carlos Malta and soprano sax player Zé Nogueira are just a few of the well-known artists featured. Sharing some vocals with Lott, you will find Clarisse Grova, Áurea Martins, Eudes Fraga and Lott’s own quartet Nós Quatro.
Márcio Lott (Belo Horizonte, MG, 1940) was a member of Quarteto Forma, the amazing vocal group Be Happy and most recently a member of Nós Quatro. He has been performing professionally since the age of fifteen. Being from Minas Gerais, Lott possesses the innate ability of some of his country men, such as Tavito, Toninho Horta and others. The beauty of Minas Gerais music shines through in Lott’s gorgeous voice and performances. Though most people might not know him by name, they can certainly recognize the hits he created. During the 1970’s alone, he was in every Brazilian home singing beautiful themes for Globo novelas. He was a permanent name in those soundtracks having sung for Uma Rosa Com Amor, Selva de Pedra, Carinhoso, O Semideus, Cavalo de Aço, Ossos do Barão, O Casarão and others. He has also consistently recorded with Azymuth, and has toured as a vocalist with Gal Costa and Simone. Now, at last, we finally have an entire album with Márcio Lott’s captivating voice.
Not only is the repertoire in EmCantos Geraes classic, it also stands out because of the memorable performances we hear. The album opens with a chorus chant introducing the recurring theme of Minas Gerais. In the background we hear a train engine, and the words echo “Eh Minas, eh Minas, it’s time to leave; I’m going very far away.” Such introduction blends in with a melancholy sax solo by Zé Nogueira and Lott’s heartfelt singing saying that “everywhere he goes, everything enchants him.” Paulo César Pinheiro poem for “Desenredo” is a beautiful testimony shared by anyone and everyone whoever had to leave a loved homeland. For the medley of Villa-Lobos “O Canto do Pajé” and Milton Nascimento’s “Pai Grande,” our first guest Clarisse Grova’s voice resounds the beauty and mysticism of Tupã and his love and longing for Anhangá. Another stirring performance is featured in the duet with Áurea Martins in “Meu Silêncio.” Cláudio Nucci and Luiz Fernando Gonçalves song is one of those melodies you carry with you the whole day. The lyrics cry out the pain of missing an old companion. Though very sad, the beauty of these verses finds in Lott’s and Martins’s voices a remarkable vehicle. Milton Nunes’s piano solo is majestic, too. As if taking you back in time, “Violão” sounds like a sumptuous serenata with Lott sharing Braga’s arrangement with only the acoustic guitars by giants Marco Pereira and Cláudio Jorge. Truly impressive! Letting loose with endless vocal prowess, Lott and Nós Quatro have a good time in “Tiro Cruzado.” In a similar manner as when Toninho Horta and Felipe Cordeiro created Com o Pé no Forró, the music of Minas Geraes and Ceará is once again revisited in “Bendita Voz do Sentimento,” with Lott singing with Eudes Fraga, who also plays the acoustic guitar here.
EmCantos Geraes is a captivating album not only for the repertoire it brings but primarily because of the soothing voice and polished performances Márcio Lott renders. With such a long-standing career, this solo album was way overdue both for Lott’s fans and future followers of his music.
Selo Rádio MEC RM 00025 (2005)
- Desenredo (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- O Canto do Pajé (Villa-Lobos – C. Paula Barros) / Pai Grande (Milton Nascimento) w/ Clarisse Grova
- Mais Que a Paixão (Egberto Gismonti – João Carlos Pádua)
- Meu Silêncio (Cláudio Nucci – Luiz Fernando Gonçalves) w/ Áurea Martins
- Fábrica de Orvalho (Altay Veloso – Paulo César Feital)
- Violão (Sueli Costa – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Tiro Cruzado (Nelson Ângelo – Márcio Borges) w/ Nós Quatro
- Bendita Voz do Sentimento (Eudes Fraga – Zé Renato Fressato) w/ Eudes Fraga
- Luz do Sertão (Yuri Popoff – Fernando Brant)
- Divina Folia (Yuri Popoff – Fernando Brant)
- Canto de Desalento (Toninho Horta – Rubens Teodoro Costa)
- Província (Márcio Lott – Rubens Teodoro Costa)
- Minas de Encanto (Tavito) w/ Clarisse Grova