The idea of recording music from the golden era in Brazilian music (i.e., the 1930’s and 1940’s) is not new. Several other performers have done that, whether by dedicating an entire project to that period or songwriter or by including only a few songs from that era. However, among those, one album that comes to mind and was released just recently in 2001 is Ney Matogrosso’s Batuque (the entire repertoire with songs from the 1910’s through the 1940’s). It was well received by critics and fans alike. Two years after Batuque, Marcos Sacramento revisits the 1930’s and 1940’s and releases Memorável Samba. The effusive music is a match made in heaven for Sacramento’s voice and style.
The album title, Memorável Samba, comes from J. Cascata’s 1938 samba “Meu Romance,” included here. Some album titles are pretentious or even misleading. That is not the case with Sacramento’s Memorável Samba. There is no doubt at this time that Sacramento is on top of his game and sings up a storm with memorable sambas from the 1930’s, a couple from the 1940’s and one from the 1950’s. His idea of featuring these sambas not only provides a remarkable service to Brazilian music, but it also serves as proof of his incredible ability to perform them. Sacramento has been recording professionally since 1994, when he released A Modernidade da Tradição(SACI 8030; subsequently released on Buda Musique 82920-2 in 1997). In 1998, he released Caracane, an album comprised mostly of Sacramento’s own songs. He continued to feel this attraction towards classic sambas, and as a result of that joined Lira Carioca and Clara Sandroni in É Sim, Sinhô (volumes I, II and III – 1999, 2000 and 2002, respectively). In 2002 Sacramento went back into the recording studio with Clara Sandroni and released one of the year’s best albums, Saravá, Baden Powell! (Biscoito Fino BF 523). Though they were revisiting a classic repertoire, he got my attention again with that release. His voice and performance practically obscured Sandroni in the album.
With musical production by Luiz Flávio Alcofra and Carlos Fuchs and musical direction by Jayme Vignoli and again Alcofra, Memorável Samba lines up an incredible ensemble of acoustic musicians. Alcofra is on acoustic guitar, Vignoli on cavaquinho, Netinho on pandeiro, João Hermeto on an assortment of percussion drums and a number of other stellar performers including Rui Alvim (clarinet), Marcos Nimrichter (accordion), Jessé Sadoc, Jr. and Silvério Pontes (trumpets), Andréa Ernest Dias (flutes), Zé da Velha (trombone) and others. A special treat is presented on the opening track, “Deixa Falar!” Sacramento used the original 1938 recording portion with Ary Barroso playing a small harmonica.
Sacramento’s enunciation is perfectly clear in these songs. Even in fast sambas, such as “Deixa Falar!” or “Fez Bobagem,” he manages to sing out with unparalleled articulation. The joy he puts in each song is contagious. One cannot forget to give praises also to the magnificent rhythm and percussion sections. Netinho’s pandeiro, in particular, is like an orchestra by itself. The music in the whole album is simply superb. Whether talking about soccer and food (“Deixa Falar!”), the Mangueira (“Meu Romance”) or Salgueiro (“Mulato Bamba”) samba schools, these are lively sambas to play on and on. Noel Rosa is featured with three sambas in this collection. There is also Ataulfo Alves and Assis Valente. It is amazing to see how comfortable and becoming Sacramento’s rendition of Wilson Batista and Moreira da Silva’s “Esta Noite Eu Tive um Sonho” is. Simply delicious! Without wasting time or losing momentum, Sacramento delivers excellent performances track after track. In the closing samba, “Imperador do Samba,” he proves he’s got what it takes to sing the best in Brazilian samba. And to close this magnificent release, he serenades us with the beautiful “Deusa do Cassino.” Perfect closing. Incidentally, the song is not listed in the album anywhere.
Sacramento personifies samba with his voice and innate swinging ability. I bet if his name were listed in a dictionary, it would most certainly say many good things, and now I’d suggest, if I may, to include Mr. Samba, too. Memorável Samba will certainly put Sacramento’s name among the top samba interpreters of the new generation. He is doing a great service to maintaining alive the memory of Brazilian music with a memorable album indeed!
Read more about Memorável Samba and hear samples of this album here.
Biscoito Fino BF-569 (2003)
- Deixa Falar (Nelson Petersen)
- Meu Romance (J. Cascata)
- Mulato Bamba (Noel Rosa)
- X do Problema (Noel Rosa)
- Meu Rádio e Meu Mulato (Herivelto Martins)
- Esta Noite Eu Tive um Sonho (Wilson Batista – Moreira da Silva)
- Fez Bobagem (Assis Valente)
- Triste Cuíca (Noel Rosa – Hervê Cordovil)
- Só Pode Ser Você (Vadico – Noel Rosa)
- Notícia (Nelson Cavaquinho – Alcides Caminha – Norival Bahia)
- Errei… Erramos (Ataulfo Alves)
- Onde Está a Florisbela (Geraldo Pereira – Ary Monteiro)
- Imperador do Samba (Waldemar Silva) / Deusa do Cassino (Newton Teixeira – Torres Homem)