Mar 08 2006

Paulinho Tapajós & Marcello Lessa: Viola Violão

Brazil from the Inside


Viola Violão

Some songs have the power to stay in our hearts and minds long after we first hear them. Those songs mark a moment, make you think of someone special or touch you in more ways than one. Whether you call them classics or simply popular hits, the truth is that it takes a very talented songwriter to come up with those gems. When you combine that talent with song quality, you have hits such as “Irmãos Coragem,” “Cantiga por Luciana,” “Nos Tempos dos Quintais,” “Coração Poeta,” “Coisas do Coração,” “Aguapé” and “Andança.” Whether performed by Simone Guimarães or Beth Carvalho, the songs of Paulinho Tapajós have that intrinsic quality of everlasting memories.

Paulinho Tapajós (Rio de Janeiro, 1945) is another Brazilian who comes from a very musical family. Father Paulo Tapajós was a songwriter, singer and radio personality. Paulinho’s siblings are Maurício (composer) and Dorinha (singer). Growing up in such musical family only led to great things, such as the songs here prove. His first guitar teacher was his dad. Later on, he studied with Léo Soares, Arthur Verocai and Almir Chediak. Paulinho has had a string of hits from the start, but it was in 1968 during the 3rd International Song Festival that he became a household name with “Andança,” performed by Beth Carvalho and The Golden Boys. In 1969, all over Brazil people sang along as Paulinho got 1st place in the 4th International Song Festival with “Cantiga por Luciana” (performed by Evinha). Throughout the 1970s, his name and music were present in everyone’s home through the many songs he wrote for popular novela soundtracks at Globo TV. The other half of this great album is Marcello Lessa (Rio de Janeiro, 1958). Another amazing guitarist, Lessa began his studies at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música and studied with Moisés Ferreira de Lima. Having written, arranged and produced for a number of Brazilian stars, including Antonio Adolfo, Zeca Assumpção, Nivaldo Ornellas, Roberto Menescal, Cláudia Telles and others, Lessa is also the founder of the group Conversa de Cordas.

Paulinho Tapajós & Marcello LessaViola Violão celebrates the music of Paulinho Tapajós with heartfelt renditions of some of his best known songs and more. Besides Paulinho himself, the addition of Marcello Lessa’s viola and acoustic guitar makes this album even more special. As if one needed anything else, we have an array of special guests sharing the spotlight with Paulinho Tapajós and Marcello Lessa in a lively repertoire that covers samba, toada and ballads in just the right numbers and arrangements. All in all, it’s the genuine simplicity in these songs that makes them so special every time you listen to them. Whether with “Rádio Nacional” — a tribute to the famous Brazilian radio station and its effects in everyday life — or “Cabelo de Milho” — farm life and the hard work and simple joys — this album touches life in its essence. The title track, “Viola Violão,” opens the captivating repertoire with plenty of viola and beautiful harmonies. The voices sing of the joys of playing viola, writing songs and that uncontrollable desire to sing and play. Switching from toada to a delicious samba, we then hear “Mangueira É Música.” It is inevitable not to think of Vinícius de Moraes and Toquinho because of the vocals and beat. The lyrics are a homage to all the Mangueira fans in Brazil: Carlos Cachaça, Beth Carvalho, Maria Bethânia, Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Nelson Cavaquinho, Braguinha, Caetano Veloso and others. As the lyrics sing, it is Brazil on parade, and what a show that is! Paulinho is a master of toadas. In addition of the title track, we also have other toadas: “Vou Vivendo de Folia,” “Chuvarada,” “Tem Côco no Guerenguê” and the hit originally sung by Simone Guimarães, “Aguapé.” The maxixe “Bonequinha Sapeca” blends perfectly well with the soothing ballad “Menininha do Portão,” a love song about a country girl with eyes the color of spring. Just picture that and get lost in the song… In the same style as “Mangueira É Samba,” we have “Chorinho Pro Meu Violão,” “Troca de Mal” and “A Vaca Foi Pro Brejo.” In the middle of all these great songs, we still have one more surprise: the forever beautiful “Andança.”

It is absolutely impossible not to let yourself get involved and carried away in the songs of Paulinho Tapajós. Together with Marcello Lessa, he has presented us with a harmonious and enchanting repertoire of a lifetime in music. Viola Violão is everlasting!

You can learn more about the artists and their music by visiing their web sites: Paulinho Tapajós and Marcello Lessa.



Paulinho Tapajós & Marcello Lessa
Viola Violão 
Dabliú DB0120 (2004)
Time: 46’59”


  1. Viola Violão (Cláudio Nucci – Paulinho Tapajós) w/ Cláudio Nucci
  2. Mangueira É Música (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós)
  3. Vou Vivendo de Folia (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós) w/ Cláudio Nucci & Simone Guimarães
  4. Menininha do Portão (Nonato Buzar – Paulinho Tapajós)
  5. Chuvarada (Cláudio Nucci – Paulinho Tapajós) w/ Cláudio Nucci
  6. Chorinho pro Meu Violão (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós)
  7. Andança (Edmundo Souto – Paulinho Tapajós – Danilo Caymmi)
  8. Tem Côco no Guerenguê (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós)
  9. Troca de Mal (Paulo Emílio – Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós)
  10. Aguapé (Edmundo Souto – Paulinho Tapajós) w/ Simone Guimarães
  11. Bonequinha Sapeca (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós)
  12. A Vaca Foi pro Brejo (Marcello Lessa – Queca Vieira – Paulinho Tapajós)
  13. Cabelo de Milho (Sivuca – Paulinho Tapajós)
  14. Rádio Nacional (Marcello Lessa – Paulinho Tapajós) w/ Lucinha Lins