The Original Maria Rita
And then there were two singers with the same name, Maria Rita…
The first one, Maria Rita Brandão was born in 1974 in São Paulo and the second one, Maria Rita Mariano, also born in São Paulo, but in 1977. Brandão was already singing and performing when Mariano hit the stages. Injected by the big money and supported by media hypes, Mariano (Elis Regina’s daughter) soon was an established name. That started a big confusion. People went to concerts of both, expecting to see the other. Mariano didn’t mind, but Brandão thought it wasn’t a good thing to confuse the audience. But what could be the solution? While on tour, Maria Rita Brandão passed at a Florianópolis bus terminal. Thinking about the problem, her eyes were caught by the name of the terminal: Rita Maria… And there was the answer. From now on that would be her artistic name: Rita Maria!
The soprano voiced singer/composer went through an instructive career. At age 5 she started to play the piano, followed by a taking part in her school’s choir. It was during her study time at the FAU (Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo from the University of São Paulo), that Rita Maria gained more stage experience. The after-school parties on Fridays were always accompanied by university bands. Rita Maria often sang in one of those bands, Funcionárias e os Auxiliares. She took up studying music again at the Coralusp where she followed classes in singing, piano, vocal improvisation and other musical skills. The Trio Garatuja was her first big project that finally led to a solo career. Another project Rita Maria puts her heart in is Palavras de Mulher, where she and Valeska Lopes and Yula Gabriela perform the “female universe” repertoire of Chico Buarque.
During five years, Rita Maria worked on this album Fora de Órbita. Except for two songs, all compositions are hers. The repertoire is of an impressive variation, performed with respect for tradition. The title of the album (Out of Orbit) was chosen as a wink to the fact that this cd was recorded far away from the commercial markets, unlike the famous Maria Rita Mariano’s albums, to name an example… The title song comes out as a xaxado, the male dance from Brazil’s northeast. Rita Maria is accompanied by long time friends Zeca Loureiro (acoustic guitar), Gilberto Assis (bass) and Sérgio Reze (percussion). The song gives a good impression of this album: well chosen instrumentation, tradition and the crystal clear soprano voice of Rita Maria, who sometimes reminds me of Ceumar (as well as her voice and good taste for music). On the beautiful ballad “Noite Que Não Preenche,” the singer uses the maximum of her vocal skills. In a very delicate way she vocally explores the borders of the melody. It shows she has a background as a choir singer. The mood changes with “Pé Calejado,” an infectious xote, complete with the accordion (Otávio Ortega), the zabumba (Paulinho Barizon and Eduardo Vidili) and the triangle (Eduardo Vidili)! “Borboleta Preta” is of a totally different sentiment. Sung in English with parts in Portuguese, this track shows that Rita Maria has roots in the rock scene, too, dating back from her study period. The guitar solo of Zeca Loureiro cuts the song ruthless in half. “O Mar Que Existe em Seus Olhas” is again a ballad of noticeable beauty. The song has many faces and the singer shows her experience as a choir singer again, this time to fill in the choir lines in the most effective way. That continues in an extreme way on the jazzy “Alma,” only accompanied by acoustic bass (Gilberto Assis). The (wordless) voices of Rita Maria shows the quality of her vocal abilities, as well as her exceptional choral ears. “Gotas de Sereno” is sung in duet with guitarist Zeca Loureiro, an easy babbling pop song. As throughout the whole cd, the percussion instruments are remarkably well chosen. “Despertar” is a beautiful miniature, accompanied only by the acoustic guitar. One of the two songs that is not composed by Rita Maria is the relatively unknown Djavan composition “Maçã do Rosto” (from his album Voz e Violão, 1975). The song gets a delicious intro by the viola caipira of Zeca Loureiro that flows over in the catchy rhythm of a xaxado. The singer puts a little theatrical touch in her lines. The other non-original is from Chico Buarque and Edu Lobo, the samba “Nego Maluco,” referring to her project Palavras de Mulher. The samba changes colours a few times with the jazzy guitar and a walking bass line.
This album is certainly worth more attention. There will always be confusion with her name, but maybe the good thing about it is that people might bump into this extraordinary talented singer.
Fora de Órbita
Tratore PLCD 52853 (2005)
All tracks by Rita Maria except where noted.
- Fora de Órbita
- Noite Que Não Preenche
- Pé Calejado
- Borboleta Preta
- O Mar Que Existe Em Seus Olhos
- Gotas de Sereno
- Estrada de Névoa
- Maçã do Rosto (Djavan)
- Pedra Rara
- Nego Maluco (Edu Lobo – Chico Buarque)