Pieces of Brazil
Rio de Janeiro native and UNIRIO School of Music graduate Rogê is not new to Brazilian music. His first album with Bandavera in 1993 launched his music career. Then in 2003 he released his first solo album (Rogê) and followed that with Brasil em Brasa in 2008. In 2009, together with his songwriting partners Luis Carlinhos, Baia and Gabriel Moura, 4 Cabeça was released. The album was very well received and won the 2010 Brazilian Music Award for best MPB group. Now international audiences finally have the privilege to hear Rogê with Fala Geral, originally released in Brazil in 2010. To those who were present in Austin’s 2011 SXSW Music Festival, they can remember Rogê’s successful appearance and performances. Now, even better, with Fala Geral you can hear Rogê’s original compositions.
Along with the album title (a rough translation is “general discourse”), Rogê travels through the vast territory of Brazilian music and presents a general musical landscape of Brazil. He opens with the Bossa Nova “Fala Brasil,” featuring Daniel Jobim on piano, Jorge Helder on bass, Wilson das Neves on drums, Marlon Sette on trombone and Zé Bigorna on flutes. This meeting of giants is no coincidence. “Fala Brasil” is as great as the musicians playing the song. It is like Caetano Veloso’s “Pra Ninguém” and Chico Buarque’s “Paratodos,” except that here the song is about Brazil: Pará, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Ceará, Alagoas as well as samba, macumba and soccer. The next track, “A Nega e o Malandro,” will most definitely remind you of Jorge Ben Jor. The song carries the characteristic sambalanço so common in several of Jorge’s famous tunes, including “Mas Que Nada” and “Chove Chuva.” The same goes with “Minha Princesa.”
Continuing his music showcase, Rogê crosses Brazil’s boundaries with the reggae “O Guerreiro Segue.” However, that short distraction is soon forgotten with the beautiful tribute to Cartola, “Amor à Favela.” Here just with acoustic guitar, Rogê sings the beauty of Rio’s slums, the favelas. The slow and nostalgic samba arrangement is simple and includes very little percussion and Jacques Morelenbaum’s cello solo. This is a most beautiful tribute to Cartola, who would have been 100 years old in 2008. The citation of Cartola’s “Ensaboa” is the icing on this stunning song.
Another great track is the exultation samba to Lapa, one of Rio’s most distinctive neighborhoods, “Mapa da Lapa.” Rogê wrote this song with everything that has made Lapa famous: its bars, poetry, samba and famous arches. These verses ending the song sum up the beauty of Lapa and this song: “A Lapa é o Rio mais lindo que Deus fez à mão” (Lapa is the most beautiful Rio that God hand made). This is a memorable samba that will stay with you and keep you coming back to listen to it over and over — and you don’t even have to have seen Lapa. The song will paint Lapa for you. The album closes with two other traditional Brazilian rhythms represented by “Meu Bem Volta Logo” (jongo) and “Tempo Virou” (a chant-and-response African style).
You can learn about the artist and this release by visiting Rogê. He is also present in MySpace and YouTube.
Bolacha AA2000 (2010)
- Fala Brasil (Gabriel Moura – Tatá Espala)
- A Nega e o Malandro (Rogê – Arlindo Cruz)
- O Guerreiro Segue (Rogê)
- Amor à Favela (Rogê – Arlindo Cruz) [Citation: Ensaboa (Cartola)]
- Mapa da Lapa (Rogê)
- Mãe Natureza (Rogê)
- Minha Princesa (Rogê – Marlon Sette – Gabriel Moura)
- Jeito de Gueixa (Rogê – Gabriel Moura)
- São Geraldo (Seu Jorge – Gabriel Moura)
- Meu Bem Volta Logo (Rogê – Arlindo Cruz – Babi Cruz)
- Tempo Virou (Rogê – Arlindo Cruz)