Samba in Disguise
One of the most popular bands in the pop history of Porto Alegre is no doubt Nenhum de Nós. Since 1986 this band earned success with their music that’s influenced by the English and North American pop music scene. Star vocalist/bassist of the band is Thedy Corrêa, who makes a solo debut here with Loopcinio. That name is a funny reference to the use of electronics used on the album (“loops”) and the composer this album is dedicated to (Lupicínio Rodrigues).
When Corrêa was asked to sing samba for a project in which rock stars sing the music of classic sambas composers (projeto Encontros Insólitos), he decided to dive into the repertoire of Lupicínio Rodrigues (Porto Alegre, 1914 – 1974). Enjoying the compositions, the idea arose to do an album with the music of “Lupi”, but with a contemporary touch.
No better accompaniment than the sophisticated talents of Sacha Amback and Ramiro Musotto, two musicians who understand the use of electronics with a dedication to the tradition of the original music. It often happens that the use of an electronic musical environment leads to empty dance music. Here the contrary is true. The very up to date arrangements of the classic compositions benefit from the tasteful use of electronic instruments, supported by attentive percussion. It gives the music a new life and will open it up for a younger audience of listeners, who hopefully gain an interest in the repertoire of this great composer.
The cover of the cd shows Corrêa sitting behind a laptop in a bar that was frequented by Lupicínio. Next to the laptop lays a matchbox, which refers to the composer, who always asked for one when sitting down at his table for a drink. A nice way to illustrate what to expect on this album!
Thedy Corrêa grew up listening to the music of Lupi, constantly played by his father. “Nervos de Aço” is one of the songs Corrêa remembers from that time. Made famous by Paulinho da Viola on his 1973 album carrying the name of that composition, “Nervos de Aço” sounds like the perfect song here. The voice of Corrêa is perfectly accompanied by the various keyboards with the addition of a beautiful piano to create the right sentiment of this sad song. A very different treatment compared to the original. Another highlight is “Recado Não Aceito”. Adriana Maciel lends her wonderful voice to this song, haunted by the cuíca (Musotto). “Vingança” has a deep sounding keyboard in its arrangement that gives this composition a completely different sentiment. “Volta” keeps an original (slow) samba rhythm, with again a beautiful piano performance by Sacha Amback complementing the soft voice of Corrêa. “Tola” also keeps its samba rhythm, making it very danceable. Milton Guedes adds an inspired harmonica solo. “Se Acaso Você Chegasse” sounds a bit spooky in a slow arrangement and a dark sounding voice. A sharp contrast with the version of, for instance, Baby Consuelo, who performs it in a very fast tempo (Ao Vivo at the Montreux Jazz Festival). “Felicidade” features the toddler’s voice of Thedy’s little daughter Stellinha. It’s nice how father and daughter sing a duet, but it doesn’t invite to a second listening. When Corrêa practised the song, his daughter suddenly started to sing along, unfortunately inspiring Thedy to include the vocals on his album. It’s made up for with the albums closing song “Sombras,” which gets a clever ballad arrangement that forms a perfect ending for this remarkable album.
I’m sure Lupicínio Rodrigues would have been pleasantly surprised by the result of these very original arrangements of his compositions. It keeps his music alive and shows again how rich the tradition of the samba is. A wonderful dedication!
Orbeat Music ORB 3334 (2005)
All compositions by Lupicínio Rodrigues, except where noted.
- Ela Disse-me Assim
- Nervos de Aço
- Esses Moços
- Recado Não Aceito
- Cadeira Vazia (Lupicínio Rodrigues – Alcides Gonçalves)
- Se Acaso Você Chegasse (Lupicínio Rodrigues – Felisberto Martins)