A Versatile Artist
Vasco Debritto’s most recent release, Praia dos Corais, is a very polished album from beginning to end. The same quality in presentation seen in VIsions is maintained and the arrangements are better and more refined. By looking at the liner notes, one immediately has a general idea of this beautiful CD. The album is dedicated to Britto’s wife and four of the most important songwriters in Brazilian music: Noel Rosa, Dorival Caymmi, Chico Buarque and Antonio Carlos Jobim. In addition to those names, a number of stellar performers also appear in this album, such as Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Maurício Maestro, Marcelo Mariano, Ron Carter, Paulo Braga and Robertinho Silva. Vasco Debritto wrote and arranged all songs, except for the lovely vocal arrangement in “Pindorama,” which was done by Maurício Maestro.
Choosing “Pindorama” to open Praia dos Corais was a wise decision. The vocal harmonies by Leticia Carvalho, Sanny Alves and Solange convey a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that captivate the listener. The lightness of the arrangement as a toada is like a lazy breeze by the sea shore. Here Debritto talks about “sea whispers” and a tropical forest full of delicacies that cover both fruits and minerals under a “blue, crystal-like” sky. The next track, “Por um Fio,” is a lively forró with a bouncing flute solo by Roberto Stepheson throughout the whole arrangement. The lyrics jokingly tell us about what Brazilians take for granted:
A certeza que Deus é um cara bem brasileiro,
Que nasceu em Belém, o Belém lá do norte,
Belém do Pará.
The certainty that God is a true Brazilian,
Who was born in Bethlehem, the one up in the north,
Bethlehem, the capital of Pará.
Moving into a relaxed mode, Debritto performs the slow samba “Just Look at Me.” The samba precedes the bolero “Navegante.” Once again, Debritto comes back to the sea and safe harbor that are present in several of his compositions. Here his love is a ship that sails freely. With only a trio made up of Romero Lubambo’s guitar, Ron Carter’s bass and Paulo Braga’s percussion, “Navegante” is one of the best moments in the album. Debritto’s voice has a certain sad tone as he sings his lyrics. To lift up his spirits, “Sapateou” comes along. Rich with its swing and brass accompaniment, this samba moves the whole body. With a master’s touch, we move to a slower samba in “Fiz um Samba,” very full of bossa and quietness. With two thirds of Trio da Paz – Romero Lubambo’s guitar and Nilson Matta’s bass — Paulo Braga’s drum and percussion complete the instrumentation. The streetwise guy in the song tries just about anything he can in order to get his beloved woman to understand how much he loves her, but it’s all in vain. All in all, it’s a great song, great arrangement and rendition!
One of the qualities in Vasco Debritto’s music is its versatility. He composes toada, samba and bolero and yet he’s comfortable doing the blues. That is precisely the case of the duet in “Invenção,” with Leticia Carvalho singing with Debritto about dreams (the inventions in the song) of happiness. It’s a utopian world with no danger, no beggars, no fear. All of this serves as the background for the grand finale of this release, the title track, “Praia dos Corais.” This song closes the album majestically. Robertinho Silva’s berimbau, Leticia Carvalho, Sanny Alves and Solange’s vocal and Debritto’s arrangement give this track a Jobim aura. The lyrics talk about the sea, the fish, the breeze and the reef. Morning rises and life begins. The circle announced in “Pindorama” is complete.
Praia dos Corais
Polystar PJL MTCW-1007 (2001)
All songs by Vasco Debritto.
- Por um Fio
- Just Look at Me
- Fiz um Samba
- Já Passa das Duas
- Ligando para o Bar
- Praia dos Corais (Prologue)
- Praia dos Corais