Sep 09 2005

Zélia Duncan: Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band

Impressive Progression


Pré Pós Tudo Bossa Band

It took a while before the large audience appreciated the exceptional talent of Zélia Cristina Duncan Gonçalves Moreira. Zélia’s career was built up slowly, partly because the singer/lyricist/composer from Niterói  (1964) is not the person to search for commercial success. The wonderful cd Sortimento (followed by Sortimento Vivo) was the definite breakthrough. Ever since, we could find Zélia as a guest soloist on various occasions. Like on the dvds from Mart’nália, Milton Nascimento, Rita Lee and Pepeu Gomes, to name a few. Her 2004 solo album Eu Me Transformo em Outras was dedicated to samba and choro; recorded live in the studio. With this new album, Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band, Zélia Duncan delivers a varied album, loaded with beautiful moments.

Zélia provided most of the compositions with lyrics. She sent the lyrics to some of her musical friends and was often surprised by the outcome. For instance, the lyrics for “Benditas” were sent to Mart’nália. Instead of the expected samba, this samba star came up with a beautiful pop ballad, characterized by the pedal steel guitar (Rick Ferreira). The other way around happened when Zélia sent the lyrics for “Quisera Eu” to pop star Lulu Santos. He showed up with a true samba, inspired by Zélia’s last album (Eu Me Transformo…). The cavaquinho by Rodrigo Maranhão sounds delightful. The partnership with Lenine led to the title song of the album, “Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band.” Zélia lent A Parede, the percussion section from Pedro Luís e a Parede, to interrupt the accompaniment of the electric guitar (Celso Fonseca) in an interesting way. It gives the composition a complicated but pleasant twist. Pedro Luís was the composer who put to music the lyrics on “Braços Cruzados,” a song that we can describe as a typical Zélia Duncan song.  The composition perfectly highlights the talents of the singer, as we know her. Another fruitful partnership is the one with Paulinho Moska, whose skills are represented by two compositions. The first is the obstinate “Carne e Osso,” a mean ballad as we can only expect to come from Moska, the multi-artist from Rio. “Não” muses quietly through the last part of the cd. The arrangement is again a delight, worked out by Bia Paes Leme. The interaction between violin (Nicolas Krassik) and the bass clarinet (Rui Alvim) is playing with the bossa basis of this remarkable piece of work with Zeca Assumpção on the acoustic bass, Nelson Faria on the acoustic guitar and João Cortez on drums. Duncan in the studioMaybe one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. Maybe, because another option would be “Diz Nos Meus Olhos.: This tune has a choro origin and is extremely beautiful accompanied by the acoustic piano from Cristovão Bastos and Jorge Helder’s acoustic bass. Léo Gandelman and Marcelo Bernardes complete the accompaniment with a jazzy and very delicate reed section. It is another arrangement by Bia Paes Leme, who stayed close to the original of César Guerra-Peixe (Petrópolis, 1914-1993), the composer of this piece of music. It’s funny how a very short part of the biography of this composer/musicologist precedes the song. The bio, focused on Guerra Peixe’s dedication to the music of the northeast of Brazil, is read by Beto Villares and surrounded by sound clips and effects. “Dor Elegante” is a catchy reggae by Itamar Assumpção and Paulo Leminski. The song is a delightful gem; it invites to listen over and over again. The instrumentation is based on the typical reggae beat, but with surprising accents for which Naná Vasconcelos is partly responsible. His vocal effects, accompanying his cuíca, sound out of place, but somehow fit in perfectly. The berimbau adds to the joy. Naná Vasconcelos is also guest on “Tudo ou Nada,” another Itamar Assumpção composition. The work of Itamar Assumpção (1949-2003) is always represented on Zélia’s albums, as a dedication. The composer himself on tape announces “Tudo or Nada.” It’s a strong pop song. Cássia Eller (1962-2001) is also a musician who’s always represented on Zélia’s albums. Here “Mãos Atadas” is dedicated to the late vocalist. Roberto Frejat is guest artist on this track. “Milágrimas” is a breathtaking rendition of one more Itamar Assumpção composition. Zélia sings it in duet with Anelis Assumpção, daughter of Itamar, who also lighted up “Dor Elegante” with her beautiful voice. Webster Santos (guitar) and Paulo Lepetit (bass) are responsible for the somewhat sentimental sounding arrangement.

With Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band Zélia Duncan confirms her prominent position in the contemporary Brazilian music scene. She more than lives up to the promising talent she was a decade ago. Not too many musicians are able to produce music that sounds better and better on each album. Highly recommended!



Zélia Duncan 
Mercury Universal 60249881550 (2005)
Time: 55’22”


  1. Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band (Lenine – Zélia Duncan)
  2. Carne e Osso (Moska – Zélia Duncan)
  3. Vi, Não Vivi (Christiaan Oyens – Itamar Assumpção)
  4. Mãos Atadas (Simone Saback)
  5. Benditas (Mart’nália – Zélia Duncan)
  6. Braços Cruzados (Pedro Luiz – Zélia Duncan)
  7. Eu Não Sou Eu (Lucina – Zélia Duncan)
  8. Tudo ou Nada (Itamar Assumpção – Alice Ruiz)
  9. Distração (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)
  10. Dor Elegante (Itamar Assumpção – Paulo Leminski)
  11. Sulista Nordestino (vinheta) (Guerra Peixe – Zélia Duncan)
  12. Diz Nos Meus Olhos (Inclemência) (Guerra Peixe – Zélia Duncan)
  13. Redentor (Beto Villares – Zélia Duncan)
  14. Não (Moska – Zélia Duncan)
  15. Quisera Eu (Lulu Santos – Zélia Duncan)
  16. Milágrimas (Itamar Assumpção – Alice Ruiz)