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The objective of this blog is to share songs not commercially available anymore, for music is the language of the soul and it must not be forgotten.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Garota de Ipanema (1986)

Nara Lofego Leão (10-01-1942 - 07-06-1989) the Musa da Bossa Nova (Bossa Nova's Muse, as she is affectionately known) was a prominent figure from bossa nova. She didn't restrict herself as a bossa nova singer though, and was one of the first artists to engage in the movement later known as "canção de protesto" (protest song), an artistic movement which denounced military dictatorship in Brazil. She launched the careers of such composers/interpreters as Chico Buarque, Zé Keti, Martinho da Vila, Edu Lobo, Paulinho da Viola and Fagner. An international performer in spite of her short, uneducated voice, she left an expressive discography even having death caught her by surprise in a precocious age.
At one, she left Vitória, moving to Rio together with her family. In 1954, she took her first acoustic guitar classes with Solon Ayala and Patrício Teixeira, soon with Roberto Menescal and Carlos Lyra. As an amateur, she participated in the first university presentations, where bossa nova was constituting itself as an organized movement, together with names such as João Gilberto, Luiz Eça, Ronaldo Bôscoli (with whom she would live a love affair, being later his fiancée), Carlos Lyra and others. At that time, she was a reporter for Rio's newspaper Última Hora. The ample apartment of her complacent parents', at Rio's south side, Copacabana, Posto 4, became a meeting point for musicians, which led many to erroneously establish it as bossa nova cradle (in fact the cradle was, to some extent, the Cantina do César, but, more appropriately, the Plaza nightclub around 1952). In 1963 she debuted as a professional, working in the musical comedy Pobre Menina Rica, by Vinícius de Moraes and Carlos Lyra. They also worked in the play, acted in the Carioca nightclub Au Bon Gourmet. She also debuted in that year in the recording studios, singing "Naná" (Moacir Santos), which was included in the movie Ganga Zumba, rei dos palmares' (Cacá Diegues) soundtrack. She also recorded two tracks at Carlos Lyra's Lp Depois do carnaval (Philips): the marcha-rancho "Marcha Da Quarta-Feira De Cinzas" (Carlos Lyra/Vinícius de Moraes), and the samba-jazz "Promessas De Você" (Carlos Lyra/Nelson Lins e Barros). Also in 1963 she toured Brazil, Japan and France with Sérgio Mendes. When they toured northeast, Nara was introduced by Roberto Santana to the so-called "Vila Velha gang", the baianos Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Maria Bethânia. Her first Lp (Nara), recorded by Elenco, launched the sambista do morro (sambista of the hill) Zé Keti in the middle class circle, with great success, with his song "Diz Que Fui Por Aí" (with H. Rocha). She also reintroduced in the same circle the older sambista do morro Cartola ("O Sol Nascerá", together with Elton Medeiros). Along with these two songs, which became all-time hits, other two songs recorded in that album had the same success: "Consolação" (Baden Powell/Vinícius de Moraes) and "O Morro" (Carlos Lyra/Gianfrancesco Guarnieri). In that album she evidenced her (yet a bit naïve) social concerns, choosing a non-bossa repertoire. That concerns would be even more evident in the following phase of her career, where the coup which took power in Brazil and installed the military dictatorship urged her to engage herself actively in denouncing it. Her second album, Opinião de Nara (Nara's opinion, Philips, 1964), brought "Opinião" (Zé Keti). In December, 1964, she made a great success in the show Opinião (Gianfrancesco Guarnieri/Augusto Boal), at the Teatro Opinião (Rio). The show brought her, a middle-class young girl, Zé Keti, representing the morro people, and João do Vale, from the poor region of northeast. The show was such a long-time success that robbed the mid-class audiences which were making profitable the important samba redoubt Zicartola, owned by Cartola himself; it closed its doors soon afterwards. It also killed the bossa nova in Brazil. Nara delivered passionate speeches against bossa nova in that time, called by her an "alienating" movement. At the same time, the instrumental backing of the show Opinião was pure bossa, as can be heard in the Cd reissued in 1994, informing that the rupture, at that time, was more ideological than musical. In 1965 she presented Chico Buarque, with his songs "Pedro Pedreiro" (strong social thematic) and "Olê, Olá". Also in that year she participated in the Teatro Opinião show Liberdade, liberdade (Freedom, freedom), by Flávio Rangel/Millôr Fernandes, and appeared in Elis Regina/Jair Rodrigues's regular TV show O FinoDa Bossa, which eventually also had Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Edu Lobo, Tom Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes and Ivan Lins. In 1966 she recorded her album Manhã De Liberdade (Philips). Defending Chico Buarque's "A Banda", together with him, in TV Record's II FMPB (1966, São Paulo), she got the first place (together with "Disparada", by Geraldo Vandré and Théo de Barros). Nara recorded "A banda", together with the first song composed by the duo Gilberto Gil/Capinam, "Ladainha". Next year she interpreted, together with its author, "A Estrada E O Violeiro" (Sidney Miller), in the III FMPB. The song was awarded as the best lyrics. Between 1966 and 1967 she and Chico Buarque had a regular weekly TV show (Pra Ver A Banda Passar, TV Record). In 1966 she was almost framed in the National Security Law by the War department due to a direct critic against the military, in an interview to the Carioca newspaper Diário de Notícias ("our military forces are of no avail"). In 1967 recorded the Lp Canto livre de Nara. In 1968 she joined the Tropicalista movement, joining Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Rogério Duprat, Tom Zé, Capinam, Os Mutantes, Torquato Neto and Gal Costa in the Lp Tropicália ou Panis et cirsensis. At the same year, recorded her Lp Nara Leão, in which she interpreted Ernesto Nazareth's "Odeon", which had Vinícius de Moraes's lyrics written especially for her. The Lp, released at the Carioca nightclub Le Bilboquet, brought two of Caetano's compositions, ("Mamãe Coragem" and "Deus Vos Salve Essa Casa Santa", both with Torquato Neto), and the arrangements by Rogério Duprat helped to establish the connection with the Tropicália. She had decided to stay out of television for a whole year, for not agreeing with the short vision for Art by the producers. In the next year she moved to France, recording another Lp. In 1971 recorded in Paris the album Dez Anos Depois (Polydor) and came back to Brazil. In the next year, appeared in the film Quando O Carnaval Chegar (by Cacá Diegues, her husband), together with Chico Buarque and Maria Bethânia. In the following years she began her Psychology college studies, leaving music aside. In that period she made only sporadic appearances in shows and albums from other artists such as Fagner. In the late 70's she released her Lp Meus Amigos São Um Barato (Philips, 1977), with appearances by Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Edu Lobo, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Roberto Menescal and others. As she learned she had a brain tumor, she returned with full impetus to her career, recording another 11 Lp's until 1988. In 1997 she was theme of the first play by the renowned movie maker Júlio Brassane, Vida-Névoa-Nada.

Garota de Ipanema

01. O Barquinho (Roberto Menescal/Ronaldo Bôscoli) • 3:04
02. Garota De Ipanema (Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes) • 3:55
03. Berimbau (Baden Powell/Vinícius de Moraes) • 3:34
04. Desafinado (Tom Jobim/Newton Mendonça) • 3:14
05. Wave (Tom Jobim) • 3:18
06. Corcovado (Tom Jobim) • 2:48
07. Águas De Março (Tom Jobim) • 3:09
08. A Felicidade (Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes) • 3:55
09. Manhã De Carnaval (Luís Bonfá/Antonio Maria) • 4:00
10. Chega De Saudade (Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes) • 3:45
11. Meditação (Tom Jobim/Newton Mendonça) • 2:58
12. Samba De Uma Nota Só (Tom Jobim/Newton Mendonça) • 2:34
13. Água De Beber (Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes) • 4:00
14. Você E Eu (Carlos Lyra/Vinícius de Moraes) • 1:48
15. Samba Do Avião (Tom Jobim/Vinícius de Moraes) • 2:25
16. O Que Será (Chico Buarque de Hollanda) • 3:47