Nilo Amaro e Seus Cantores de Ébano was created by Moisés Cardoso Neves, Nilo Amaro’s real name. The group was composed by Negros, being one soprano, one mezzo-soprano, one contralto, two basses, one tenor and three baritones, and had its name inspired on a tree from the ebenácea family that produces a very dark, heavy and very resistant wood, from which the expression. "black as ebony" was originated. But the African element wasn’t only represented by the origin of its components. It was also present on the performance characteristics of their singing. Nilo Amaro and his group were responsible for the introduction and Brazilian versions of the spirituals, that was the origin of blues and jazz and also the precursor of the gospel music in our country
The group’s repertory also had a strong presence of the Brazilian popular music classics, embracing folk themes, sambas, sambas-canções, toadas and other genres. After many attempts to show their art, they were backed up by Odeon’s director, Ismael Corrêa, and on June, 9th, 1961, they recorded their first 78 r.p.m. with the songs "A Noiva (La Novia)" by J. Prieto with a version by Fred Jorge and "Greenfields", by T. Gilkyson and R. Deher, with version by Romeo Nunes, which were a hit and exposed the group, but the success only came with the LP Os Anjos Cantam, recorded by the end of 1961, that had as its main song the baião "Leva Eu Sodade", by Tião Neto and Alventino Cavalcanti, rearranged into a toada by Nilo Amaro in which the strong voice of Noriel Arantes Vilela was impossible to miss.
Researchers had not yet determined the real importance of Nilo Amaro and his group, maybe the only on his time, that under influences of many American groups and singers like the Platters, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, among others, were capable of incorporating and reinterpreting the Yankee style to the purest feeling, lament and happiness of our deepest African roots.
Nilo Amaro passed away in Goiania, GO, at 76 years old on April, 18th, 2004, but his work must not be silenced or be on the edge of our memories. It has to be exposed so it could be more and more admired and to show that nowadays the foreigner influence isn’t copy or an adaptation made carelessly, but the true artist is he that knows how to recognize some other’s value without forgetting his own, and incorporate his own roots like Nilo Amaro did, building a bridge between Uncle Thomas and our folklore, Kunta Kintê and Zumbi, singing spirituals and gospel with our purest musical genres, producing a high quality and excellent Brazilian Music.
Luiz Américo Lisboa Júnior
Itabuna, November 1st, 2005.
Os Anjos Cantam
It's very probable that somebody else has already posted this record, but I couldn't resist and here goes my homage to this incredible vocal group.
01. Leva Eu Sodade (Tito Neto/Alventino Cavalcanti) • 2:56
02. Boa Noite (Francisco J. da Silva/Isa M. da Silva) • 2:36
03. Fiz A Cama Na Varanda (Dilú Melo/Ovídio Chaves) • 3:08
04. Canção De Ninar Meu Bem (Bidu Reis/Gracindo Júnior) • 2:34
05. Down By The Riverside (Dazz Jordan) • 2:07
06. Greenfields (Terry Gilkson/Richard Dehr/Frank Miller/Vers.: Romeo Nunes) • 3:12
07. A Lenda Do Abaeté (Dorival Caymmi) • 3:21
08. Azulão (Jayme Ovalle/Manuel Bandeira) • 1:09
09. Eu E Você (Jairo Aguiar/Roberto Muniz) • 2:26
10. Minha Graúna (Tito Neto/Avarese) • 2:33
11. Dorinha (Tito Neto/Ary Monteiro) • 3:27
12. A Noiva (La Novia) (Joaquim Prieto/Vers.: Fred Jorge) • 2:57