CD COISA MAIS LINDA (2003) - Tárik de Souza
Poet of melody, Carlos Lyra is one of the icons of highly refined MPB since even before the label bossa nova, when he himself stamped the reformulation of the old genre born in the house of Tia Ciata, in downtown Rio, with the name of sambalanço. Of his initial phase – still as composer of both lyric and music – is the precursory “Maria ninguém”, included in João Gilberto’s first record, in 1959, international success whispered even by the diva Brigitte Bardot, here revisited by the “Pope” of native rock, Rita Lee, in 1993, accompanied by the guitar and electric guitar of Alexandre Fontanetti and including Fabio Fontanetti (bass), Paulo Zinner (drums) and Milton Guedes (flute). She couples bossa with the Beatle ballad “Do you want to know a secret”, from the primordial times of the Lennon & McCartney duo, in 1963. Carlos’ solo lira also parades in the syncopated “Influência do jazz”, a musical essay on cultural importation, which he had anticipated in the forerunner “Criticando”, registered by the vocal group Os Cariocas, in 1957. Also in the voice of the author, on the same CD “Bossa Lyra”, recorded in 1993 for the Japanese market with arrangements, piano and keyboards by Antonio Adolfo, are the classics “Lobo bobo” and “Se é tarde me perdoa” (both written with Ronaldo Bôscoli), this latter with vocalizations by Lisa Ono.
Another partnership fundamental for Carlos’ lira is that with poet Vinicius de Moraes, both artesans of the musical “Pobre menina rica”, of 1963. Almost all the themes became classics such as “Primavera”, re-recorded in all its pomp by Maria Bethânia in the CD “Maricotinha” (2001), flanked by Jaime Além (guitar), João Carlos Coutinho (piano), Jorge Helder (bass), Pantico Rocha (drums) and string arrangements by Graham Preskett. Much earlier, in the beginning of her career in 1964, Flora Purim who would come to shine in the U.S., registered the shrewd “Cartão de visita”, in an arrangement typical of what today is called samba-jazz, by Paulo Moura with an opulent suit of horns, the piano of Salvador Silva Filho, Dom Salvador, the bass of Gusmão and the demolishing drums of Dom Um Romão. Also from the “Pobre menina” score is the hymn “Samba do carioca” that sSinger Miucha and composer, singer and pianist Tom Jobim re-recorded in New York in 1979. “Miucha & Tom Jobim” counted with Ron Carter (bass), Oscar Castro Neves (guitar) and Rubens Bassini (percussion). Of note, the dissonant vocal arrangements of the duet.
Pós-bossanovist of breeding, with her cool delivery, Leila Pinheiro re-recorded “Sabe você” on the record “Isso é bossa nova”, from 1994, under the arrangements, regencies and keyboards of Jota Moraes. Still from the same musical is the pre-feminist “Maria Moita” (“and on her feet or on her back/ a woman has to work”), here in the re-reading made to order by the militant Joyce, another interpreter (and composer) cradled in the canons of bossa. The track is from her record “Vinicius de Moraes – Negro demais no coração”, 1988. A singer who several times toured with Vinicius, the Bahian, Maria Creuza, revisits another totem of the composing duo, “Marcha da quarta feira de cinzas”, in her record “Poético”, 1982. Released in 1963, the premonitory marcha rancho (“our carnaval is over / no one hears songs being sung/ and in our hearts, nostalgia and ashes are all that remain”) predicted the leaden years of the military regime that would follow. Also in marcha rancho tempo, closing the grey cycle of the dictatorship, together with cinematographer and lyricist Ruy Guerra, “Entrudo” has a rare (and alluring) execution by Elis Regina, caught on “Elis Especial”, 1979. Muse of bossa with all the implications of the position she always refused, Nara Leão, with production, guitar and arrangements by Roberto Menescal, revisits the meanderings of “Você e eu” in the LP “Garota de Ipanema”, recorded for the Japanese market in 1986. A member of the northeastern generation that burst into MPB in the seventies, Cearense Raimundo Fagner on the record “Demais”(1993) dedicated to standards in this line, confronts the modinha-like side of Lyra’s bossa, the programatic “Minha namorada”, yet another partnership with Vinicius.
The ultralyrical title track, again signed by Carlos & Vina—receives the multifaceted prism of the crystal voice of Gal Costa. Recorded for the “Songbook” of Carlos Lyra by producer Almir Chediak for Lumiar Discos, this version of “Coisa mais linda” synthesizes with the enchanting voice of the singer and the magnificent guitar of Paulo Belinatti, the essence of bossa nova and Lyra’s work itself. The guitarist’s stool can even be dispensed.
Tárik de Souza