Nilton Delfino Marçal, the Mestre Marçal, introducer of the kettledrum in samba schools (at the Império Serrano), commanded for 22 years the bateria (drum section) of the Portela samba school and also participated in many recordings by top MPB and samba artists. His first recording as a session percussionist was in 1953, playing the tamborim on the Unidos da Capela samba "Abre Alas," recorded by Jorge Goulart for Continental. But even before that, Marçal was already a member of the rhythm section at Rádio Nacional, together with such artists as Heitor dos Prazeres, João da Baiana, and Bide. The son of fundamental sambista Armando Marçal (Bide's partner), Mestre Marçal's small but expressive discography started rather late in his life in 1979. His first album, praised by specialized critics as a masterpiece of the samba genre, is dedicated to the compositions of his father. Marçal himself was paid tribute by the illustrious chorists who appear on this album, all of them artists on whose albums Marçal had participated as a percussionist: Clara Nunes, Chico Buarque, Cristina Buarque, Ivone Lara, Élton Medeiros, Gisa Nogueira, Gonzaguinha, João Nogueira, Martinho da Vila, Milton Nascimento, Miúcha, Conjunto Nosso Samba, Paulinho da Viola, Paulo César Pinheiro, and Roberto Ribeiro.
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