Paulinho da Viola


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After an eight-year break and 31 years into his career, Paulinho da Viola got the first gold record of his career, selling more than 100,000 copies. He also received the Grande Prêmio da Crítica from APCA. The album is direct and pure, like a roda de samba, without keyboards or other diversions, besides subtle strings and saxes. He goes straight to the heart of samba, surrounded by bearers of the tradition of the Carioca hills -- his friends, his "brothers," his father César Faria (a former member of the historic regional choro group Epóca de Ouro), here playing the seven-string violão. Da Viola's elegance meets a distinctive melancholy and a genuine simplicity, forging a peculiar and sophisticated sound in which the influences of the great masters of the hills -- Cartola and Nelson Cavaquinho -- are evident. "Quando o Samba Chama" evokes a strong symbolic image very dear to da Viola. "Chama" can be translated to English as "call" or "flame": together the words create a sort of a pictogram that illustrates a fugitive's inspiration. With its delicate melody, it is not by chance that this is a highly inspired samba. "Timoneiro," which embodies the pure sound of past classic masters, was the big hit of this album, and was almost immediately incorporated in the repertoire of the Carioca rodas de samba. For those who think that samba and bossa nova are enemies, "Alento" may clarify their thinking. "Peregrino" has its beautiful melody delivered by the typical samba choir and the wonderful trombone of Vittor Santos. In "Bebadosamba," which he interprets with reverence, he evokes past masters from Cartola, Candeia, and Paulo da Portela to Nelson Cavaquinho. The song closes the album and bodes well for his future success. The success of "Bebadachama" far surpassed the success of this album, evidence that taking the heartfelt path brings more profound rewards than the ephemeral glitter of fashionable trends.

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