Luiz Bonfá

Enciclopedia Musical Brasileira Series

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A professional since 1945, Luís Bonfá was an active influence on the bossa nova movement. This compilation has a selection of the tracks recorded between 1948 and 1956, with one more tune recorded in 1973. The period comprised allows for a study of the pre-bossa Brazilian music, which already foretold that the style "officially" emerged in 1958. Names like Garoto, Os Cariocas, Radamés Gnattali, and several others, Bonfá among them, were already playing music that was very close to bossa, lacking only the specific beat brought by João Gilberto (but which was also introduced in Laurindo de Almeida/Bud Schank's Brasilliance albums). The track recorded in 1948, the original "Eu, Você e o Mar," had the instrumental participation of the Quitandinha Serenaders, an innovative vocal/instrumental group that had Bonfá as a member (he would be substituted by João Gilberto), but the track is a violão solo by Bonfá. "Canção do Vaqueiro" (Bonfá, 1951) has the connections with American films of cowboys highlighted by the fundamental singer Dick Farney's interpretation. "Sem Esse Céu" (Bonfá, 1952), also recorded by Dick Farney, makes reference to the sky and sea as an analogy to the eyes of the beloved one, which is strongly evocative of the bossa thematic. In "Entre Nós" (Bonfá, 1952), with the excellent crooner Lúcio Alves, Bonfá exercises a solo guitar deeply jazz-influenced. "De Cigarro Em Cigarro" (Bonfá, 1953) is a bolero performed by Nora Ney and the Orquestra do Copinha, which was a big hit in that year, and is a backward step in the way to bossa, being more adequately inserted in the fossa category. "Perdido de Amor" (Bonfá, 1953) is another song performed by the great crooner Dick Farney which establishes a sensible approximation with bossa in the harmonic treatment, in spite of the bolero rhythm. "O Barbinha Branca" (Luiz Bonfá/Tom Jobim, 1955) is performed here by Bonfá and Quindio Teixeira at the tenor sax. The song was imitated in João Gilberto's "Um Abraço No Bonfá." "Chora Chorão" (Bonfá, 1955) is a choro, as the title says, interpreted by Bonfá, João Donato (when he was still only an accordionist), and Tom Jobim. "Minha Saudade" (Donato, 1955) brings the beautiful theme by Donato with him again at the accordion. Bonfá plays a beat very close to the one that would be made famous by Gilberto, and the harmony is pure bossa. "Dúvida" (Bonfá, 1955) is a more ambitious piece, a popular fantasy of classical inspiration, taken from the same album with Jobim. "Violão No Samba" (Bonfá, 1955) opens with a batucada, being an instrumental violão solo. "Engano" (Bonfá/Tom Jobim, 1956), a samba-canção in the orchestral fossa style, received the interpretation of Dóris Monteiro. "A Chuva Caiu" (Bonfá/Tom Jobim) had been recorded with success by Ângela Maria, but here it is performed by Bonfá/Jobim and rhythm section. The song opens as samba-canção but in the first chorus turns into a jazz swing groove with solos by Jobim and Bonfá. "Manhã de Carnaval" (Bonfá/Antônio Maria) was written for Marcel Camus' film Orfeu Negro, which was based on the play by Vinícius de Moraes, Orfeu da Conceição. The song became highly popular in the U.S.A. Here it is in the orchestral interpretation of Agostinho dos Santos, with important names in Brazilian jazz in the rhythm section, like Guilherme Vergueiro (organ), Ricardo Santos (bass), Ion Muniz (arrangements, flute), and maybe the best Brazilian drummer of all time, Edison Machado.

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