Araci de Almeida

Enciclopedia Musical Brasileira Series

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Aracy de Almeida was appointed by Noel Rosa as the best interpreter of his works. This compilation in which she interprets "Feitiço da Vila" (Rosa/Vadico), "Três Apitos," "Último Desejo," "Fita Amarela," and "O 'X' do Problema" (Rosa) covers the period 1937-1968. She recorded the first album in 1934, and specialized herself in the samba (was nicknamed by the famous radioman César Ladeira "o samba em pessoa," the Samba in person), eventually recording also romantic songs. Three years after she had great success with the auto-ironic "Tenha Pena de Mim" (Cyro de Souza/Babahu), in the same year in which Noel died. "Camisa Amarela" (Ary Barroso), in spite of the success achieved later by the interpretation of Carmen Miranda, received the first recording in 1939 by Aracy, arguably the best rendition ever (included here). The humored chronicle of Carioca Carnival has in Aracy's irreverent talent the best expression. Three recordings are from 1950: "Último Desejo," "O 'X' do Problema," and "Não se Aprende na Escola" (Haroldo Barbosa). The two former songs resent the austere orchestral accompaniment, but the latter is maybe the best instrumental backing of the album. An orchestra (probably Orchestra Brasileira of Radamés Gnatalli, no info in the inlay) and a small group (probably Trio Surdina, Garoto on the violão, Chiquinho on the accordion, and Fafá Lemos on the violin) are the ideal accompaniment for Aracy's extroverted singing. Malicious, swinging, and jazzy (deep Django Reinhardt's influences on Garoto's playing, Stephane Grapelli's on "Fafá"), they are the great counterpoint for the rigid standards of those times. From 1953 are "Se eu Morresse Amanhã de Manhã" (by Antônio Maria) and "Quando tu Passas por Mim" (Antônio Maria/Vinícius de Moraes), two excellent examples of the "fossa" (a deeply melancholic and sorrowful style). "A tua Vida é um Segredo" (Lamartine Babo) from 1954 has a bit more happiness in the backing of Severino Araújo and his Orquestra Tabajara, the first orchestra to play jazz music in Brazil. From the same year is the lyrical and light interpretation for Dorival Caymmi's "Quem Vem Para a Beira do Mar." "Fita Amarela" (1955), "Bom Dia, Tristeza" (1957), and "A Voz do Morto" (by Caetano Veloso, recording of 1968) close the album. The latter is an implausible tropicalista contribution to the samba and to Aracy's repertory, making fun of the critics of innovations instituted by that movement, and affirming the samba as the tradition which permeated all that was being done.

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