Elba Ramalho

O Grande Encontro, Vol. 2

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After the meeting happened in 1996 among Elba Ramalho, Geraldo Azevedo, Zé Ramalho, and Alceu Valença, a new encounter was re-enacted the following year without Valença. While the previous album was recorded live, this one received studio production. Always focusing on the Northeastern production, the album opens with an excellent arrangement of the jewel "Disparada" (Geraldo Vandré/Theo), where the distinctive voice of Geraldo Azevedo attracts the attention. "O Princípio do Prazer" is a hopeful and danceable xote, where Ramalho is subtler and more delicate than usual. "Banquete de Signos" makes reference to the title right in the introduction with Indian sitars. The power of song is embedded in the delicate "Canta Coração." The trio is perfectly fused in a new arrangement of the mysterious "Eternas Ondas." "Bicho de 7 Cabeças II" has new flamenco influences. "O Autor da Natureza" is a lyric description that works as a Northeastern epic poem in a wonderful rustic arrangement. The classic Northeastern songs "Asa Branca" and "A Volta da Asa Branca" are remembered with reverence. "Canção da Despedida," another song co-written by Geraldo Vandré, is performed subtly by Ramalho and Azevedo at the violão. The album closes with all the swinging happiness conveyed by a typical Northeastern regional in the hit by Vital Farias, "Ai Que Saudades D'ocê." The release as the trio of Northeastern composers managing carefully a critical balance between the Northeastern tradition and mainstream tastes, resulting in a sincere and competent register.

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