Another Mr. Bongo 45 two-fer. We start with another Jorge Ben cover, Carolina Carol Bela by Os Brazões. Here’s the deal: you don’t have enough Jorge Ben in your life. You might think you do, but you don’t.
I heard the B-side, Tim Maia’s É Necessário, for the first time last year. My jaw dropped, I laughed out loud, and immediately bought the track. I was maybe 30 seconds in. The horns hit like some wicked combination of sweet and savory, then that voice comes in, and you immediately want to do it again.
This is my first link to Soundcloud, and a twofer: Silva Lenheira and Zazueira. I don’t know if I’ve heard the original Ben versions of these tracks. I’d probably suspect Ben’s involvement based on the arrangements, but Simonal’s singing style is distinct. I’ll be looking for more of his work in the future.
Yesterday, I introduced you (and, in writing the post, myself) to the joys of Chiquinha Gonzaga’s music. Today, I’m sharing Maria Bethania’s version of the haunting “Lua Branca.” Both of these women will be back at Brazilian Song of the Day in the future.
Rather than giving you a picture of Maria, I’m sharing a picture of a couple of women dancing the maxixe.
Until the advent of the samba, the maxixe was the most popular dance music in Brasil. Originating with a Cuban dance form called tango-habanera (the first use of the word “tango” was in Cuba in 1823, well before the tango emerged in Argentina; habanera refers to Havana), the performers were known as—and this is so awesome—crybabies (chorona). It’s speculated that the term “choro” is a portmanteau made of “chorar” (cry) and the Latin word “chorus.” Or it might be a corruption of chorus musician, but that’s boring, so we’ll assume its false.
Chiquinha Gozaga was the first woman to lead a band in Brasil. Her contributions to Brazilian music are so great that in 2012, Brasil created a National Day of Music and set it on her birthday.