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coverpic flag Brazil - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 1 - 11/25/96

Gonzaguinha no Samba

In 1991, the "Música Popular Brasileira" (MPB, Brazilian Popular Music) suffered a tremendous loss when Gonzaguinha died in a car accident. One of the most respected songwriters in Brazil, Gonzaguinha left behind a legacy of songs dealing with love, life, and, most importantly, the struggle of the common Brazilian people. In this 1996 compilation, part of Gonzaguinha's musical samba heritage is presented. Some people might be familiar with his torch songs through performers such as Maria Bethânia, Zizi Possi, Simone, and many others. Here, however, we have that inebriant Brazilian rhythm more closely associated with Carnaval: the samba. So, let us embark on this musical journey, and get ready to samba!

Gonzaguinha no Samba showcases 16 songs written by Gonzaguinha covering his entire career. The performances are solid and some even have the help of a few of his friends: MPB-4, Marília Medalha, Fundo de Quintal, and Martinho de Vila. Since the days of Brazilian music festivals in the 1970's, Gonzaguinha always created controversy, whether with his sharp lyrics or long melodies. Whether singing about the plight of the Brazilian workers in Comportamento Geral (General Behavior) or narrating the Brazilian history in a humorous exultation samba, as in Desenredo (Unravelling), Gonzaguinha's music is a portrait of Brazil. It will definitely move you, even if you don't understand the words or know how to samba.

In spite of the strong social content and frequent sarcasm in Gonzaguinha's lyrics, his music is very lively. From the opening track, O Que É, O Que É (What Is It, What Is It), the listener cannot help but live with Gonzaguinha the promise of a beautiful day. That song has become a classic in MPB. In Achados e Perdidos/Pequena Memória para um Tempo sem Memória (Lost and Found/Short Recollection for a Time Without Memory) Gonzaguinha takes us to a time when Brazil was still under a military government. Gonzaguinha created a magnificent samba about those lost-and-never-found heroes who gave their lives for a new day. This new day is a constant thread in Gonzaguinha's songs. It is the same day that closes Gonzaguinha no Samba with Com a Perna no Mundo (Out and About in the World): "presente é a porta aberta e futuro é o que virá" (the present is an open door, and the future is what will come). The entire CD is a lesson of optimism of upbeat sambas.

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