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Extraordin Ary





Extraordin Ary

Extraordin Ary

First great name of Brazilian music, Ary Barroso, the author of “Aquarela
do Brasil” (“Brazil”) had one hundred other talents outside the musical
arena. He was also a radio announcer, writer, humorist, reporter, producer,
piano player, master of ceremonies, interviewer, soccer commentator and
narrator, a bachelor in law, and a bohemian till the bitter end. He had
a chance to make big in Hollywood. But he said no with an argument that
you will not believe after reading his colorful movie-like story.
By

Arthur de Faria

 









Ary Evangelista Barroso 
Born, Nov. 7, 1903, in Ubá, Minas Gerais
Died, Feb. 9, 1964, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 

 

Any list of the ten biggest composers of Brazilian popular music—the
men who shaped what is today known as MPB—has to have the name of Ary.
If it doesn’t begin with him, if not for alphabetical reasons, then for
chronological reasons. He is the first great name, unless you include Sinhô,
which is debatable. Besides this, Ary appears two times in the still more
select group that created the 20 most recorded songs on the planet.

“Bahia” (“Na Baixa do Sapateiro”) and “Brazil” (“Aquarela do Brasil”)
are hits in any elevator or concert hall in the world until today. Do you
remember any show by a foreign singer when at the moment “hello Brazil!”
was uttered, the chosen song to be “executed” (literally) wasn’t the poor
“Aquarela”? (although I saw an unforgettable spectacular at the Chinese
Community Cultural Center in Miami, where the hit was “Cidade Maravilhosa”
but, don’t ask me what I was doing there).

And it isn’t for the unanimity around his work as a composer that Ary
is history. If it wasn’t Ary Barroso, his name would have been “many”.
Piano player, he coined an economic style that reverberated to figures
so important as his friend Tom Jobim. As a composer of songs or shows,
he worked less than the already mentioned Sinhô. Councilman, he was
one of the people responsible for the construction of the dream stadium
called Maracanã, that, at the time, prompted laughs when someone
would say that one day it would sell out. Besides this, he tried in vain
to implant in the Rio de Janeiro of his time an idea completely ridiculous:
selective trash pickup.

As a newspaper columnist, he didn’t come to the level of his public
enemy number one, Antônio Maria, but he came out well in heated journalistic
discussions. And generally against Maria himself. That, by the way, was
always another particular characteristic of Ary’s: he knocked down without
the slightest compassion any beliefs different from his with the same passion
with which he fought his entire life for musical royalties.

And there is more: as a radio and TV man, he always appeared on successful
programs. In the most legendary program, Calouros em Desfile (similar to
Star Search in the U.S.), he terrorized stardom candidates, but it was
a guarantee of success for those who really had the right stuff. Elza Soares,
dirt poor, was introduced on the show. Very skinny, and disheveled, with
a borrowed dress much larger than she was, Ary teased her: “What planet
are you from?” She, without embarrassment: “Planet Hungry, Ary”. She sung,
shined, and still managed an unprecedented victory.

Still, another candidate said that he was going to sing a “sambinha”
(a little samba) by the program’s announcer. He was almost slapped in the
face because Ary believed he was putting his work down. Another was ready
to play music from Tom and Vinicius. But, since the poet and diplomat was
then much more famous than the young composer, the stardom candidate started
to play: “Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você”, by Vinicius de Moraes.
Ary, the old fighter for royalties, interrupted him furiously: “But Vinicius?!?
And Tom?”

Between one thing and another, the prodigal son Lúcio Alves,
and an excellent choro and accordion player named Luiz Gonzaga were
introduced on the display, among others. Not to mention the importance
of Ary in launching musical careers, which were difficult to undertake,
like that of the eternal diva

Elizeth Cardoso. But Ary, gave the most energy and passion to Flamengo
(the most popular soccer team in Rio). More than being a composer, Ary’s
entire being was ruby-black (the colors of Flamengo).

This passion for sports didn’t grow cold, not even when, microphone
on the field, Ary transmitted soccer games on Rio’s radio stations. As
a matter of fact, as a commentator, he transformed a job, until then boring
and bureaucratic, into a torrent of emotions. He became even more passionate
if one side of the field had the colors of his beloved Flamengo. He rooted
shamelessly for his team. And he played his harmonica, which was his trademark
whenever there was a goal. A goal from the opposing team deserved only
a quick pass on the instrument. A goal by Flamengo also had Edu, the harmonica
player besides Ary.

The custom of the harmonica didn’t stop Ary’s other radical inventions
that ended up incorporated into the transmission of soccer games until
today—no one remembers anymore who had the original idea. For example,
color commentator, Ary was the first one. The idea of a field reporter,
microphone in hand in search of the first words of the goalmaker, was his
idea. Not to mention that nothing stopped the relentless commentator. He
even transmitted games from rooftops.

But with all of this, Ary never stopped being, before anything else,
an ardent Flamengo fan. Because of this, when he was commentator for the
games of his team, listeners didn’t think it strange when he went on the
playing field to swear at the referee, abandoned the microphone to motivate
players, or even to lend his tie to a player called Jaz to serve as a splint,
when he hurt his collarbone in a move against the opposing team.
* * *

Ary was the first-born of the Evangelista family, born in an Ubá
that in 1903 was a lost wilderness in the interior of planet Minas. But
this didn’t hamper his father, João Evangelista, who was a typical
bon vivant of the belle époque in Minas: poet, guitar
player, singer, bohemian and lawyer.

Like father, like son. Twenty some years later, little Ary—the only
son—was already an acclaimed lyric writer, piano player, samba composer,
bohemian and… bachelor in law. Only he never practiced law.

(Un)fortunately, João Evangelista never saw the accolades of
his son, since he and his wife died when Ary was a miserable seven years
old. An orphan, he was then raised by his aunt and grandmother. And Aunt
Rita wanted him because she wanted him to be a famous concert pianist.
From when he was ten years old, the poor boy was subjected to a mandatory
daily three hours of piano lessons. Until his death, he always remembered
those hours as the worst of his life. But, it gave him a livelihood. He
had such a talent for piano playing that when he was 12 years old, in 1915,
he was already working in the movie theater in Ubá, playing accompaniment
for the films that were shown there.

This remainder of his poor and orphaned childhood, followed by the same
type of adolescence, fully justified all the extravagances that he would
commit years later, like the red piano decorated with a Chinese theme and
yellow mohair that he had in the middle of his living room. His home also
had a pool that was made to resemble a tropical lagoon covered with tiles
designed like the sheet music of “Aquarela do Brasil.”

But luck smiled on him for the first time long before this. He was 17
years old when a beloved uncle died and had designated him heir to a small
fortune. Of course, it was not the moment to receive a large amount of
money. With the excuse of studying law, the boy sent himself to Rio de
Janeiro and into the revelry. In two years, he had meticulously spent every
nickel. If it was up to him, there wouldn’t have been a poor prostitute
or a waiter without a big tip in Rio in the beginning of the 1920s.

With all his money spent, the only solution was to think back to his
aunt’s piano lessons and, playing piano, try to raise some cash to pay
for his schooling and boarding house rent. He played in cinemas, cabarets,
large and small orchestras, he toured, and little by little, he became
famous. During this time, two new interests opened up for him. The first
was musical theater, then living its’ golden era. He entered in this parade
in grand style, lead by two experts in the field: Olegário Mariano
and Luís Peixoto.

He participated in more than 60 works, in several of them writing the
script, the plot, and the music. From then on, Luís Peixoto—old
enough to be his father—would become his steadiest partner, lyric writer
of marvels of the caliber of “Na Batucada da Vida” or “Camisa Amarela.”
With the union of these two talents, popular music would have to wait until
Chico Buarque for a composer (or a pair of them) to once again attain such
subtlety in the treatment in the feminine side of music—Assis Valente doesn’t
count since in the feminine side he reached astronomic proportions.

But we were talking about two fronts. The second was 13 years old, was
called Ivone, and was the daughter of the owner of the boarding house where
Ary lived. The family did all it could to avoid the infanticide, but the
two wouldn’t come unglued until they were married, which happened in 1929,
the same year that Ary finally finished law school and his first successes
took place. “Vamos Deixar de Intimidade” was a samba done in the style
of a maxixe (dance that preceded the samba), strongly influenced
by Sinhô, who was still the King of Samba. And the original recording
of “Vamos Deixar” was done by the best singer of Sinhô, a graduate
from the same group as Ary’s: Mário Reis.

The other success was “Dá Nela,” a novel little march. It was
so different, that it won first prize in a contest for songs for the 1930
Carnaval. It was with money from these first hits that the young newlyweds
found courage for the daring matrimonial union. And also for the daring
decision to put the diploma of the head of the house in a drawer, to the
despair of the families of both the bride and the groom.

But in the short space of time between 1931 and 1934, Ary would prove
that he was more than right: he rapidly defined his style, a tremendous
innovator for the time, he created his first dozen masterpieces. With them,
he stood firm alongside Noel Rosa as the greatest genius of this upcoming
new generation. While Noel was a gifted innovator of lyrics in popular
songs, Ary incorporated the lessons of his friend and still made his own
revolution in the musical part. Among other things, the crop of music given
birth to in this short space of four years is the principal reference source
to define what would be samba for the next millennium.

“Rancho Fundo,” “Maria,” “Caco Velho,” and “Tu” are all diamonds from
this time as well as the never forgotten “Na Batucada da Vida”. Not to
mention “Faceira,” which Ary classified as the first samba with “telecoteco”.
Or rather: the first pure samba, totally free of influences from the maxixe
and from the batucada of the morros of the Cariocas (search
for the original recording, with Sílvio Caldas, still young and
with the breques of percussionist Luciano Perrone—the same guy that
suggested to Radamés Gnatalli the original arrangement of “Aquarela
do Brasil”).

That cited musical ripening of Ary as a composer was a dizzying business.
Just a few months separated the three chords of “Vamos Deixar de Intimidade”
(and you thought that three chords just belonged to rock’n’roll?!?) to
complex, linked, swinging melodies, in his next compositions. From these
first mature songs, only Custódio Mesquita and, much later, Tom
Jobim, would be on the same level as Ary.
* * *

His entrance into radio took place in 1933, as a simple figure. In a
short time, he was writer, humorist, presenter, reporter, producer, piano
player, master of ceremonies, interviewer, football commentator and narrator.
Only the legendary Almirante was more daring than him. Ary did the most
he could, having one successful program after the next. Calouros em Desfile
and Encontro com Ary were popular for years on end.
* * *

There is the story that one rainy night in August of 1939, Ary was in
his living room, chatting with his wife and a couple who were in-laws.
Suddenly, he got up from the sofa and said, going towards the piano (that
very one, red with yellow): “I’m going to compose a samba full of innovations.”
He began imitating on the keys the beat of a tambourine, and a half hour
later, the music and lyrics were done. His brother-in-law was the first
to voice a complaint that would follow the song until today: “A coconut
palm that has coconuts, Ary? What did you expect it to have?!?” Ary didn’t
respond, which he never would do, when people would make jokes about this
very phrase.

He, clever like he always was, knew that he was inventing a style, a
glorified samba. With his lyrics, that sung of the good and beautiful of
Brazil, he was inaugurating a new era in a time where marches and sambas,
as Noel Rosa would say, were only about women, vagrancy, and lack of money.
To celebrate, he drank a whole bottle of wine. Then, he sat down at the
piano again, and promptly created the equally polished “Três Lágrimas.”

He could have retired right then and there.

Or…

Two years before, in 1937, Getúlio Vargas decided that he so
much liked the business of being president, that he was going to stay in
the job for some time. At a time when populist dictatorships were in vogue,
like Hitler and Mussolini, he didn’t stray from the mode and like his cohorts
in Germany and Italy, he decided to heavily use nationalism as the government’s
foundation.

As principal weapons, he made a heavy investment in culture—and cultural
industries—and in censorship. One would watch out for the other. Getúlio
filled the airwaves with propaganda. Later, through a complicated transaction,
he would buy Rádio Nacional, which for years would be the largest
in the country, almost supreme.

Radio, that sprang up amateurish and erudite in the previous decade,
started to grow tremendously from 1932 on, when the government removed
publicity control. It was to avoid the danger of deviations in his nationalism
and unification goal, that Getúlio founded the DIP—Department of
Press and Propaganda. It’s there in the minutes of its foundation: “Its
function is not just to supervise broadcasting in the country, but to also
guide Brazilian radio in its cultural, social, and political activities”.

And then, almost a coincidence, near the end of 1939, “Aquarela do Brasil”
won first prize in a popular music contest sponsored by—guess—the DIP itself.
A new phase was inaugurated in popular Brazilian music: glorified national
pride and the witch hunt for vagabondism, enemy of Getúlio’s plans
for growth and development.
* * *

The fact is that it was never discovered if “Aquarela do Brasil” was
composed or not under Getúlio’s orders. It’s always good to remember
that Ary was a steady customer of the expenditures of Rádio Nacional,
but, on the other hand, some of the lyrics in his music had problems with
censorship. But what was important were the verses that sung of the loveliness
of Brazil—and rescued the forgotten term “melancholy” that, to the contrary
of what was already said, wasn’t Ary’s invention. Verses that ended up
falling into the graces of the most popular singer of the time: Francisco
Alves, the King of Song.

He heard the song in its debut, in musical theater, sung by Aracy Cortes
and Cândido Botelho. Alves, who had a great sense of success, was
delighted. On August 18, 1939, still “hot from the oven” in Ary’s living
room, “Aquarela” went on acetate for the first time. And with pomp and
circumstance: Besides the “King”, the studio held an immense orchestra
directed by a Gaúcho conductor who was becoming famous in
the capital: Radamés Gnatalli. It was the beginning for the music
that would be the most well-known Brazilian song in Brazil and abroad,
together with four or five songs by Jobim. But, more than any other Carioca
song by Tom, “Aquarela” was transformed into a type of alternative Brazilian
national anthem.
* * *

An interesting fact from this first recording is that the arrangement
was so elaborate and full of orchestrations that it took up two sides of
a 78 rpm. Six minutes of the best music produced then, dominated in a big
way by the greatest riff created by Radamés and his percussionist,
Luciano Perrone: the celebrated tchan-tchan-tchan, tchan-tchan-tchan-TCHÃ!.
Music so beautiful, creative, epic and, at the same time, so useful to
the interests of the time, that it could only be successful. And it was.
Internationally.

Walt Disney, in a courtesy visit to Brazil—a part of the ill-fated politics
of the Good Neighbor policy of Roosevelt at the time of World War II—heard
the song, badly played, in a hotel in Bahia. He was searching for inspirations
for future Brazilian characters, and was delighted with the music. The
music was exactly what Walt needed. A few months later, Ary left for the
United States, with his “Aquarela” competing for the Oscar for Best Song.
“Brazil,” the song, had been included in the musical score of Disney’s
1943 film, Saludos, Amigos (Alô, Amigos in Brazil),
and was the greatest success. So much so, that Republic Pictures decided
to ask him to spend a spell in Hollywood to write music for a new film
that would be called Brazil.

He went, wrote the music, and was able to confer the success that the
song Brazil was having there. To boot, he watched the pre-debut
of “Bahia” (“Na Baixa do Sapateiro”) and “Os Quindins de Iaiá,”
sung by Aurora Miranda in The Three Caballeros (Você Já
Foi à Bahia?), another Disney film. He also was seen so much
with Carmen Miranda that the news services announced that the two were
married—that left Ary in the position of an international bigamist. Also,
he became friends with Benny Goodman, with whom he listened to records
by the Brazilian saxophonist Lums Americano—that Goodman swore was one
of the best in the world. He even watched the Oscar ceremonies, sympathizing
with the humiliating defeat of Humphrey Bogart, who was the favorite for
Best Actor for Casablanca.

At the end of the year, Ary would return again to Hollywood, this time
to write the music for Three Little Girls in Blue, an eccentric
story taking place in a Brazil that only existed in the heads of Hollywood
producers. Fortunately for Brazilians, unfortunately for Ary, the film
ended up never being made. Not to say, however, that he returned from Hollywood
with empty hands, for he had the honor of being paid homage to by this
very Hollywood.

On the 31st of December, 1944, Ary Barroso received the Merit Award
of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences for the samba “Rio de Janeiro,”
from the musical score of the film Brazil. There were even people
who were confused and thought he had won the Oscar… The fact is that
Ary could have done very well in Hollywood as well as on Broadway. He didn’t
want to move to the States, and look what Disney lost. “Don’t have Flamengo”
was his usual response. Even pleading from his friend and mega-star Carmen
Miranda or from Aloysio de Oliveira, leader of the Moon Band and Disney
consultant on the subject of Latin Music, didn’t help.

In this more than half century, “Aquarela” had hundreds of re-recordings,
in places that never saw a troubadour, much less one returning a second
time. In the Philippines alone, three versions were made. The song is among
the 20 most recorded songs in history, together with “Something” by George
Harrison and “Garota de Ipanema” by Tom Jobim. As a matter of fact, not
just “Aquarela do Brasil” (“Brazil.”) The song “Na Baixa do Sapateiro”
(“Bahia”) in 1945 had already entered in the select club of songs played
on the radio more than two million times in the United States.

It was a club with the already mentioned “Garota de Ipanema,” plus “Meditação”
and “Desafinado,” also by Jobim. After all, just in Brazil, there were
more than a hundred versions. It wouldn’t be right to forget, besides the
original version by Chico Alves, the “afro” of Elis Regina—on the record
Saudades do Brasil—and the pop of Gal Costa—in her Ary songbook
called Aquarela. And, of course, the bossa reinvented by the trio
of João Gilberto, Caetano & Gil, in the colossal record Brazil.
* * *

In 1946, at the height of his popularity, Ary took a risk and was the
councilman who received the most votes in what was the first direct election
for councilmen in the Rio city council, during the time that Rio was the
national capital. His party was the UDN (União Democrática
Nacional—Democratic National Union), which opposed the PTB (Partido Trabalhista
Brasileiro—Brazilian Labor Party) of Getúlio Vargas.

He was relentless in speeches in the council, and for everything else
that we already discussed in the beginning of this text. At the same time,
because of his “charismatic” performances, he began to travel out of the
country with his life’s dream: The Brazilian Rhythms Orchestra. There were
new invitations to stay, this time coming from Mexico and Argentina, but
they didn’t have Flamengo either.

In 1955, he won the National Order of Merit, the greatest honor given
by the Brazilian government. At his side, also carrying the same award,
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)—who, they say became very angry to have
to share the homage with a composer of sambas and marches. Around this
same time, besides continuing with his radio work, he began appearing on
TV and he increased his political activities for Flamengo’s Board of Directors.

He slept little, making a mandatory nightly “patrol” that would make
any bohemian jealous. Because of this, he composed less than in previous
decades, but with no change in quality. “Risque” is from 1952 and “É
Luxo Só” from 1957.

In 1958, Jobim, João Gilberto and Vinicius de Moraes founded
the bossa nova. He was already a fan of Tom’s. “That Tom Jobim is a genius,”
he used to say to anyone who would listen. Vinicius he knew from when they
had cocktails in Carmen Miranda’s mansion in Beverly Hills—maybe even before.
And João Gilberto… well, João spent his entire life recording
Ary’s songs. There was no way he couldn’t like the young men in this group,
though some were pretty less than traditional. However, more or less obstinate
critics of what then became known as the Velha Guarda, they were unanimous
in saving Ary and Caymmi from this basket. Then, his old friend Aloysio
de Oliveira returned to Brazil and became the number one producer of records
for this group of men.

So, instead of being bitter with the fact of losing the Brazilian vanguard
movement, Ary decided to support it. There is a classic photo that has
Ary, Tom, Ronaldo Bôscoli and Carlinhos Lyra in a totem position,
Ary hovering on top of everyone. And Ary didn’t get tired of praising the
boys. Actually, what they were doing didn’t stop being samba. It was new
and sophisticated, but samba. It didn’t have anything to do with the sticky
boleros and guarânias and that the music of the time was immersed
in and that made the almost already old composer feel hopeless.

But the fact of nurturing the new movement didn’t help in being successful.
Because of his furious fight for authors’ rights, radio programmers were,
more than ever, boycotting his music. When he saw that this was happening,
Ary as usual, kept talking, so, the boycott grew. But this didn’t stop
him. He continued working a lot and drinking bottles of whiskey in his
nightly travels. Not to mention that he was sleeping an average of four
hours a night. “The doctor told me to drink whiskey with soda, and moderately.
I drink it straight. And almost with moderation”. Little by little, his
health was crumbling. One day, in the bathroom of a nightclub, he arrived
at the sad conclusion: “when I arrived in Rio, I wrote my full name—Ary
Evangelista Barroso—with a piss in the sand in Copacabana. Now, I can’t
even move a mothball.”

A box of Black and White to whom can visualize the word cirrhosis entering
the story. From 1961 on, there were three long years of difficult crisis
and long convalesces. But Ary was still full of happiness. It was the night
of February 9th, 1964, the eve of the military coup, and Império
Serrano samba school was entering the avenue, with the theme “Aquarela
do Brasil”, in homage to the greatest pre-Jobim composer. Only they paraded
in mourning and late. They started at 10:00 p.m. At 9:50 a telephone message
let them know that Ary had just been struck by a heart attack. The homage
had been too much emotion for an already troubled body. Foolish irony.

Selected Discography

10 inch records:

1953—Orlando Silva Canta Ary Barroso—Copacabana. First record
with Ary’s songs. Absolute rarity

1954—Sílvio Caldas Canta Ary Barroso—Rádio. Another
rarity

1956—Ary Barroso pelo Trio Surdina—Polydor. The Trio Surdina
was perhaps the most important instrumental group of the 1950s. It had
three absolute geniuses: Fafá Lemos on the violin, the legendary
Garoto on the guitar, and their perpetual partner Radamés Gnatalli
Chiquinho on the accordion. The record is dated with the static of the
time, but maybe this is delightful in itself
Records:

1956—Encontro com Ary—Copacabana. Rare jewel. Brilliant idea—the
record has the atmosphere of a radio program, where Ary, seated at the
piano, played his songs, dared to sing one thing or another, and mostly,
confirmed his fame as an excellent talker. It’s a ten on any “Unplugged”
from MTV

1957—Garoto, Orquestra e Coro Tocam Ary—Odeon. Garoto was the
greatest violinist of his time, an innovator, said by many to be forerunner
of the bossa-nova. Also, he was part of the already mentioned Trio Surdina

1958—Ary Caymmi & Dorival Barroso—Odeon. Production by the
genius Aloysio de Oliveira, for his Elenco label. Half of the tracks have
Ary’s frugal piano accompanied by bass and percussion, playing the best
pearls of Caymmi. The other songs bring the Bahian, voice and guitar, showing
very personal versions of Ary’s sambas. A real luxury

1959—Meu Brasil Brasileiro (c/Orquestra de Ary)—Odeon. The orchestra
of Ary Barroso, one of the best that Brazil ever had, with arrangements
by the genius, Leo Peracchi. This record is unbelievable for various reasons.
Just two are the stupendous recording quality and the arrangement on “Na
Baixa do Sapateiro”—very ahead of its time and enough to make Stan Kenton
envious. As a bonus, this record has dry swing of Ary’s piano playing.
The record has one or two worn out choruses, but they are things of the
1950s

1962—Dois Amigos: Ernani Filho Canta Ary Barroso—Odeon. Ernani
was one of the biggest friends that Ary had at the end of his life. Much
younger, he was fruitlessly nurtured by the older man. But, he didn’t sing
bad

19??—Aquarela do Brasil—Ary’s songbook by Gal Costa. Re-released
on CD, it’s a masterpiece of good taste. Gal opted for the modern side
of the composer, with almost pop versions in some cases, but always sensible.
Her interpretation of “Faceira Só Não” is definitive because
of the original, with Sílvio Caldas and the percussionist Luciano
Perrone giving the music a real swing. When the record came out, it sold
a lot and played over and over again on the radio, reminding many people
of Ary Barroso

1989—Ary Barroso—Série Grandes Autores da MPB—Polygram;

1991—Ary Amoroso—An Ary songbook by the divine Elizeth, recorded
a little before her death. Also, re-released on CD. Immersed in her masterful
elegance, Elizeth called Rafael Rabello, Maurício Carrilho, Marcos
Suzano and a few more along the same caliber to make this definitive CD
with her. If you could only buy one record to hear Ary’s music, don’t even
blink before deciding on this one. Without a doubt, Ary would do the same,
he who spent his life bestowing Elizeth with all types of praise. The medley
of Caco Velho with “Na Batucada da Vida” is fabulous.

The only other rendition at the same level is from Elis (Regina) from
the 1974 album Elis, which is also worth a listen.

1993—Ary Barroso—Fundação AABB (three record set).
This one you will have to work to find, but it’s worth it. The record didn’t
have a commercial release as the Bank of Brazil Athletic Association distributed
it as a year-end gift. But just the tracks with the singer Roberto Paiva
are worth the search. Paiva—as Caetano (Veloso) remembered in Tropicália
II—who was lost between Mário Reis and João Gilberto,
and, at the time of the recording, still was in top form. Besides this,
some of the musicians who accompanied the singers were from Ary’s own orchestra.
Ask you manager to search the archives of the Bank if you haven’t closed
your account.
CDs:

1993—O Mais Brasileiro dos Brasileiros—Revivendo. For who has
come to the end of the original recordings of Ary’s time, this is the ticket.
Ary `s best songs, recorded between the end of the 1920s and the 1940s.
Just the legendary recording of “Aquarela” with the arrangement by Radamés
is worth the purchase. But this CD has much more. It’s second best, after
Ary Amoroso

1995—Songbooks Ary Barroso (three separate CDs)—Lumiar. Beautiful
series of CDs. They have the best in popular Brazilian music, from Tom
Jobim and Dorival Caymmi to Dino Sete Cordas and Carmen Costa, singing
a repertoire from Ary’s well-known standards to some of his almost unknown
songs, with arrangements done by the best in the business. It should be
a part of any music collection. It is one of Lumiar’s best works.

 

Translated by Barbara Maglio, who can be reached at
70674.2143@compuserve.com

Arthur de Faria, the author, a journalist, writer and
musician from Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil, may be contacted at arthurdefa@hotmail.com

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