|Os 3 Morais - Os 3 Morais - 1971|
|Label: EMI Brazil 5403522 (Brazil)|
My rating: 9/10
Last updated: 05/03/2003
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|Another CD reissue that I bought on the basis of a single track. This Brazilian vocal group's interpretation of Marcos Valle's 'Freio Aerodinamico' really blew my mind when I first heard it a couple of years ago on the Blue Brazil Volume 2 compilation. Although I've made a few sightings of this LP on ebay, it has sold for over $100 each time. Thanks to the people at EMI Brazil, my search is over.
I'm not disappointed at all, but at the same time, the album is different from what I expected. The main element of surprise for me was the extent to which the group seem to have been influenced by the Swingle Singers. To me, this is no bad thing; it was simply unexpected.
The album opens strongly with 'se quiser valer,' a groovy number with brass and a great rhythm that reminds me of some of Marcos Valle's best work.
The second track, 'Odeon' is an interesting mix. It starts and ends in slow pseudoclassical mode, and then a bossa nova-style guitar come in, and there's a great late 60s 'A Man and a Woman' soundtrack feel, with wordless vocals and some great harmonies. It's a great fusion of that Swingle Singers sound and Brasilian pop. If you've ever heard the Polish group Novi Singers, this sounds a bit like their work, except slightly sweeter and less jarring. At the end, it morphs into a beautiful pseudoclassical piece, with a clear Swingle Singers influence.
'Tão preso pelo teu olhar' is a slower ballad, with beautiful instrumental and vocal harmonies.
'Sambachiana' has vocals that are sung entirely in the scat style, sounding like a fantastic mix of Novi Singers, Swingle Singers, and also Burt Bacharach (I'm thinking the track 'South American Getaway' here).
Although many of the tracks being interpreted on this album are not well-known outside Brazil, there are some famous numbers, including 'Desafinado'. This version is unusual - slow, jazzy, and not immediately recognizeable. It's as if the group are taking the 'off key' tag a bit too literally - there are lots of bizarre chord changes. It's definitely interesting, but kind of weird as well. It reminds me of some of the Tamba Trio's wilder tracks, except slower.
After 'Freio Aerodinamico' is 'Azul da cor do mar,' a slow number with high vocals and a nice slow groove to it. It's really quite charming.
Next up is an intriguing version of the standard 'Tico Tico'. This opens with a similar plucked guitar and strings background to 'Freio..', but then the scat vocals kind of change the atmosphere. The vocals sound free and liberated in a very cool way, reminding me again of the Novi Singers.
'Violão vadio', a Baden Powell composition, is a slow and beautiful ballad with strings. 'Bachianinha No. 2' is superb - solemn, yet fun, with a mixture of classical and bossa nova instrumentation. 'Historia de uma criança' is another slower number, a delicate tune with same the lush instrumentation as most of the rest of the album. This one could be accused of being very slightly schmaltzy, but it's so beautiful and innocent-sounding that I feel bad for saying that.
The album closes with 'Jequi-Bach', another superb Bacharach-Novi-Swingle hybrid track. I like this album a lot, and hope that the nice people at EMI Brazil will reissue some more of Os 3 Morais's albums.
1. Se quiser valer,
3. Tão preso pelo teu olhar
6. Freio Aerodinamico
7. Azul da cor do mar,
8. Tico Tico
9. Violão vadio
10. Bachianinha No. 2
11. Historia de uma criança
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