Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Book Inspires a New Milton Nascimento Album

by Chris McGowan

My appreciation of the remarkable music of Milton Nascimento was a major reason that I started writing about Brazilian music and that I eventually wrote The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova and the Popular Music of Brazil with Ricardo Pessanha. So, it was with great happiness that I learned recently that a musical map in our book had inspired Milton to embark on his latest musical project: E a Gente Sonhando (And Us Dreaming), an album that focuses on the music of his hometown, Três Pontas.

Chris McGowan and Milton Nascimento, 1987

In The Brazilian Sound, we have a chapter on Milton and his musical colleagues from Minas Gerais, and a musical map that includes cities like Rio, Recife, and Salvador. The map also has Três Pontas, because of the musical importance of Milton and Wagner Tiso (who also grew up there). When Milton saw that Três Pontas was on the map, he felt a need to return to the town where he grew up and explore the current musical scene there. He felt a strong emotion and wanted to give something back to his hometown.

In the November 1, 2010 issue of Rio de Janeiro's daily newspaper O Globo, Leonardo Lichote also interviewed Milton Nascimento about his new album for the cover story of the "Caderno B" arts section. Lichote described how the musical map in The Brazilian Sound inspired Milton to create the album. "His idea of bringing, of incorporating the new music of Três Pontas (and surrounding region) with his own was born when the book The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova and the Popular Music of Brazil, by Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha, arrived in his hands. The city was the only one that wasn't a [state] capital to be highlighted on a Brazilian map, as an important musical center," writes Lichote.

"Many tourists from the whole world are going to know the city, the square where my parents' house is located, and the house. Above all the Japanese, who founded my first fan club...When this book appeared, I thought: people are going to see this, more will go to Três Pontas and find what? what music will they see?," Nascimento said to Lichote.

"I started to talk with Marco Elizeo, who co-produced the album with me, and said, 'It’s tough! What are we going to do to show this stuff from Três Pontas that these guys talk about?' " Milton told Miguel Sá in the August, 2010 issue of Backstage. Sá continued, "The answer was to have a dinner in a bar in Três Pontas for thirty people, who were a good part of the musical community of the city. Between food and drinks, Milton could see what was happening with the musicians from there. This was the first of various events for the composer to get to know the local musical talents. Nobody knew, but the project of recording an album with them was already ripening."

Milton Nascimento collaborated with thirty young singers and musicians from Três Pontas on the album, which includes both new compositions and re-recordings of the songs “Raras Maneiras” (written by Tunai and Márcio Borges, and originally recorded by Simone), “Advinha o Quê” (Lulu Santos), and “Estrela, Estrela” (Vitor Ramil). The title track was composed by Milton over forty years ago and recorded by the Tempo Trio on their 1965 Tempo Trio album.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Brazilian Sound: From 1991 to Today

Our book The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova and the Popular Music of Brazil has been the leading guide to Brazilian music in the English language since 1991, when it was first published by Billboard Books. The Brazilian Sound has now had three U.S. editions (the last two with Temple University Press), one U.K. edition (with the title The Billboard Book of Brazilian Music), and French, German, and Japanese translations. The current 2009 edition is available worldwide through Amazon. Find all editions here: The Brazilian Sound.

Images from top to bottom:
1. The Brazilian Sound (Temple University Press, 3rd ed., 2009).
2. The Brazilian Sound (Japan: Shinko Music Publishing, 1999).
3. Le Son du Brésil: Samba, Bossa Nova et Musiques Populares (France: Éditions Lusophone, 1999).
4. The Brazilian Sound (Temple University Press, 2nd ed., 1998).
5. The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova und die Klange Brasiliens (Germany: Hannibal Verlag, 1991).
6. The Billboard Book of Brazilian Music: Samba, Bossa Nova and the Popular Sounds of Brazil (England: Guinness Publishing, 1991).
7. The Brazilian Sound (Billboard Books, 1st ed., 1991).