Brazilian Album Reviews

This is the second page of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "P"

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Pe De Boi "Power Samba Band" (Arkadia, 1998)
The lone album by this long-lived New York City samba-jazz band, formed in 1980 by percussionist Guilherme Franco, a veteran of the McCoy Tyner band... Plenty of guest performers on here, notably Cyro Baptista, Jorge Dalto, and a whole slew of Franco's friends in New York's Brazilian expatriate community. A skillful, well-realized and substantive mix of samba, modern jazz fusion, and a dash of NY-style salsa... It's too far into the "jazz" camp for my tastes, but I can definitely recognize that it's a high-quality performance, and that Franco didn't really sacrifice anything from any of the elements he's drawn on: the composition and playing is solid throughout.

Cauby Peixoto - see artist discography

Moacyr Peixoto "Pra Balancar" (Philips, 1964)
(Produced by Alberto Borba & Rogerio Gauss)

Swinging easy-listening bossa-nova featuring pianist Moacyr Peixoto with a lively, expressive backing band, including an occasional vocal chorus. Peixoto, who was apparently Cauby Peixoto's brother, fits nicely into the spectrum of Brazilian nightclub pianists: his style is generally bouncy and upbeat, less sly than Fats Elpidio, less self-mocking than Leal Brito, less aggressive than most of the "bossa trio" jazz players. The album starts off with a sleek vocal tune, "Amor E Paz," which features a bright chorus along the line of early MPB-4, but this turns out to be misleading, as the rest of the record is mainly all-instrumental, and may lapse into tedium, depending on your affinity for the style. The performances are pretty engaging, though -- they weren't just going through the motions, and the repertoire includes material by up-and-coming composers such as Ronaldo Boscoli, Ed Lincoln, Durival Ferreira, and Syvio Cezar, along with some oldies by Caymmi, Definitely worth a spin.

Moacyr Peixoto "Um Piano Dentro Da Noite" (Eldorado)

Diana Pequeno - see artist discography

Leo Peracchi E Sua Orquestra "Brazilian Cocktails" (Capitol, 1958)
An amazingly over-the-top pop-orchestral album with a funny "concept": the songs are named after fictitious cocktail drinks like the "Dry Copacabana" or "Latin Manhattan," or they have punny, lil' drinkie-winkie related names like "Souse America." This includes a few early Tom Jobim compositions that weren't folded into his standard canon (listen to this record, and you'll probably see why...) as well as a number of other little-known tunes by other top-flight composers such as Luiz Bonfa, Vadico, Joao da Bahiana and Lindolfo Gaya. The orchestrations are insanely baroque and overly assertive, with dancing pizzicato strings, velvet brass and gooey piano and then -- BANG!! -- tons of rhythmic punch. It's a very ridiculous record, more North American "hi-fi" than Brazilian semi-samba, but lounge fans who go for the really silly stuff will love it.

Marco Pereira & Cristovao Bastos "Bons Encontros" (Caju/Milestone, 1992)
Guitarist Pereira and pianist Bastos dance through a nice set of instrumental duets, exploring the compositions of Dorival Caymmi and Noel Rosa. It's a little on the lite-jazz side, but basically it's pretty engaging. Good for the genre, at any rate. They have light accompaniment on a few tunes, but mostly this is just the two of them together and they seem to have a lot of chemistry in their playing. Worth checking out.

Marco Pereira "Elegia: Virtuoso Guitar Music From Brasil" (Channel Classics, 1994)

Marco Pereira "Cameristico" (Biscoito Fino, 2007)

Nazare Pereira - see artist discography

Osvaldo Pereira "Ohla Ze" (Rob Digital, 2001)

Osvaldo Pereira "As Arvores" (Dubas, 2005)

Pereirinha E Sua Gente "Sao Joao De Outrora" (Equipe, 1967)
A doubtless authentic, yet sort of underwhelming, set of accordion-based music with a bit more of the old-school polka in it than, say a baiao or forro set by Luiz Gonzaga, et. al. This disc starts out with a little bit of band chatter, guys going hoo, hayy, haah and "sarava!"-ing up a storm. But the bonhomie feels forced and awkward, and when they settle down and just play their music, it gets kind of monotonous. For diehard students of regional northeastern dance music, this might be a find... But for the average listener? Maybe not so much.

Perfume Azul Do Sol "Nascimento" (Chantecler, 1974)
Psychedelic heavy/hippie rock straight from the tropicalia playbook: fans of Novos Baianos or Gal Costa's rock records of 1969-71 will get a kick out of this Sao Paulo-based band which featured a female vocalist named Ana, as well as a couple of prog-psych vets from bands such as Som Nosso Cada Dia and Os Incriveis... It's a decent record which seems thrilling when it starts out, but falls a little flat after a few tunes; they're authentic and up to date, doing the same stuff as the other bands, but they don't quite have the propulsive spark to make this the kind of record that'll really wow you. Still, students of Brazilian rock will definitely want to check this out.

Perla "...Canta ABBA E Outros Hits" (Sony, 2002)

Perla "Grandes Sucessos" (Sony, 2003)

Perla "Maxximum" (Sony, 2005)
Absolutely dreadful romantic ballads in the Latin American bolero tradition, sung in both Portuguese and Spanish. This best-of set opens with a translated version of ABBA's "Fernando," and gets worse from there. Dunno much about this Paraguayan-born, Brazil-raised artist, but I kinda feel like I don't have to.

Pernambuco & Seu Conjunto "Em Ritmo De Danca" (Polydor, 1957)
Not to be confused with '50s samba percussionist Pernambuco Do Pandeiro, jazz trumpeter Ayres da Costa Pessoa (aka Pernambuco) was apparently the brother of pianist Fats Elpidio and accompanied him into the jazz/gafieria field. This is a jovial, pre-bossa dance album featuring lively percussion, piano and flute -- some songs are a little cloying or lethargic, but others are fun, in a decidedly kitschy kind of way. If you enjoy similar artists of this era -- Elpidio, Zaccharias, Trio Surdina -- this is worth checking out as well.

Pernambuco & Seu Conjunto "Conversando Com O Piston" (Polydor, 1959)

Jovelina Perola Negra - see artist discography

Luciano Perrone "Batucada Fantastica" (Musidisc, 1963)
Drummer Luciano Perrone (1908-2001) is famous for being the first recording artist to use snare drums for samba music -- his legacy goes way, way, way back into the roots of Brazilian popular music -- in the 1930s, he was in a trio with pianist Radames Gnattali, with whom he collaborated for many years; throughout the '40s and '50s he played in countless sessions and bands, and beginning in the '60s he recorded three albums of batucada drumming that have attained legendary status among fans of the style.

Luciano Perrone "Batucada Fantastica, v.2" (Musidisc, 1967)

Luciano Perrone "Batucada Fantastica, v.3" (Musidisc, 1972)

Persona "Som" (1975)
Wanky Brazilian lo-fi hippie-prog, with lots of kooky, spaced-out guitar noodling and ineffective "drumming" as the primary accompaniment. This band featured lead guitarist Luis Sergio Carlini and percussionist Franklin Paolillo, later of Rita Lee's post-Mutantes backup band, Tutti Frutti. This self-released record probably seemed a lot cooler when they were high on whatever they were high on, and I suppose it's a fascinating historical relic, etc. etc., but it's really pretty bad music. It doesn't really hold up well, no matter how rare it was.

Lina Pesce "Concerto Em Ritmo" (CBS, 1963)
Lush, playfully bombastic renditions of various classical themes -- pieces by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Tchachovski, etc. -- with gratuitously lush piano playing from classical prodigy Lina Pesce, who submits herself to a goofy popping-up courtesy of arranger/orchestra leader Lyio Panicali. This is all very kitschy and lighthearted -- the liner notes proclaim Pesce a classical composer and performer of great note, but you'd be hard pressed to discern that from this cheesy outing. Whiff of pop, rock and a teensy bit of samba may make this noteworthy to easy listening, etc., but it didn't stick to my ribs.

Brazilian Music - More Letter "P"

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