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Itamar Assumpcao portrait Sao Paulo's MPB/rock/funk star Itamar Assumpcao (1949-2003) was one of the key figures in the regional art movement called the Vanguarda Paulista, an effort to revitalize and reassert the Sao Paulo art scene in the 1970s and '80s. He worked with and mentored numerous artists in a variety of styles, and recorded several albums before his untimely death in 2003. Here's a quick look at his work...


Itamar Assumpcao "Beleleu, Leleu, Eu" (Lira Paulistana, 1980)

Itamar Assumpcao "As Proprias Custas S.A." (Lira Paulistana, 1983)
(Arrangements by Itamar Assumpcao)

A purposefully difficult, uncommercial album, full of odd, introspective vocals and minimal accompaniment -- guitars that stop and start, spoken and half-sung digressions, and a general oddball, jazz-influenced art-rock sensibility. The intertwining vocals include a trio of Vania Bastos, VirgŪnia Rosa and Suzana Salles, as well as Denise Assumpcao, performing live with an intriguing mix of precision and unpredictability... This album has hints of Laurie Anderson and Diamanda Galas, as well as more "mainstream" difficult listening and post-punky math rock. Might not be the kind of record you'd like to have on for recreational listening, but doubtless of interest to the weirdo-fonic crowd, particularly for folks looking for kooky stuff outside of the English-speaking world.

Itamar Assumpcao "Sampa Midnight, Isso Nao Vai Ficar Assim" (MPA, 1986)
(Arrangements by Itamar Assumpcao & Paulinho Le Petit)

A more cohesive, accessible album, but still pretty avant. Cool, weird, reggae-laced, dubby art-rock, stuff that brings Arto Lindsay, Frank Zappa, Tom Ze, and innumerable post-punk/wave bands to mind, folks like the Raincoats and the Slits, though with a milder, sometimes jazzy edge, as well as acoustic undertones and a general goofiness that keeps this from getting too eggheaddy or remote. It's odd stuff, for sure -- I suppose Zappa is the best reference point. At any rate, if you're into difficult, playful, non-pop music, you might want to check this one out.

Itamar Assumpcao "Intercontinental! Quem Diria! Era So O Que Faltava!!!" (Gravadora Continental, 1988)

Itamar Assumpcao "Bicho De Sete Cabecas Vol I" (Baratos Afins, 1993)

Itamar Assumpcao "Bicho De Sete Cabecas Vol II" (Baratos Afins, 1993)

Itamar Assumpcao "Bicho De Sete Cabecas Vol III" (Baratos Afins, 1993)

Itamar Assumpcao "Ataulfo Alves Por Itamar Assumpcao - Pra Sempre Agora" (Paradoxx, 1996)

Itamar Assumpcao "Pretobras" (Atracao, 1998)

Itamar Assumpcao & Nana Vasconcelos "Isso Vai Dar Repercussao" (Elo Music/Boitata, 2004)

Itamar Assumpcao "Caixa Preta" (Box Set) (SESC SP, 2010)
A 7-CD box set that includes two posthumous albums, Pretobras II and Pretobras III


Arrigo Barnabe "Missa In Memoriam Itamar Assumpcao" (Tratore, 2007)


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